Jabrill Peppers finally got on the field Sunday at the 2017 NFL Combine, running the 40-yard dash in 4.47 seconds in his first attempt and 4.46 in his second try.
Peppers is participating in drills as part of the linebacker group on Sunday, although he has told everyone he will play safety at the NFL level. His time was the fastest among the linebackers. Peppers will participate in on-field drills Monday with the defensive back group.
NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock called the first run “outstanding at 213 pounds” and after the second attempt said “we’re good.” The times weren’t quite as fast as Peppers wanted to run. Peppers told Kim Jones of the NFL Network he wanted to run sub-4.45.
Jabrill Peppers not happy with his jumps (10-8 broad, 35.5 vert). Tells me, "I have to take it out on my 40." Wants sub 4.45. #nflcombine
— Kimberly Jones (@KimJonesSports) March 5, 2017
Michigan wide receivers Amara Darboh and Jehu Chesson were timed in 4.45 and 4.47, respectively, on Saturday.
Ben Gedeon, another Michigan linebacker, ran 4.75 in his first shot at the 40, a time Mayock said was “solid for him.” Gedeon ran a 4.80 in his second attempt.
Peppers drew praise from Pro Football Hall of Fame member and NFL Network analyst Willie McGinest while doing a lateral movement drill.
“You’re seeing him excel at all back-pedaling and explosion,” McGinest said. “He’s turning and flipping the hips, getting his head around, getting in and out of the breaks. He’ll do good at all that stuff.”
Not everyone was as impressed with Peppers, who is trying to prove he is worthy of being a first-round pick. Josh Liskiewitz of Pro Football Focus told Land of 10 that he doesn’t think Peppers is a lock to be chosen in the first round.
“I just don’t think he’s done enough on the field to translate at the next level,” Liskiewitz said.