As Redskins.com continues to look at various mock drafts, Charlie Campbell of WalterFootball.com has the Redskins taking Michigan linebacker/safety Jabrill Peppers at No. 17.
Jabrill Peppers did a little bit of everything during his three-year career at Michigan, playing safety and linebacker on defense, returning kicks and punts and even playing on offense some during his final two seasons.
Peppers – who announced his decision to enter the NFL Draft on Tuesday – is considered one of the top prospects in the 2017 NFL Draft.
In his latest mock draft, WalterFootball.com’s Charlie Campbell has the Redskins selecting Peppers with the No. 17-overall pick.
“The Redskins could use a young talent at safety,” Campbell begins. “Peppers had a good season for Michigan with 72 tackles, 16 for a loss, four sacks, one interception, zero pass breakups and one forced fumble. He has been electric on special teams and especially been phenomenal on punt returns, taking one for a touchdown. The 6-foot-1, 205-pounder was excellent as a sophomore in 2015, recording 45 tackles with 10 passes broken up and zero interceptions.”
Campbell added that Peppers could serve the hybrid linebacker/safety role similar to what Su’a Cravens could play for years to come.
“He has the athletic skill set to play pass coverage, but often can be caught flat-footed,” Campbell writes. “His ball skills aren't special either, as he has just one interception in his collegiate career, which was from catching a tipped pass. Thus, some sources think Peppers would fit best as a safety in the middle of the field. That would allow him to make plays off his instincts, and he could be a weapon in pass coverage on tight ends, blitzing quarterbacks, playing zone, and defending the run. There is no doubt that Peppers has a ton of athletic upside. He could play safety and dime linebacker, similar to Deone Bucannon. Peppers should also be used on special teams as he is a dangerous weapon there.”
In three seasons at Michigan, Peppers collected 125 tackles along with four sacks, an interception and a fumble forced.
Additionally, Peppers collected more than 500 kick return yards and nearly 500 punt return yards. He also scored five rushing touchdowns.
Peppers collected an incredible amount of honors during his junior season in 2016, as he was voted the team’s Bo Schembechler Award winner (MVP), earned the Paul Hornung Award (given to the most versatile player) and was named the LOTT Impact Trophy winner.
The 6-foot-1, 205 pounder was also a unanimous first-team All-American and a Heisman Trophy finalist.
He also was named Big Ten Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year, Big Ten Butkus-Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year and Big Ten Rodgers-Dwight Return Specialist of the Year.
During the year, he finished with 72 tackles, four sacks, an interception and a forced fumble. He also rushed for a career-high three touchdowns.
As a sophomore in 2015, Peppers tallied 45 tackles along with 10 passes defensed.
The East Orange, N.J., appeared in three games as a freshman with one start. He finished his debut season with eight tackles.