After a little bit of a hiatus due to covering the frenzied environment of the opening days of NFL free agency I am back with my breakdown of the top 25 players from the 2012 NFL Draft.
Today's scouting report will focus on the 23rd ranked player on my big board, Quinton Coples of North Carolina.
Many scouts believe that Coples is a top ten pick right now, but I just don't see it that way. While the former Tar Heel' has a tremendous amount of talent, he also has a huge "bust" factor. This is something that usually steers NFL front offices away from that early in the draft.
Let's get to the nuts-and-bolts.
You are not looking at getting an inconsistent pass rush threat when selecting Coples. He recorded only 7.5 sacks as a senior in 2011 against marginal competition in the watered down ACC.
He lacks the necessary athleticism to get to the outside from the end position, something that will throw a lot of teams off when looking at time. Coples does have a nice bull-rush move, which should work well against smaller offensive tackles at the next level. Coples also possesses the long arms that will help out when he is actually able to refined technique on the outside.
As I mentioned above Coples is a pretty strong player, yet he only put up 25 bench press reps at the combine. This surprises me a great deal because the defensive end absolutely dominated in this category at the college level.
One of the strongest aspects of Coples game. He will not miss many tackles and usually over powers opposing ball carriers. He has the ability to strip the ball with those long arms as well. This makes him a very strong candidate in the 4-3 defensive scheme.
He consistently kept offensive tackles off balance due to that strength and build, something I look for Coples to continue at the next level. He does need to improve from a down position in terms of getting off the snap quicker. Some good coaching can fix that aspect of his game. Coples also needs to acquire multiple pass rush moves that he can be consistent with. The bull rush technique isn't going to cut it in the NFL alone.
This is something that has dogged Coples throughout the scouting process, at least for me. He tends to struggle staying motivated at times. This can lead to the talented defensive end getting lost throughout the game. In watching film of North Carolina I noticed him unable to make an impact for long stretches during some games. That just isn't going to cut it
Coples pretty much has all the measurements and talent that you look for in a defensive end prospect. He can be downright dominating at times, using blockers like his own.
What worries me the most of Coples is the fact that he isn't tremendously quick, struggles with a variation of pass rush moves and can be inconsistent throughout the game.
Projected Late First Round Pick