He was selected 16th overall in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the New York Jets. He signed a four-year contract worth $8.8 million on May 17, 2012. During his rookie season of 2012, Coples compiled with 30 tackles and 5.5 sacks. The Jets finished 6-10 (tied 3rd in AFC East) that season.
A week following the 2013 NFL Draft, the Jets announced that Coples would transition to outside linebacker. During a preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on August 17, 2013, Coples suffered a hairline ankle fracture after defending a pass thrown by Chad Henne. The Jets projected that Coples was going to be out indefinitely due to the injury but he eventually returned during Week 3 against the Buffalo Bills on September 22, 2013. During the 2013 season, Coples performed somewhat well at his new position as an outside linebacker playing 14 games (13 started) with 38 tackles, a forced fumble, 3 passes defended, and 4.5 sacks. The Jets finished 8-8 (tied 2nd in AFC East) that season.