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Do the Jets “Need” to Trade Up for Melvin Ingram?

By Alan Schechter
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Nov 5, 2011; Fayetteville, AR, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks defensive end Melvin Ingram (6) prior to the game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Arkansas defeated South Carolina 44-28. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-US PRESSWIRE

The Jets need a pass rusher, and it looks more and more like they are going to make this the focus of their first pick of the draft. If you follow Jake Steinberg of thejetsblog, you learn that it is looking more and more like the Jets are going to trade up so they can draft Melvin Ingram(pictured right) from the University of South Carolina. Ingram is very capable as a pass rusher, as we will see when we talk about his stats in just a minute. However, do they really need to move up?

I argue that they may be able to pick up a great pass rusher in the middle of the round, and not have to make a trade.

Remember this guy(pictured below)?

Dec 26, 2011; Shreveport, LA, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels defensive end Quinton Coples (90) looks down the field during the second half against the Missouri Tigers in the Independence Bowl at Independence Stadium. Missouri won 41-24. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-US PRESSWIRE

Quinton Coples from the University of North Carolina. This is a guy that the Jets worked out, putting him through drills at defensive end, and linebacker. The Jets have made it evident that they feel strongly about Melvin Ingram, but clearly they like Coples as well. Let’s do a little comparison, shall we?

Ingram comes in at 6’1″ 264 pounds, Coples at 6’6″ 284 pounds. Coples’ arm lenth is 33 1/4 inches, while Ingram’s are only 31 1/2 inches, so Coples wins the battle of size and reach. (Per nfl.com combine results)

Whether its due to power, or refined technique, both are adept at rushing the passer, which is a gaping hole that the Jets have had for many years.

Over their last 2 college seasons, they were virtually equal in sacks, Ingram with 19, Coples with 17.5. Ingram may be a bit more active in pass coverage, as he was able to add 2 INTs to his stats.

Take a look at some highlights of these two talented individuals:

Clearly, both of these guys have ability. No doubt, the Jets can’t really go wrong picking any one of these guys. They will make an immediate impact coming off the edge.

The major issue is whether they think Coples could be available at their current pick in the draft. The trade up for Ingram could be costly. What do they have to give up to get that high?

To move up into the top 10, which is where it seems they will need to go in order to get Ingram, could cost them their second round pick. What if a guy like George Iloka is available at their spot in the second round? He would also make an impact at another gaping hole, safety. What about an Alshon Jeffery, who could be an impact WR?

If they can move up without giving up their second round pick, by all means, go ahead. If the Jets honestly don’t believe they can get an impact pass rusher at the 16th pick, again, by all means, move on up. But, if they can get Coples at number 16, they might consider staying there, and then keeping the second round to use on a safety, or a WR.

Staying put might allow them to acquire both quantity, and quality.

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