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Jets Go Defensive and Giants Take a Running Back

Quinton Coples to the Jets and David Wilson to Big Blue

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP/Getty Images
    David Wilson (left) and Quinton Coples (right)

    In one of the fastest moving and trade-happiest first rounds in history, both the Jets and Giants wound up resisting the urge to deal and made their picks exactly where they were scheduled to make them.

    The Jets went first, selecting North Carolina defensive end Quinton Coples with the 16th overall pick of the first round. The Giants then closed out the first round by grabbing Virginia Tech running back David Wilson.

    Both players fill needs for their teams, but both of them also come with a little bit of a question mark that will linger until/unless they prove their worth at the NFL level.

    Coples can rush the passer, something the Jets desperately need, but he had a pretty terrible senior season for the Tar Heels that made people question his motivation level. The Jets obviously feel that Rex Ryan will be able to bring out the best in Coples, but they once thought the same thing about Vernon Gholston and that worked out about as well as driving your car into the river because you want a boat.

    Coples is slated to play defensive end, not outside linebacker, and the idea is that he can turn into the new Shaun Ellis as a three-down player who excels in all phases of the game. It is a lofty projection, but Coples certainly has the talent if the Jets can figure out a way to get him to unleash it on the regular.

    Wilson ran for more than 1,700 yards last season so there's no question about his ability to tote the rock out of the backfield. With Brandon Jacobs gone to San Francisco, the Giants definitely need someone to split the workload with Ahmad Bradshaw next season.

    The question here is whether the Giants needed to do it with their first-round pick. It has become easy to find running backs of merit in the mid-to-late rounds (see Bradshaw and Jacobs) and there was a lot of offensive line talent still on the board when the first round came to an end.

    Jerry Reese has drafted well in recent years, so we'll definitely give him the benefit of the doubt but it is odd to see the Giants favoring need over best player available after so many years of working in the other direction. Wilson can definitely play, though, so it's not like the Giants reached for a punter or anything like that.

    The draft continues on Friday with the second and third rounds. The Jets and Giants both have picks in each round and then a slew more on Saturday to use to plug holes.

    Thursday night was a good start, if not one completely devoid of risk.

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