When the New York Giants traded Odell Beckham Jr. away to the Cleveland Browns, they were looking for two first-round picks in 2019. However, they walked away with the 17th overall pick and a former first-round player in Jabrill Peppers.
The New York Giants sparked the potential in Jabrill Peppers:
Peppers joined the Giants as a fantastic athlete who lacked the coaching to succeed at the NFL level. With the Browns, he was slotted in as a free safety, where he inevitably struggled to gain a foothold in their defensive scheme.
The former Michigan star is his best self around the ball, playing closer to the line of scrimmage and covering tight ends, which is how James Bettcher attempted to use him in 2019. Pat Shurmur being the knucklehead that he was, also tried him out as a kick returner and knowing how successful he was as a punt-returner for Michigan, it wasn’t a terrible idea. In an attempt to provide a spark, Shurmur enabled Peppers to risk his health, which is how he picked up a season-ending hip injury.
Returning in 2020, Peppers should see an uptick in usage and efficiency, knowing his teammates and developing chemistry with the rookies. While it’s safe to assume there will be new pieces added to the puzzle, he will be in an advantageous position.
Jabrill Peppers Vs. Landon Collins:
One of the better decisions Dave Gettleman made last offseason was letting Landon Collins go. He evidently signed with the Washington Redskins, where he saw his missed tackle rate balloon from 8.0% to 12.0%. Peppers hovered around 12.5% in 2019, a fraction higher than his 2018 total (12.2%).
However, Peppers logged five passes defended compared to Collins’ four. Jabrill played in just 11 games will Landon featured in 15, for context.
Another interesting comparison is Pepper’s allowed a 63.9 completion percentage while Collins allowed 70.1%, indicating that the Giants’ new strong safety had a better year in coverage. That’s one of the main reasons Gettleman let Collins walk in free agency.
Considering these numbers, Peppers should see an improvement in overall efficiency next season, especially with a full bill of health. Of course, nothing is guaranteed, but I’m confident he will come back stronger.