The football world is slowly transitioning to the NFL draft, but that might not be a good thing for some NFL hopefuls in the Big Ten.
Once widely considered a top-five pick in the upcoming 2017 NFL Draft, Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers has seemingly begun a free fall that could end up with the Wolverines safety being selected after the first round.
According to ESPN NFL analyst Todd McShay, Peppers will fall out of the first round.
McShay has teams such as the Packers and Ravens who are in need of secondary help passing on the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year in his latest NFL mock draft. This comes a long way from when McShay tabbed Peppers as the 17th overall pick in his Feb. 8 mock draft.
“Peppers is a polarizing prospect in scouting circles,” McShay wrote in his Feb. 8 mock draft. “He needs to be protected from deep zone coverage, and he did not have much ball production at Michigan, with just one career interception. But he is a special athlete with elite speed and a unique knack for keeping blockers off his pads.”
The concerns surrounding Peppers range from his height to his playmaking ability. In fact, McShay considers those concerns to be so serious that he pegged the Packers to pass on Peppers in favor of Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley.
“His tape isn’t quite that good, but he has a lot of natural ability,” McShay wrote about Conley in his mock draft.
Conley, along with safety Malik Hooker and cornerback Marshon Lattimore, is one of three Ohio State defensive backs who get selected in McShay’s first round.
Michigan, however, isn’t shut out of the first round as defensive end Taco Charlton is forecast by McShay to go to the Dallas Cowboys at No. 27 overall. Wisconsin and Michigan State also make appearances with mock selections of offensive lineman Ryan Ramczyk and defensive lineman Malik McDowell at No. 23 and No. 26 overall, respectively.
Big Ten players in Todd McShay’s latest NFL mock draft
6. Marshon Lattimore – New York Jets
7. Malik Hooker – Los Angeles Chargers
23. Ryan Ramczyk – New York Giants
26. Malik McDowell – Seattle Seahawks
28. Taco Charlton – Dallas Cowboys
29. Gareon Conley – Green Bay Packers