BY CHAYIM TAUBER
Analysis of first and second round of the New York football draft
The Jets did what the Jets always do in this draft: they made headlines. Though “Trader Mike” General Manager Mike Tannenbaum waited until the second round to make a trade, he made a splash in the first round by taking defensive end Quinton Coples out of North Carolina with the 16th pick.
Coples is a talented and physical pass rusher with a litany of character questions. Coples has the label of “underachiever” firmly associated with his name and for a team whose poor locker room disposition is so well documented, the pick is certainly a head scratcher. Particularly with better fits like Melvin Ingram, Dont’a Hightower, Chandler Jones, and Whitney Mercillus all still on the board. On the flip side, if Coples matures and fulfills his potential, the names Richard Seymour and Julius Peppers have been names tossed around in comparison.
The Giants first round pick, the 32nd and final in the first round on account of their winning the Super Bowl, couldn’t have been more low-key if they tried. They reached a bit for running back David Wilson out of Virginia Tech. Wilson, a tiny 5’9 “lightning in a bottle” type back is an explosive runner who immediately improves the return game and adds depth to a backfield that lost Brandon Jacobs this past offseason. It was an understated move but one that made all the sense in the world. A Jerry Reese move.
Then came round two and Trader Mike earned his reputation, moving up four slots to grab wideout Stephen Hill of Georgia Tech. Hill was the winner at the combine this year winning the broad jump and tying for the fastest 40 time amongst receivers while measuring in at 6’4 and having the longest arms there. The Jets drafted a huge fast receiver to help out Santonio Holmes but what they drafted was potential. He is a poor route runner and had only 28 catches for Georgia Tech, while averaging a gaudy 28 yds per reception. This is a boom or bust pick for the Jets.
Meanwhile, Jerry Reese picked a solid though much less buzz-worthy receiver than the Jets. The Giants were ecstatic to find LSU‘s Reuben Randle fall into their laps with the last pick of the second round (Randle was so highly thought of, the NFL invited him to sit in the green room for the draft, something they do for those they consider first rounders). Randle needs to work on his route running ability and is a work in progress but figures to be a stronger, taller, Mario Manningham with more ability in the red zone and the middle of the field. He has a good chance of winning the third receiver spot right out of camp.
As excited as the Giants were to find Randle sitting there for them, Adrien Robinson is the player that had the normally reserved Jerry Reese gushing. Reese called Robinson the “JPP of tight ends” because of his “freakish athletic ability”. Robinson, listed by the Giants as 6’4, 264 pounds will be turned over to Tight End coach Mike Pope, the guru that turned Kevin Boss and Jake Ballard into serious contributors for the Giants.
The Giants went under the radar to draft the guys they want, guys they think they can mold into champions and the Jets went with two loud, splashy picks. Surprised?