The New York Giants are in an interesting position with their safety group – it will be exciting to see how Jabrill Peppers supplements the loss of Landon Collins.
Losing Landon Collins in free agency will certainly affect the defense, but general manager Dave Gettleman forcing the Cleveland Browns to throw Jabrill Peppers into the Odell Beckham Jr. trade might prove to be even more impactful.
Collins was one of the Giants’ best play-makers, and he wanted to be in Blue for the remainder of his career. Reality took his situation in a different turn, and the Giants could come out with a better deal.
The former Giant is now earning $14 million per season to play with Washington, while Big Blue added Peppers who will count just $1.4 million against the cap in 2019. The price differential is massive, but it’s the skill-set that Peppers brings that should be cause for excitement.
The former Brown was misused all over the field, first playing at the free safety position, a spot where he struggled immensely, ranking towards the bottom of the league in 2017 at the position. He was then moved to a strong-safety look, where his tackles jumped from 57–>79. He also added five tackles for a loss and four QB hits, where he had just one TFL in his rookie year.
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He also managed to collect five passes defended compared to three at the free safety spot. However, his experience in the deep secondary helps the Giants moving forward — it only adds to his diversity and ability at multiple positions.
I anticipate defensive coordinator James Bettcher utilize Peppers in a Swiss Army Knife type of role. Moving him around and keeping the opposing offense concerned. Jabrill can cover receivers in the slot, tight ends, play the run, and drop back at the free safety position.
Acquiring speed and size (similar frame to Landon Collins 5-11, 213-pounds) allows him to play adequately against the run and pass equally. It will be interesting and exciting to see how the Giants use him in his third season as a pro. Also, being a first-round pick allows the Giants to extend him on a fifth-year option down the road. Essentially, they traded a quality linebacker in Collins on an expiring rookie deal for a player about to enter his prime.