Defensive End/3-4 Defensive End
Draft board overall prospect rank: #8
Draft board defensive end rank: #2
Overall rating: 91 (top ten prospect)
40 time: 4.72
· Physical freak
· Nice size, height and bulk (6-6 284)
· Long arms
· Uses arms in the passing lanes well
· Flashes brilliance
· On occasions throws offensive lineman around like a rag doll
· Makes frequent WOW plays where his incredible physical gifts make your jaw drop
· Versatile player who has played inside and outside on the defensive line
· Should be scheme versatile at the next level
· 2 years of great production (2010: 59 tackles, 15.5 for loss, 10 sacks 2011: 55 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks)
· Great speed for his size (4.72 40)
· Plays the run well
· A wide repertoire of pass rushing moves
· Explosive off the line
· Great strength and power at the point of attack
· Fast, strong hands
· Great speed and bull rush
· Long arms and great strength allow him to tackle smaller players without disengaging
· Succeeded even when double and triple teamed
· Relies too much on his physical gifts
· Technique needs work
· Takes plays off (even admitted it himself, giving himself a C for effort)
· Inconsistent motor
· Refused a move back to defensive tackle during his senior season
· Inconsistent play
· Senior season was inferior to junior season
· Taken out on some passing downs as a senior on a talented North Carolina defensive line
· Production and play doesn’t always live up to his physical abilities
NFL Comparison: Jason Pierre-Paul
Quinton Coples has a rare package of physical gifts and he makes WOW plays on occasion. He’s 6-6 284 with 4.72 speed. He’s in excellent physical shape with low body fat and powerful muscles. He’s got great height and long arms and excellent lateral movement skills. He is impossible to block one on one and he has success against double and triple teams as well. He can tackle players without fully disengaging with one arm. His physical skill set is so rare that only Jason Pierre Paul really compares and Coples is about 10 pounds bigger and stronger.
However, he’s spoiled by his physical gifts. He doesn’t have a strong work ethic and gave himself a C for effort last season, which is pretty accurate. He plays too high at times and has less than stellar technique. He was off putting in interviews as being overly cocky and refused a move to defensive tackle last season. He didn’t get along well with his coaches either, reportedly. Needless to say, his play doesn’t always live up to his physical gifts.
Moving outside to defensive end full time in 2011, he had 55 tackles, 15 for loss, and 7.5 sacks, down from 59 tackles, 15.5 for loss, and 10 sacks in the previous season. The decrease in production was somewhat a result of seeing extra attention from the defense and he was impressively effect even against double and triple teams. However, his senior season was still inferior to his junior season and you never like to see a player tend in that direction. Because of this, his draft stock fell from top 5-7 to 10-early teens. Dallas probably won’t pass on him at 14 though.
He’s scheme diverse and a former Parcells scout called him the ideal fit for a 3-4 scheme as a defensive end because of his size and his ability to rush the passer at his size. He’ll also fit a 4-3 as a left end and can move inside to defensive tackle on passing downs. He definitely has the upside to be an elite pass rusher at the next level regardless of scheme. He’s also above average against the run and impossible to block one on one when he is trying.
Whether or not he’ll try is the problem. If a player isn’t putting forth his best effort in college, why wouldn’t he do the same in the NFL once he’s getting paid, though I assume the new NFL rookie salary cap will help make sure he’s still motivated as he won’t be given a huge contract right off the bat. In fact, I have a feeling that has a lot to do with why there were so many good rookies last season, especially in the top 10.
Jason Pierre Paul was a prospect I had a lower grade on because I questioned his tape and why his tape was inferior to his physical gifts. I had both Derrick Morgan and Brandon Graham (two guys with great tape) rated higher than him and obviously I have been proven wrong. There were less character concerns surrounding JPP, but if Coples is motivated, he can be just as dominant of a player. Even with the rookie salary, he’s a boom or bust prospect, but there’s definitely upside here. He could be one of the best defensive lineman in the league in 2-3 years.