ROME — When a wiseguy scribe suggested Jabrill Peppers just solved the Cleveland Browns’ eternal quarterback problem, Don Brown winced.
“I’m not as familiar with Cleveland, but Jabrill will be just fine,” the Michigan defensive coordinator said of his former linebacker/safety/three-way threat after the Wolverines wrapped up their second day of practices Friday at the Olympic Training Center.
“You know, I watched all the positive and the negative and all the things and how did we use him. All I know is he was the defensive player of the year in the Big Ten. That’s all I know.”
The Browns selected the 5-foot-11, 213-pound Peppers with the 25th overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft Thursday night. Peppers was the first — of what’s expected to be many — draft selections this year from Michigan.
Brown also winced as he discussed the inevitable naysayers who piled on Peppers over the last few months. Critics — and scouts, especially anonymous ones — have cited everything from not playing in the Orange Bowl because of an injury to a lack of a “true” position at the next level to, more recently, news that he’d tested positive for a dilute sample at the NFL combine in March.
“The guy had 80 tackles, he had 6 sacks, he had several pressures,” Brown sniffed. “I think he’s an unbelievably talented football player with a tremendous football IQ. So he’s going to be just fine.”
And, perhaps, just a little busy.
Jabrill Peppers can play multiple positions…and the Browns need a Quarterback…so why not try him there?
— Dan Weiner (@DanWeiner) April 28, 2017
Rip jabrill peppers. The browns will throw you in at quarterback lol
— Tommy (@Thomas0tto) April 28, 2017
Jabrill Peppers may be the best Quarterback drafted by the browns since their existence #dumpsterfire
— Grant Erbes (@Erbie13) April 28, 2017
Still not buying it, are ya, Don?
“I will say this: That guy could play tailback in the NFL,” Brown said. “There’s no doubt in my mind. He could do anything he sets his mind to.”