Share this article

print logo

3 reasons the Bills should draft: Michigan LB Jabrill Peppers

Position: Linebacker.
School: Michigan.
Measurables: 5-foot-11, 213 pounds.
Combine stats: 40-yard dash: 4.46 seconds. Vertical jump: 35.5 inches. Bench press: 19 reps. Broad jump: 10 feet, 8 inches.
Career stats: 27 games, 125 tackles (21.5 for losses), four sacks, one interception, one forced fumble, 10 passes defensed; 18 kick returns 483 yards, 39 punt returns, 510 yards, 1 TD; 45 carries, 239 yards, 5 TDs.
Draft projection: First-second round.


1. He truly can do it all.  Peppers won the Paul Hornug Award winner as the nation's most versatile player in 2016 – for good reason. As the stats above suggest, he can truly play anywhere on the field. During his time at Michigan, Peppers played cornerback, safety, linebacker, running back, kick returner and punt returner. He also won the Lott IMPACT Trophy, which is awarded to the defensive best in character and performance, and was a consensus All-American.

2. The NFL is all about versatility. At the NFL Scouting Combine, Peppers worked out with both the linebackers and defensive backs. He didn't disappoint, putting up some of the best results at both positions. Peppers' size suggests he would be a safety in the NFL, but his ability to do multiple jobs means whichever team drafts him should be able to use him on every down, which is a luxury for a defense.

3. He's overcome adversity. Peppers' father was in prison for most of Jabrill's childhood, while his brother was shot and killed in 2010. In his first season at Michigan, he suffered a season-ending leg injury after just three games. He also missed the Wolverines' Orange Bowl game this past season because of a hamstring.

Fun fact: Peppers won the 100- and 200-meter dashes at the New Jersey Meet of Championships as a junior and senior, becoming the second male in meet history to win both events in consecutive years. As a junior, his time of 20.79 seconds in the 200 broke the state record.

They said it: "He's a wild card. He hasn't defined that safety position yet but he's going to be a great return man right away. Once he learns and settles in (he could be great). He's a super-explosive athlete. I believe he's a first-round pick. Maybe the latter half of round one or the end of round one." – ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr.

The Buffalo News is profiling 30 prospects in 30 days leading up to the NFL Draft, which begins April 27. Up next: Western Michigan WR Corey Davis.

There are no comments - be the first to comment