The Browns on Thursday selected Michigan safety Jabrill Peppers with the No. 25 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Peppers is the second newest Brown, joining Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett, who was selected with the No. 1 overall pick. Cleveland, which was originally slated to pick at No. 12, acquired the 25th pick in a trade with the Texans that netted Houston's first-round pick in 2018.
"I had a sense that they really took an interest in me when I spoke with the coaches and they visited me," said Peppers, who added he couldn't take his visit to Berea because he was sick. "I think they did like me and I was so upset because I couldn't make that visit. We had a lot of conversations at the Combine and throughout the draft process. I'm just excited. I'm at a loss for words."
Peppers was a jack of all trades for the Wolverines, playing at linebacker, safety, running back, kick returner and punt returner. He was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2015 and collected the Paul Hornung Award -- given to college football's most versatile player -- this past season.
"I'm a tenacious defender. I'm a guy who's a competitor. I'm going to out-compete and out-challenge," he said. "That's what I am going to continue and want to continue to do once I get to the league. People can speculate on what they want to speculate on, but at the end, of the day I'm a ball player. I love the game, and I'm going to keep getting better, day in and day out."
He was the Big Ten's Linebacker of the Year and made the first team after collecting 72 tackles, 16 for loss, four sacks and an interception.
Peppers said he's also open to playing offense if the Browns need him to.
"I'm open to do whatever they ask me to do. I did some things that nobody else did. They are going to get 200 percent out of me," he said. "I'm just so excited for the opportunity. I told myself today that if the opportunity came, then my life would be change. It changed. I went a little earlier than I expected so I'm just excited to lay it all on the line for my family and my team. I'm excited for the new group of this organization."
His unique versatility was on full display in a rout of Colorado last season, when he recorded nine tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, a sack; four punt returns for 99 yards and a touchdown; two kick returns for 81 yards; and two carries for 24 yards.
Peppers joins the Browns' first overall pick, Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett and Miami tight end David Njoku, whom they took at No. 29.
"I'm just excited. The sky is the limit. We're going to make some big things happen," Peppers saod. "We have (DL) Myles Garrett. He's going to be a terror up there, and I'm going to do my due diligence in the defensive backfield to hold it all together. I'm just excited for the future. We have a lot of great talent. I'm just excited for what's to come."
The Cleveland Browns draft Jabrill Peppers at No. 25 in the 2017 NFL Draft.
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