New York Giants: Is Jabrill Peppers the future at strong safety?

New York Giants, Jabrill Peppers

Going into the 2020 season, the New York Giants had high expectations for strong safety Jabrill Peppers. After spending his first two years in the NFL playing for the Cleveland Browns, he was included in the Odell Beckham Jr. trade as an additional piece.

Some could argue that both sides of the trade ended up being questionable, but the reality is, the Giants received a stud interior defensive lineman in Dexter Lawrence and a developing safety in Jabrill peppers. While the draft pick they consumed — spent on Oshane Ximines has yet to pan out, the young pass rush as plenty of time to find his groove.

When it comes to Peppers, he struggled in his first campaign with Big Blue in 2019, posting a 64.3 overall grade, per PFF. This year, he hasn’t been much better, but over the past two weeks, he has been stellar in multiple facets.

Learning a new system has been the bane of Jabrill’s existence in the NFL, going through three different defenses up to this point over four years.

The New York Giants are finally seeing some nice growth out of Peppers:

He’s finally starting to gain some momentum with Patrick Graham and his scheme, posting fantastic tackling grades in weeks seven and eight but falling off a bit against Washington last week. However, he is a fantastic run defender and picked up an interception to help finish off Washington. Every week, opposing offenses target him in coverage, as he’s allowed 16 receptions for 182 yards and a touchdown over the past three games.

While his coverage grades haven’t been fantastic, he was targeted 23 times in that time span, an insane number that tells you where teams are focusing their game plan.

Based on athleticism, I don’t think Peppers has reached his full potential yet. He is one of the more energetic players on the Giants and is a leader on the defense. While injuries this season forced him out for one game and limited him for two more, he has taken strides in Graham’s defense the past several weeks.

With the BYE week coming up after the Giants’ Week 10 contest against the Philadelphia Eagles, the second half of the season represents a fantastic opportunity for Peppers to elevate his game and continue to grow into the system. The Giants view him as a long-term solution at strong safety and hope he ends up being a key cog on defense for them.