New York Jets coach Rex Ryan said Tuesday that the team did not have an interest in picking defensive end Bruce Irvin in the NFL draft, and was in fact targeting eventual-selection Quinton Coples with the 16th overall pick.
The Jets did not want to take Irvin "at No. 16, I can tell you that much," Ryan said. "He's a guy we did a lot of stuff on. We liked Bruce Irvin as a player, but not ahead of the first two guys we took."
The Seahawks' decision to grab Irvin that early surprised some draft analysts, but was seemingly validated by reports that several other teams had been coveting the West Virginia product.
Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine told The Star-Ledger on Tuesday that the team was ecstatic to have the chance to draft Coples.
"We were very fired up as a defensive staff that we were able to add that type of ability to our room," Pettine said.
Speaking at a charity event in Eatontown, N.J. co-hosted by Pettine, the defensive coordinator and Ryan both emphasized the need for the team to speed things up on defense.
"The league is evolving that way to be a pass-first league, and we felt we were getting -- for lack of a better phrase -- a little dinosaur-ish inside," Pettine told the newspaper.
Coples is expected to help in that department, Pettine said, adding that the North Carolina product is capable of helping at several spots on the defensive line, including left end.
The event was organized to help Jets fan Michael Manganiello, who was diagnosed last month with acute myelofibrosis, a rare condition in which progressive scarring of the bone marrow impairs its ability to make blood cells. One goal of the event was to help find a match for the bone-marrow transplant Manganiello needs.
More than 400 fans went to the Doubletree Hilton Hotel to have their cheeks swabbed and register for the National Marrow Donor Program. The event, called "A Match for Michael," also raised money for the program and the Manganiello family.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.