If Jabrill Peppers falls to the Ravens in the first round, he would be worth the pick
The Baltimore Ravens defense needs a game changer in the 2017 NFL Draft and Jabrill Peppers has the ability to be that player.
To say Jabrill Peppers does it all is an understatement. He is a Swiss Army knife that can hurt opposing teams in all sorts of ways. In his collegiate career, Peppers played 11 different positions including linebacker, defensive back, return man, safety, and wildcat QB.
During the 2016 season, Peppers totaled 71 tackles and 15 for a loss. Along with his defensive stats, he produced 170 total yards on offense and 260 yards in the return game. His impressive season earned him Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and a Unanimous selection for an All-American spot.
Many NFL scouts are comparing Peppers to Deone Bucannon of the Arizona Cardinals. Bucannon was drafted as an all purpose player out of Washington State in the first round of the 2014 draft. He started his NFL career as a strong safety, but was moved to inside linebacker the next season. Even though he did not have the prototypical size of an inside linebacker, he made up for it with his quickness and athleticism.
It is a possibility that Peppers could see time at inside linebacker if the Ravens draft him. Zachary Orr just announced his retirement last week and there is a hole to fill at the linebacker position. Peppers saw a lot of time at linebacker when he was at Michigan. Dean Pees could also could pair him with Eric Weddle in the secondary. The possibilities are endless, which makes him an intriguing pick.
- Versatile and can play many different positions on the field
- A pure athlete, has natural talent for the game
- Tremendous play-maker
- Able to play pass and run game
- Has a nose for the ball
- Could be difficult finding the position he will play in the NFL
- At only 6’1″ his size could catch up to him
- Needs to improve tackling at the next level.
Where will he fall?
It is expected that Peppers will be taken in the first round of the draft. In Mel Kiper’s first mock draft, he had Peppers falling to the Ravens with the 16th pick. It would take a major injury or screw-up to knock him out of the first round. The Ravens are known to take the best player available, not matter the position so I would not be surprised to see this happen. John Harbaugh should have a good scouting report on Peppers, considering Jim Harbaugh is the head coach at Michigan.
Realistically, if Peppers does not end up at #16, he could definitely go earlier. The Cardinals, Colts, and Eagles pick right before Ravens and could use depth in the secondary.