Name: DE/OLB Quinton Coples
School: North Carolina
Size: 6'5.5, 278 lbs
Expected Round: 1, top 20
Strengths: Athletic freak. Great first step. Versatile to play inside and outside on the defensive line. Violent arms. Willing to chase down field. Can push back tackles and other linemen. Tremendous wingspan. Able to stack-and-shed against tackles. Disciplined, but not polished instincts. Can push the double team.
Weaknesses: Sometimes too lengthy to turn the corner. Runs himself out of a lot of plays when he could cut back inside. Rarely asked to play contain as a defensive end (but was able to when called upon). Needs a closing step when chasing down the ball carrier in the open field. Needs a lot of work on his football IQ.
What is their role? Possible Willie McGinest role as a starting heavy OLB. Think: Andre Carter-role (not level of play).
Will it change from year 1 to year 2? Should Coples develop as a player, he'll continue to start and grow as a player on defense. Needs to become more agile if he is to ever drop backwards into coverage.
How many downs can he play? He could play 3 downs in the 4-3 front, but only 2 in the 3-4 (unless asked to pin his ears back on every third down).
Which current player will he beat out? Jermaine Cunningham, Alex Silvestro, Aaron Lavarias
What’s his ST value? Has the size to participate on the line on field goal blocking attempts.
Does he have positional versatility? 4-3 DE, 4-3 DT, 3-4 OLB, 3-3 DE
Why the? Coples is one of the premier pass rushers in the draft and has fantastic size. Additionally, if he falls to their range, he'll have a huge chip on his shoulder and has used his motivation this off-season to try and prove his critics wrong.
Why not the? He's a very one-directional player who doesn't seem to have the potential to drop into coverage as a linebacker. He's had issues with his role on defense and wasn't happy when the coaches moved him around. While he's more of a strength player than a finesse player (which is something I think Bill Belichick likes in his defensive front), I don't think he's worth the probable price tag.
Verdict: No. USC's Nick Perry is a very reasonable replacement and also has great athletic upside. I can see Belichick going for a more cost efficient pass rusher at the end of the first round.