2011 Analysis: With injuries to his Mike DeVito, Ropati saw more time than maybe was anticipated. On the whole, Ropati was neutral, totalling 22 tackles with one sack and two stuffs. Most of the season he either played on the level, or would make some great penetrations on one play, then get blocked out on another. More than anything, he proved during 2011 that he’s not a liability, and so with his size and skillset.
2012 Outlook: Ropati has done enough to show that he’s able to be molded. The Jets love his size, and when he gets his leverage right, he’s a fiend at creating penetration into the backfield. As the Jets continue to work with him, expect his “project” status seems to be morphing into “solid contibutor” status. He won’t start, but he’s going to be a helpful rotational player for that group.
Random Thought: Four of the Jets rostered seven defensive linemen are either undrafted players (MTV, Ropati, DeVito) or reclamation projects (Dixon). This is a strong sign to me that while Rex likes to draft DL players like he did in 2011 to bolster the unit (Wilkerson, Ellis) for the next five years, he might also consider it a luxury as he feels competent at coaching up undrafted type players.
Seems the Jets fans liked this guy
Ropati Pitoitua is a very large man. He is 6'8" and 315 pounds. One of the stars of training camp and the preseason, he arguably outplayed Muhammad Wilkerson competing for a starting spot on the defensive line. The coaching staff did not see it that way, however, as Wilkerson got a starting spot and played well as a rookie. Ropati contributed as a rotational player.
http://www.ganggreennation.com/2012/2/29/2833018/ropati-pitoitua-stay-or-go (I will cheat and say the poll is one-sided)
ProFootbalFocus rates Ro in Run Stuffing 3-4 Defensive End capabilities as:
1 Ray McDonald SF
2 Glenn Dorsey KC
3 J.J. Watt HST
4 Justin Smith SF
5 Mike Devito NYJ
6 Tyson Jackson KC
7 Brett Keisel PIT
8 Muhammad Wilkerson NYJ
9 Kenyon Coleman DAL
10 Randy Starks MIA
11 Tim Jamison HST
12 Jason Hatcher DAL
13 Ryan Pickett GB
14 Ropati Pitoitua NYJ
Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum had just talked up Pitoitua a few weeks ago. The 6-foot-8, 315-pound "five technique" played well over 300 snaps for New York last season, but added little as a pass rusher and is only a rotational run defender at this point. Pitoitua's rather large $950,000 base salary plus $200,000 workout bonus will make him unattractive in the waivers process.
I have a feeling that the Chiefs signed a multi-year multi-million dollar contract for Ro. Contract was undisclosed, but if you will follow the Scott Pioli trail...
5/2 NY Jets
Josh Brown (K) signed.
Ropati Pitoitua (DE) cut.
Ropati Pitoitua (DE) signed.
Ro had little time to see anyone else but the Chiefs. Schedule a visit, Medical, discuss and sign the contract. Scott was serious on this guy :)
I imagine that the Jets were interested in re-signing Ro
98 Coples, Quinton DE 6-6 285 21 R North Carolina
70 DeVito, Mike DE 6-3 305 27 6 Maine
92 Richardson, Jay DE 6-6 280 28 5 Ohio State
96 Wilkerson, Muhammad DL 6-4 315 22 2 Temple
94 Dixon, Marcus DT 6-4 295 27 3 Hampton
93 Ellis, Kenrick DT 6-5 330 24 2 Hampton
71 Harrison, Damon DT 6-4 350 23 R William Penn
91 Pouha, Sione DT 6-3 325 33 8 Utah
47 Roy, Brett DT 6-4 260 23 R Nevada
95 Tevaseu, Martin DT 6-2 325 24 2 Nevada-Las Vegas