With the fifteenth pick in the BGN Community Mock Draft, last year's champion, outsyders34, selects...
Quinton Coples: DE, North Carolina
The Eagles have been put into a tight spot with their two most likely candidates being gone in Luke Kuechly and Fletcher Cox. At this point, it makes the most sense to try to trade back and either gain up a high pick for next year or move back a bit and draft either Stephon Gilmore, Coby Fleener or one of the three tackles with first round grades. However, because in this mock I am required to make a pick, trading back is not an option.
Most experts would consider Quinton Coples, Dontari Poe and Whitney Mercilus as best player available (BPA) at fifteen. As of Saturday, April 7th, the Eagles have only had a visit with Poe. Each of the three has question marks: Coples had big time production in 2010, but it tailed off in 2011; some saying he seemed to have lost motivation. Poe never had the production despite his size, speed and athleticism he demonstrated at the NFL Combine. Mercilus led the nation in sacks and tackles for loss in 2011, but he is essentially a one-year wonder.
I think the Eagles may have learned from their lesson and may stay away this year from high motor players because they now have Jim Washburn in the fold, and he is a master at getting players motivated. Because of this, I believe the Eagles need to go BPA and select Quinton Coples out of North Carolina. Many experts have him as a top ten selection, so grabbing him at fifteen is a steal. Coples does not come with some warts, especially those previously mentioned. However, he possesses a lot of upside.
More after the jump...
· Ideal size - 6-5, 281, 33 inch arms
· Good speed off the edge
· Scheme versatile - DE or DT
· Repertoire of pass-rushing moves
· Holds up versus the run
· Possesses a frame that can add bulk
· Not elite speed
· Questionable motor
· Lack of quality production from UNC players
· Questionable work ethic
Coples is arguably the highest rated defensive end in this draft. He had a breakout season alongside Robert Quinn (2011 First Round pick by the Rams) in 2010, tallying 10 sacks, 15.5 tackles for loss, 59 tackles and two forced fumbles as a junior. In his second season he faced more double teams without Quinn, however; he still managed 55 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks and three forced fumbles.
Coples dominated the Senior Bowl and showed off his scheme versatility. At the North Carolina Pro Day, Coples even participated in linebacker drills, stating "So many teams are going to a 3-4 and I just wanted to show that I was versatile and can play a lot of positions." He also stated at another time in saying, "I take pride in being versatile. It definitely has raised my stock in that it lets teams know that I can [play] inside or out. I'm definitely prepared for whatever defensive scheme that a team has."
I think all the cons are valid. However, I do not put much stock into his questionable work ethic simply because his senior year production tailed off. The statistics certainly do not bear that notion. And as previously mentioned, Washburn is the master at getting the most out of his players. Derek Landri and Jason Babin are prime examples. Also, Robert Quinn's rookie success last year has decreased the idea that all North Carolina defensive players are not quality NFL players.
The Eagles will need to start drafting for future defensive line talent as Babin, Cullen Jenkins and Mike Patterson are either at the 30 year old mark or over and their ability to contribute may begin to wane. Even Trent Cole is up there in age and because he plays so much and works well against both the pass and the run, he has taken a major pounding. Coples, because of his scheme versatility, would be ideal because he can play both DT and DE. The Eagles do not need to look far to see how well Jason Pierre-Paul, a guy with a similar physical build to Coples, produces at either DE or DT.
In conclusion, as previously stated, the best option is to trade back, but Coples is just too physically gifted to pass up at the fifteenth pick. And because the Eagles currently have so much first team talent on the defensive line, Coples is not forced to be an immediate contributor. He will mix in with Washburn's famous line rotations and will be able to produce at either defensive tackle or end.
Next on the clock will be rohan915 with the New York Jets.
Previous Picks: #1 Andrew Luck, #2 Robert Griffin III, #3 Morris Claiborne, #4 Trent Richardson, #5 Matt Kalil, #6Justin Blackmon, #7 Melvin Ingram, #8 Ryan Tannehill, #9 Michael Floyd, #10 Dre Kirkpatrick, #11 David DeCastro, #12Courtney Upshaw, #13 Luke Kuechly #14 Fletcher Cox