Over the weekend, a report emerged that the Jets were eyeballing defensive end Bruce Irvin with the 16th overall pick in the draft. But Irvin went off the board at No. 15 to Seattle, and the Jets took defensive end Quinton Coples with the next selection.
Now that the Jets have Coples and not Irvin, the Jets predictably are saying they got the guy they wanted all along. In fact, coach Rex Ryan took it a step farther, saying that they didn’t want Irvin ahead of either Coples or second-rounder Stephen Hill, whom the Jets traded up to get at No. 43.
“He’s a guy we did a lot of stuff on,” Ryan said of Irvin on Tuesday night, via NFL.com. “We liked Bruce Irvin as a player, but not ahead of the first two guys we took.”
It’s impossible to lend any serious weight to those comments. Of course Ryan isn’t going to say he wanted a guy he didn’t get. If Ryan did, that wouldn’t help set the tone for Coples to be successful — and it would invite criticism of the Jets’ failure to leap-frog the Seahawks, especially if Irvin becomes the next Dwight Freeney or Clay Matthews.
So it’s no surprise that Ryan said what he said. It would have been far more noteworthy if he’d said something else.
Meanwhile, Ryan’s comments came at the same event during which he gushed about Tim Tebow. It was organized to help Jets fan Michael Manganiello find a match for a bone-marrow transplant. Manganiello was diagnosed last month with acute myelofibrosis, which impairs the ability of bone marrow to make blood cells.
More than 400 fans had their cheeks swabbed at “A Match for Michael,” an event which also raised money for the Manganiello family.
So while the Jets provide plenty of ammo for scrutiny and criticism, we applaud them for helping Michael and his family.