I was planning on taking a Mocking the Mocks break until next week, but then I saw this NFL.com mock from Charles Davis. And I really liked what I saw. With the 19th pick in the Charles Davis mock draft, the Chicago Bears select Quinton Coples, defensive end, North Carolina.
Imagine the 6'6" 284 pound Coples playing with Julius Peppers opposite him. Imagine someone of his size and 4.7 speed chasing down quarterbacks. Now imagine him actually slipping to 19 for the Bears to draft because I just don't see it happening. I hope I'm wrong, because this would be a fantastic pick.
Here's what Davis had to say:
On pure talent, he'd be a lock top-10 selection. The Bears may have designs on an offensive tackle, but if this pass rusher is available, Julius Peppers will call in the pick for his fellow Tar Heel.
Coples is very athletically gifted, and his size and ability to play the run is ideal as a 5 technique DE in a 3-4 scheme. But his speed makes him attractive to 4-3 teams as well. At North Carolina he lined up inside at times at defensive tackle, but he was reluctant to do so last year for fear it would hurt his draft stock. He eventually agreed to the move, and it actually made him more valuable in some scouts eyes. Was his initial hesitance selfish, yes, but in my opinion it's not a yellow flag.
Most scouting reports knock him for not giving his all on every play, but he doesn't agree with the assessment. From CBSSports;
"You know, I'm a big guy. I'm a long-strider, things of that nature, so where it may come fast to me in a game, on film it's slowing down a little bit," Coples said. "People have their own opinions. Some people don't even think it was a problem. So it's different opinions and you just go for what it is."
He went out and had a huge week of practice at the Senior Bowl;
"I heard the rumors and all the things that were going on about me not playing as hard, so I took it personally," Coples said of his Senior Bowl experience. "And I made a statement for myself that I can compete outside of the ACC and all across the country."
I know of another big athletic defensive end from North Carolina that has had the 'takes plays off' stigma follow him around his whole career, and he's made a solid go of it so far.
The CBSSports scouting report alludes to Coples often playing head up on offensive lineman his senior year, and that tells me he was a 2 gap players. Control the o-lineman in front of you so you can slide to either side and make a play. With his speed/strength combo, he would be ideally suited for the 1 gap scheme in Lovie Smith's defense.
There's no question that if the actual draft fell this way that Coples would be the obvious pick. Go take a gander at the mock, then come back here for some discussion.
One final word on Coples, taken from the CBSSports draft profile page;
NFL Comparison: Julius Peppers, Bears