Last season at Michigan, Jabrill Peppers was used in a variety of ways. He played linebacker. He played safety. He played fullback. He played out of the wildcat. He returned kicks and punts. He was Mr. Everything for the Wolverines and head coach at Jim Harbaugh, leaving many to question just where he may eventually fit on an NFL roster.
While going through the combine experience this weekend in Indianapolis, Peppers seemed to make it perfectly clear where he feels he will be best used. Safety.
“What do I look like? I’m a safety,” Peppers said, per ESPN. “I’m a safety. Yes, I’m a safety.”
The problem is, Peppers may not be the one who gets the final say on what position he ends up playing, even if it does end up being safety. Peppers was working out at the combine with a shirt that labeled him a linebacker, and coaches and scouts observing him continue to figure out where he would best fit on the defensive side of the football field. Peppers is aware of the situation but stands by his claim he would best be used as a safety.
“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,” Peppers said. “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.”
Peppers did have what appears to be a healthy showing at the combine, but whether that answers the questions that need to be answered still remains to be seen. This is especially true given the scouting reports going off the film.
Jabrill Peppers in coverage from 2014-2016:
58 receptions allowed
6 passes defended
only INT was a deflection. pic.twitter.com/PxBemRlRvn
— PFF College Football (@PFF_College) March 5, 2017
So how did Peppers do at the combine? Again, not bad. His 40 time was sizzling and faster than all but a small handful of wide receivers…
4.47u in the 40-yard dash! #NFLCombine.
His #NFLCombine numbers.
And even the French judge had to come away with a high mark for this gymnastic display…
Jabrill Peppers after a long day at the Combine. pic.twitter.com/1BlidjBV6c
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) March 5, 2017
Few would argue whatever team ends up getting Peppers will be getting a hard worker and a great personality to add to the roster, but whoever gets him may be wise to spend a little time before settling on exactly what role he will carry on the team.