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2017 NFL mock draft: Green Bay Packers select Jabrill Peppers

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The Packers land Michigan safety/linebacker hybrid.

Michigan v Ohio State Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The defending NFC North champs are on the clock and Pride Of Detroit traitor commenter MgoLions is ready to make his pick for the Green Bay Packers. With the 29th overall pick, MgoLions has selected Jabrill Peppers out of Michigan. Here is his explanation for the pick.

“The Packers went into free agency with a lot of needs on defense. Instead of improving, they lost both their starting right guard and running back. There were several areas that I could have gone with this pick, and the draft forced my hand a bit with position. The top three offensive linemen and top four running backs are already taken, no other player at these spots has first-round value. Green Bay badly needs more playmakers on defense, and I am picking a guy that can fill multiple roles for them in Jabrill Peppers.

With the loss of Micah Hyde, Peppers would immediately step in as the punt and kickoff returner where he was great at Michigan. Last season, Michigan ranked first in field position, per S&P+ and most of that was due to Peppers’ punt returns. Peppers is electric with the ball in his hand and should improve the starting field position a great deal.

Peppers was miscast as a linebacker for Michigan and his true position will be at strong safety/nickel corner. Much of the criticism of Peppers comes from his lack of coverage, but when breaking down the tape, the narrative fails. Due to the more spread nature of college football, Peppers’ assignment was to protect the edge and not allow run plays to get outside. In that role, he excelled. He was an excellent run defender and forced running backs to cut back into the heart of the defense. In terms of coverage, most of the time he was playing zone with inside help. When he did go man-to-man coverage, the only receiver to beat him was Curtis Samuel, who beat pretty much everyone. During the combine Peppers showed his fluid hips and excellent acceleration. Peppers might need some time to learn the position, but he will be a high impact player.”

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