Lost in the shuffle of the blockbuster deal that sent Odell Beckham to the Browns is the guy coming back to Big Blue.
In shipping the superstar wide receiver to Cleveland, Giants GM Dave Gettleman brought back a pair of picks – No. 17 overall and No. 95 overall (third round) – along with a young safety in Jabrill Peppers. Getting Peppers as part of the OBJ deal was key to Gettleman, the News’ Pat Leonard reported.
“They want the safety,” a source told Leonard.
Here’s what you need to know about Peppers:
Born: East Orange, New Jersey
Twitter (460K followers): @JabrillPeppers
High School: Began his prep career at Don Bosco Prep – winning back-to-back NJ state titles – before transferring to Paramus Catholic. He won two more state titles with the Paladins. He was the No. 1-ranked prospect in the 2014 class, per ESPN.
College: Spent two seasons with the Wolverines, collecting a mountain of individual honors along the way. He was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2015 and then the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year in 2016. He was a second-team All-American in his first year in Ann Arbor and then a unanimous selection and a Heisman Trophy finalist as a sophomore. Peppers started 25 of his 27 games for the Maize and Blue, starring on offense, defense and special teams. He gave up the final two years of collegiate eligibility to enter the 2017 NFL Draft.
The Buzz coming out of Michigan: Was considered a polarizing prospect due to the uncertainty about where he would play in the pros. “As crazy as it sounds, some coaches and evaluators would rather have a prospect with a clearly defined position to plug into their scheme instead of a potential star with an unspecified role heading into the league,” wrote NFL.com draft guy Bucky Brooks in 2017.
Draft: Selected by the Browns with the No. 25 overall pick after Cleveland worked a draft-day deal with the Texans. The Browns traded down in exchange for Houston’s first-round pick in the 2018 draft. The Texans used the pick to nab QB Deshaun Watson at No. 12. The Browns turned the extra first-round pick into Denzel Ward.
Browns Career: Started all 16 games last season after 13 starts as a rookie. Overall, Peppers has amassed 136 tackles (96 solo), 8 passes defensed, 2 interceptions, four fumble recoveries and a sack.
Was also used on special teams as both a kick and punt returner. Over two seasons he averaged 7.3 yards per return on punts and 22 Y/Rt on kick offs.
Giants Outlook: Peppers’ strength is playing down in the box similar to Landon Collins. Man pass coverage and running with receivers can be an issue, but he’s a solid tackler, which is a skill the Giants were missing once Collins left.