New York Giants: Jabrill Peppers establishing himself as one of the best safeties in the NFL

New York Giants, Jabrill Peppers
Anthony Rivardo (Edit)

The New York Giants have the best type of problem on the defensive side of the ball. Patrick Graham’s unit is filled with so many talented players that some of them might not see as much playing time as they truly deserve. Arguably the strongest positional unit on the Giants’ roster is at the safety position, led by Jabrill Peppers.

Safeties like Julian Love and Xavier McKinney might see more playing time as starters on other teams. But with talents like Logan Ryan and Logan Ryan on the roster, Love and McKinney might not see full playing time in 2021. Jabrill Peppers, however, will be on the field as frequently as possible.

Entering his fourth season in the NFL, Jabrill Peppers is establishing himself as one of the best safeties in the league. Peppers is a versatile Swiss Army Knife on the Giants’ defense that impacts the game at every level and lines up any and everywhere.

Jabrill Peppers stats and highlights

Jabrill Peppers had a career year in 2020. He totaled career-highs with 91 combined tackles, 8 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, and 11 passes defended. Jabrill also added 1 interception and 1 forced fumble. Peppers was acquired by the Giants in the 2019 offseason via the infamous Odell Beckham trade with the Cleveland Browns.

In his rookie season with the Browns, Jabrill Peppers was playing mostly free safety in Cleveland’s defense that frequently utilized single-high safety. This did not exactly fit Peppers’s skill set, as he is more of a downhill thumper that thrives as a linebacker. That is the role he started playing full-time for the Giants in 2020.

In 2020, the majority of Jabrill Peppers’s snaps came in the box (383 snaps). He only played 143 snaps as a free safety (PFF). Many of Jabrill’s snaps came lined up as a linebacker in the Giants’ speedy zone-coverage heavy defense.

This upcoming season, expect to see Jabrill Peppers continue to play a lot of linebacker. The Giants play a lot of nickel and dime packages, which means they run extra defensive backs onto the field. Logan Ryan should be a constant at free safety. But when the team looks to get Xavier McKinney on the field, they will plug him in at strong safety and have Jabrill Peppers shift to linebacker.

Not many safeties in the NFL can play multiple positions the way Jabrill Peppers can. He lines up all over the field and still makes plays. Jabrill Peppers is the ultimate chess piece in the New York Giants’ defense and with a big year in 2021, he could earn himself a lucrative contract extension.

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