Now I know what you’re thinking, and no. This is not a joke. Jabrill Peppers is the most physically talented player I’ve seen in a while. He is the epitome of swiss army knife and can play a multitude of positions. Today we are going to finally address one of the most controversial things ever posted on my twitter account.
There is no doubt guys like Myles Garrett, Johnathan Allen, Leonard Fournette, and so many others are great players. But what does Peppers have that these guys don’t? Utility and versatility. Sure, Christian McCaffrey can play running back, slot receiver, kick returner, and punt returner. But Jabrill Peppers brings another world of versatility that I don’t think we’ve ever seen in a prospect before. He was the first player to ever attend two different positional days at the combine, and he has the capability of playing a total of 14 positions on a football field, all being at a high level. The more positions one can play (really well,) the more value one adds to a football team. Yes, you can draft a player who is dominant at one position, but why not draft a player with the ability to dominate many positions? Today we are going to look at every position Peppers is capable of playing, with supporting clips.
Free Safety and Strong Safety
The most obvious position for Jabrill Peppers to most teams (30, according to Peppers,) is either safety position. Not all safeties can be used interchangeably, but Peppers can play either or. He has the speed, agility, and fluidity to play center fielding free safety, and he has tons of experience playing in the box and blitzing, like most great strong safeties. He is one of the best tackling safeties in the draft as well. He could use some work in pass coverage, but that isn’t to say he is bad at it. He just didn’t cover very often. He played a lot of snaps in the box or blitzing the edge, which limits interception count. For instance, Peppers played 70% of defensive snaps in the box against Penn State in 2016. The combine showed he has fluid hips and recovery speed one would look for in a safety, and may need to be coached a little in coverage due to lack of exposure in college, but will pay off.
He can blitz very well with his immense speed, and consistently rushes QB’s throws:
He has also shown the capability of pass coverage with the very limited snaps not in the box, showing he can cover tight ends.
And he also shows concentration and ball skills to pull in his only interception.
Some of his other huge strengths are run support and open field tackling. He is one of the best in the draft in this, partly due to so much exposure in the box.
Left Outside Linebacker, Middle Linebacker, and Right Outside Linebacker
Though not very likely unless he puts on weight, he could play a hybrid role similar to what he mostly played in college. This is known by many names, such as the Aztec position. This is similar to what Deone Bucannon plays in Arizona.
He can blitz very well from the box, and constantly get pressure on the quarterback and disrupt running plays.
He also provides protection against elusive quarterbacks such as Russell Wilson and Marcus Mariota as a QB spy with his 4.46 speed.
With his 4.46 speed, comes amazing pursuit ability. This is not only useful for linebackers, but he showed it a lot while in the box.
Left Outside Cornerback, Right Outside Cornerback, and Nickel Cornerback
Peppers occasionally played cornerback in certain cases and showed that he is capable of playing the position very well if focused more on it.
He also showed flashes in coverage as a cornerback, when given the opportunity. He has the speed, agility, size, fluidity, and football knowledge to be an elite cornerback if needed. (Follow black arrow, not white arrow in first clip)
As stated before, his tackling is phenomenal, and open field tackling is a necessity. Wide receivers are no match to block Peppers.
Jabrill Peppers could be HB1 this year, had he stuck with halfback coming out of high school rather than defensive back. He is the most gifted two-way athlete from Michigan since Charles Woodson, and will definitely get the ball in his hands on offense.
X Receiver, Z Receiver, Slot Receiver
Jabrill has not played much, if any wide receiver in college. But that shouldn’t limit him at the next level. He has the playmaking skills, size, and speed to be able to do this very well at the next level.
Here we compare his measurables to one of the best wide receivers in the NFL, Odell Beckham, Jr.
He also displayed his catching ability at the Combine and showed he was a natural pass-catcher.
Kick Returner and Punt Returner
Jabrill was one of the most exciting players to watch, and this was a huge reason why. Anytime he got the ball in his hand off of a punt or kick off, the fans would get excited. He will be an immediate star in this department.
Jabrill Peppers presents an amazing, almost unreal amount of versatility and potential. And the more versatile depth a player provides, the more value he adds to the football team. And he has more total value than any other football player in the draft. So he is the most valuable player in this draft. His potential is oozing and he has the ability to excel at any one of the positions. Will he fall to mid 1st? Possibly. Would I draft him top 5? Absolutely.
Written by @RTFootballScout