Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers may be the most versatile defensive player in the nation this season. He may be the most versatile player period.
Skeptical? Well, one NFC personnel executive may change your mind. The executive told NJ.com’s Mark Eckel on Friday that Peppers is a top-5 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft and that the 6-foot-1, 205-pound junior reminds him of former Pittsburgh Steelers safety and eight-time pro bowler Troy Polamalu.
“He’s unbelievable,” the executive said of Peppers. “He’s the most versatile player I’ve ever scouted. He does it all for (Michigan). I think at our level, he’s a safety, he reminds me of Troy Polamalu. I don’t think I’d use him on offense. He could be a good return man for you, though. What he is, is just a phenomenal athlete. But he’s more than that, because he’s tough and he’s smart, too.”
Peppers also drew comparisons to former NFL star Charles Woodson from a different scout. And a third scout said Peppers is already better than Jacksonville Jaguars defensive back Jalen Ramsey, who was taken fifth overall in the 2016 NFL Draft.
“He’s better than Jalen Ramsey, so there’s that. He’s a safety, but you can match him up if you want. He can take on the better tight ends, (the Redskins’) Jordan Reed man to man. You can put him in the slot. You can blitz him, play him deep. He’s going to be a difference maker for a defense.”
Peppers is projected to be taken fourth overall by the Jaguars in CBS Sports’ Dane Bugler’s 2017 NFL Mock Draft.
And based on the praise he’s received from these scouts, it seems like a solid bet that if Peppers chooses to declare, he will be drafted very early next April.