As the NFL Draft draws nearer, a lot of leaks tend to slip out about certain NFL prospects: some truthful, some simply smokescreens. Adam Schefter dropped a bombshell on Monday afternoon regarding Michigan prospect Jabrill Peppers. According to Schefter, teams were notified that Peppers “tested positive for a dilute sample at the combine.”
To be clear, Peppers did not test positive for a banned substance. However, the NFL Combine treats diluted samples as a failed test. This is exactly what happened with linebacker prospect Reuben Foster last week.
Like Foster, Peppers is claiming the failed drug test was caused by overhydration due to him being sick this week. Here’s a statement from Peppers’ agency, via Schefter’s Facebook page:
“Peppers went to the combine. He was sick after flying there from San Diego. He has a history of cramping. Peppers was being pumped with fluids, drinking 8-10 bottles of water before he went to bed, because he was the first guy to work out two days for the LBs and DBs. He had to go through that first day, come back on second day, and that was the fear. So Peppers was pounding water and under the weather. He never failed a drug test in his life, nor tested positive before for any substance”
The reaction to this testing should be interesting. Though this is the same exact situation Foster was in last week, Peppers may end up getting the benefit of the doubt. While Foster has a checkered past filled with potential red flags, Peppers has kept his resume fairly clean.
Peppers is already a pretty polarizing prospect, not because of any character issues, but because his role in the NFL isn’t all that clear. At the combine, Peppers worked out both as a safety and a linebacker, and his role could be very different depending on what team selects him. Some analysts have him being selected as high as the middle of the first round, while others have him slipping to the second or third rounds. With this news, it’s anyone’s guess as to when and where Peppers lands in the draft.