Why the Fuss Over Melvin Ingram vs. Quinton Coples?


Apr 22, 2009; New York, NY, USA; ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. during the 2010 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

There has been a lot of discussion of the Jets first choice on Thursday night, Quinton Coples. Especially from the gentleman pictured to the right, Mel Kiper Jr, ESPN draft “expert”. Melvin Ingram was available. Why didn’t the Jets choose Melvin Ingram? Coples is such a large risk compared to Melvin Ingram.

I have loved the pick since the Jets made it, so I began to wonder, am I wrong? Did the Jets screw this up? So I did some research, and I still don’t get what the big deal is.

First I thought, look at his statistics. Maybe Ingram significantly outplayed Coples, so let’s see.

Granted, Ingram had more sacks (10.0) in 2011 than Coples (7.5). But look at the totals from 2009-2011. Ingram, 20 sacks. Coples, 22.5 sacks. Am I wrong? This is a higher total for Coples, right?

I was watching the Sportscenter special on the draft wrap up, and I heard Herman Edwards gushing about Ingram’s long arms, so I decided to check that out on the NFL combine’s result page. Here is what I found regarding arm length:

Ingram: 31.5 inch arms Coples: 33.25 inch arms

Again, isn’t that a larger number for Coples?

I compared their size:

Ingram: 6’1″ 264 pounds Coples: 6’6″ 284 pounds

Again, advantage Coples.

So what is the big deal here?

The biggest knock on Coples is these statements about his motor. “His motor doesn’t run on all plays”. “He takes plays off”. On and on, the “experts” have whined this same refrain. I however, question that notion.

As I have said earlier, why did his production go down, solely because his motor doesn’t run right? Isn’t it possible that the other schools, I don’t know, figured out how to block him? Maybe the opposing coaches did something, I know it’s radical, game plan? Just because his production went down, it doesn’t mean he took plays off.

Secondly, he chose to come back to school. He could have entered the NFL draft after his 10 sack junior season. He didn’t. Why? He was asked that question, and he stated he wasn’t ready. Does it make sense that a guy would choose to play in school, and then not play hard? No. It just doesn’t make any sense.

Finally, can’t more than one pass rusher co-exist? Does Melvin Ingram have to be the only impact pass rusher? I think Demarcus Ware and Von Miller existed just fine. Bruce Smith and LT did just fine years ago.

Coples will be fine. It’s time for the “know it alls” to stop bashing the pick.