Jabrill Peppers’ draft stock may have taken a hit Monday when the NFL notified teams that the former Michigan safety/linebacker had tested positive for a diluted sample at the NFL combine in March.
Though Peppers claims the sample was diluted because he drank a lot of water to avoid cramping, skeptics such as ESPN’s Danny Kanell have knocked the Heisman Trophy winner, assuming he diluted his urine to cover up marijuana use.
But one analyst who doesn’t think the test results will hurt Peppers much is ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. On Monday, he reportedly said on a conference call that Peppers still will be a first-round pick. Per MLive:
“It’s not like he’s projected to be a top-10 pick in the mock drafts,” Kiper said during a conference call on Monday afternoon. “I’d be surprised if he got out of the first round.”
In Kiper’s most recent mock draft, he had Peppers going No. 28 to the Dallas Cowboys.
“It’s a 32-team league,” Kiper said. “I’m sure there’s some teams in the late first round that didn’t think they’d see him there that may see him still on the board at that point. They look at it at lot differently than teams picking in the top 10 would.”
The 2017 NFL Draft begins Thursday.