It was a huge deal when the New York Giants traded Odell Beckham Jr., and it’s almost easy to just focus on Beckham’s departure without remembering that the Giants got a player in return for Beckham along with the 17th pick in the draft. That player happened to be Jabrill Peppers, the safety that’s expected to fill in for Landon Collins this year as the leader of the safeties.
Peppers, of course, isn’t the most experienced player at the position. Antoine Bethea is the much older of the two and Michael Thomas is also the older player. However, neither of those players are coming into the season with the same expectations as Peppers, who has been hyped since his college days at Michigan.
Despite the high expectations, however, it looks like Peppers is handling thing well for now during OTAs.
“You can look to him and see that he has that about him. He has a great presence. If you are around him on a day-to-day basis, you can see that he will quickly become one of the guys where you say, ‘OK, he’s got it.’ He loves playing football and has a lot of fun doing it and a lot of fun competing. I think that is part of his charm and what makes him special. He is so darn competitive. It shows up naturally,” Pat Shurmur said on Tuesday.
And Peppers is also gaining popularity with Bethea, who will play next to him at safety this season. “Peppers, he likes to play down in the box, get his hands on guys, he can cover. I can play on the back end, and do a multitude of things. I think we can play off of each other very well. I think it’s going to be a good connection between the two of us,” Bethea stated.
Peppers has two years of experience and had his best season last year when he registered 79 tackles and 5 tackles for a loss. It’s not quite the same production as Collins, who had 96 tackles in 2018, but Giants fans will be hoping that two years of prior experience will be enough for Peppers to come into his own more and be the main player at safety that the Giants need with the absence of Collins from this year’s roster.