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Profiling the Prospects: Michigan's Jabrill Peppers can do it all


Over the next month, will break down some of the best players in this year's NFL Draft class and what they could bring to Cleveland's youth-laden roster.*

Name:Jabrill Peppers, Michigan

Measurables: 5-foot-11, 213 pounds

What makes him a first-round pick?

It was fitting last year when Peppers won the Paul Hornung Award — given to college football's most versatile player — after moving to linebacker following two seasons in the Michigan secondary. Now, the Wolverines star and Heisman Trophy finalist is out to show teams he can do it all at the next level.

Peppers, who projects as a safety in the NFL, finished 2016 with 66 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, three sacks and an interception while also returning kicks/punts and receiving touches at running back.

And in a league that's becoming more and more about matchups, Peppers is what's Lance Zierlein described as the "ultimate Swiss army knife on the collegiate level."

Zierlein added Peppers "will likely play a hybrid role on the next level that allows him to blitz, cover and chase" and that his "draft value will be helped by his return ability and that is a role he should maintain throughout the earlier stages of his career.

"While Peppers doesn't have the production teams expect from first-round defenders," he continued, "he should benefit from a role that is more clearly defined on the next level."

Biggest college moment?

In a 48-28 win over Colorado last year, Peppers recorded 9 tackles, 3.5 TFLs, a sack; four punt returns for 99 yards and a touchdown; two kick returns for 81 yards; and two carries for 24 yards.


How did he do at the combine?**

Peppers worked out with both the linebackers and the defensive backs at the Combine to showcase his versatility.  

"I was informed that since I was listed as a linebacker in college, that I had to only work out with the linebackers, so they were just gonna make me do linebacker stuff," he said earlier this month. "So I asked if there was somehow, some way I could do the DB work, because that's what I was doing all offseason and leading up to the combine. And I told my agents that and they made it happen, and they said the only way I can do it is if I do both. I was like, that's easy. That's no problem at all."

In the end, Peppers clocked a 4.46 40-yard dash while a 35.5 vertical jump and 128-inch broad jump spoke to his overall athleticism.

Quote to know

"I'm pretty much effective wherever I'm gonna be put. I don't have a lot of tape at safety, but I'm a pretty damn good safety. I think a lot of teams notice that. They have the tape. They asked me for tapes of me playing corner, me playing some safety, but ultimately I hope a lot of questions are answered after this weekend."


Jabrill Peppers played linebacker and safety at Michigan.

Why he would make sense for the Browns?**

Peppers could give the Browns a playmaker on defense and special teams. Imagine the things new coordinator Gregg Williams, who's known for tailoring his units toward his players' strengths, could do with a player that versatile.

Reasons why he won't be available at No. 12?

At Peppers' Pro Day on Friday, Mike Mayock said on NFL Network he thinks Peppers could be a top-10 pick and declared him as the best safety in this year's draft.

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