SPORTS

NEW YORK GIANTS GOING FOR JABRILL PEPPERS

Jabrill Peppers is one of the most versatile players in the 2017 NFL Draft. If he’s available at Pick 23, the New York Giants going to  draft him.

New Jersey native and Michigan Football star Jabrill Peppers is one of the top defenders in the 2017 NFL Draft. He’s one of the most versatile players college football has produced in recent memory. Peppers’ talents make him a solid fit for any team that is lucky enough to draft him, but would he be able to help improve an already impressive New York Giants’ defense?

As noted by NFL Network’s Kimberly Jones, if the Giants re-sign Johnathan Hankins, they will have kept every starter from what was a great 2016 season.

That must be terrifying to hear for the rest of the league. Just imagine: the league’s second-best scoring defense returning all 11 starters. It’s the thing dreams are made of.

It might even lull some teams into complacency, but the Giants should use this as an opportunity to build—to improve.

It’s no secret that the Giants could use some help at the linebacker position. While Jonathan Casillas, Keenan Robinson , and Devon Kennard are all solid linebackers, none of them have that “wow” factor that you see in players like Luke Kuechly or Von Miller.

The Giants could also use depth at cornerback. New York undoubtedly has one of the strongest cornerback trios in the NFL, but with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie now 30, it needs someone to be able to cover that slot.

Lastly, the Giants need a free safety.Landon Collins  is the strong safety; the enforcer. What New York needs is a free safety that can be all over the field, wherever it needs him most.

I’d hoped Darian Thompson would be that guy, but with his foot injury that caused him to miss most of the 2016 season, I’m a little skeptical. And no, I didn’t forget Andrew Adams, but as an undrafted rookie, there are still question marks.

So, with those positions in mind, why not draft one player who fits all of the team needs?

Jabrill Peppers is an athletic freak who was measured as having a 10’8” broad jump and a 35.5” vertical. . He’s also explosive, runninga 46 40-yard dash. With numbers like these, Peppers could play all over the field—which he did his entire collegiate career.

Lance Zierlein of NFL.com perfectly discusses his strengths he displayed in college:

“Jack of all trades. Can play slot, safety or linebacker in sub-packages in any given game…Able to knife into gaps and make tackles for losses or disrupt runs. Has man cover talent and is physical enough to handle most tight ends. Has enough quickness to match receivers.”

Now doesn’t that sound like the defender the Giants are looking for?

If New York were to draft him, it would have him play some sort of hybrid role—throwing him into certain positions depending on where he’s needed. The ideal role would be to bring him on in nickel sets as a SS/OLB.

If I were the offense, I would have no idea what Peppers would be going to do. Is he going to blitz? Is he playing man coverage or zone coverage? Is he covering a receiver, running back, or tight end? It’s giving me a headache just thinking about it.

With Peppers on the field, the Giants’ defense just seems scarier. It would be the type of defense that instills horror in the opposing fan bases. As an example, think back to the 2011-2012 San Francisco 49ers. They had one of the best defenses in recent memory.

During the playoff game against them, I cringed every single time Eli Manning threw a ball. This wasn’t because I didn’t have faith in Manning, but because San Francisco was that good.

That’s the type of defense the Giants would have if they drafted Peppers. The defensive line would be too good to run on, the secondary would be too good to pass on, and if the opposing quarterback took too long to make a decision, they would get destroyed.

It’s a no-brainer that New York should draft Peppers if he’s available. I would even dare to say that he should be No. 1 on the Giants’ draft board. The only question is: do any of the 22 teams before New York feel the same way?