Jabrill Peppers Is Not An Option For The Baltimore Ravens
Jabrill Peppers is the most interesting man in the 2017 NFL Draft but unlike in the Dos Equis commercials, that isn’t always a good thing.
Jabrill Peppers isn’t an option for the Baltimore Ravens in the NFL Draft. First of all, the Ravens have signed Eric Weddle and Tony Jefferson at the safety position in back to back years. The Ravens have too many needs to entertain the notion that Peppers is even an option for the Ravens.
Peppers is a phenomenal athlete but he is an ambiguity in the NFL. He doesn’t really fit the bill for the strong safety position and he is undersized for the linebacker spot. Peppers could be a great player in the NFL, but it could be a tough transition. At Michigan he did a bit of everything, they even had a package for him on offense. Sometimes versatility is a good thing.
In Peppers case, it could be that Jim Harbaugh and company couldn’t find a perfect fit for him. NFL football has very few jacks of all trade type of players. For the most part, it’s a compartmentalized way of life. Each player has a job to do, a craft to perfect.
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Peppers Is Boom Or Bust
Peppers is 5’11” and weighs 213 pounds. He’s quick but he isn’t lightning fast. He surely isn’t going to be a cornerback. He is a strong safety that needs to develop at that position. If the Ravens want a hybrid player like Peppers. Anthony Levine is already on the roster. Even in the scenario in which he becomes a great player, it isn’t going to happen right away.
This is what his NFL Draft profile, written by Lance Zeirlein says:
"“Peppers’ draft value will be helped by his return ability and that is a role he should maintain throughout the earlier stages of his career. While Peppers doesn’t have the production teams expect from first-round defenders, he should benefit from a role that is more clearly defined on the next level.”"
I can’t ignore the lack of production. In three years with the Michigan Wolverines he had 119 total tackles and one interception. In that same time frame, Jamal Adams had 209 total tackles and 5 interceptions. Budda Baker had five interceptions and three forced fumbles in three seasons with Washington. Malik Hooker only had one good season but he had seven interceptions. Peppers goes into the draft less proven than those safety prospects.
Peppers is a project, at a position the Ravens are fully stocked at and the Ravens need to win now. He could be a first round pick. The upside is there. I wonder however, if this is Matt Elam all over again. I was enamored with Elam’s ability to make plays all over the field. Florida had him do a lot of the things that Michigan used Peppers for.
The Bottom Line:
I wouldn’t be shocked either way with Peppers. He is either going to be really great or really disappointing. He’s the biggest gamble in the draft. It makes him interesting. There will be a million cameras pointed at him if he attends the draft. While he is the most interesting prospect, he isn’t an option for the Ravens.
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The Ravens need help on the offense. If they want to go defense in the first round, pass rusher is where they should go. It just seems that when you need a receiver desperately you can’t take a safety that you don’t need. When your offensive line is highly suspect on top of that, a first round pick on a safety would be a slap in the face to the Ravens needs.