The New York Giants traded for safety Jabrill Peppers in the deal that sent renowned wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Browns.
Peppers is essentially Landon Collins’ replacement, but with less production throughout his career, it’s hard to say whether he will live up to the hype. One thing that the former Brown has working for him is his ability to coverer tight ends off the line of scrimmage, and the experience of playing free safety for an entire season.
The New York Giants will help Jabrill Peppers reach his potential:
The young safety is still finding his role in the NFL, but defensive coordinator James Bettcher will help him find his comfort zone — a place where Peppers can excel and be his raw self.
He’s fast, dynamic, aggressive…Peppers is a jack of all trade, a “swiss army knife” some would call him. The hunger to validate his worth in the NFL is driving him to not only be a better player but a better teammate. General manager Dave Gettleman made sure that the defender was included in the deal to send OBJ west, as finding a real safety that can necessarily, do it all, was a priority for the Giants and their aspirations for the defensive unit in 2019.
“I was born ready. I just finally get the opportunity and the spotlight to do it now,” Peppers, 23, said after Thursday night’s preseason win in Cincinnati, per the NY Daily News. “So I’m gonna make sure the [Giants] know they made a good decision.”
There’s a risk factor with Peppers, though, as he tends to lose himself in coverage at times and bite on plays where he needs to have more discipline. Additionally, the Giants featuring several rookies in coverage will force the unit to learn on the go. Peppers might be exposed due to the lack of support and experience around him; however, veteran Antoine Bethea will be a leader and mentor.
Expect to see Peppers used all over the field this upcoming season, especially in coverage and on unique blitzes dialed up by James Bettcher. He will have serious responsibilities on the defense, but his primary goal is to be an efficient tackler that minimizes the impact of opposing tight end — a significant weakness in the past season for Big Blue.