First he was a New Jersey kid who wanted to play for Michigan, and shined with the opportunity. Now Jabrill Peppers is moving on to the NFL Draft with a 6.18 grade.
As a true freshman at Michigan, Peppers appeared in three games and started one. In his first start, he recorded two tackles and returned one punt for six yards. He was later redshirted due to an injury he sustained.
During the 2015 season, Peppers was named the Big Ten Thompson-Randle El Freshman of the Year. He was also named to the All Big Ten Defensive first team by the coaches and media.
In 12 games, Peppers played a combined 986 snaps with 50 coming on offense, 765 on defense and 171 on special teams. On defense, he registered 45 total tackles, 5.5 tackles-for-loss and 10 pass breakups.
On special teams, he returned all 17 punts on the season for 194 yards, an average of 11.4 yards per return. Peppers returned eight kickoffs for 223 yards, an average of 27.9 yards per return, on a unit that ranked second in the FBS with 28.41 yards per kick return. On offense, he added eight catches for 79 yards and 18 rushes for 72 yards and two touchdowns.
In the 2016 season, Peppers was named the Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year, Butkus-Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year and the Rodgers-White Return Specialist of the Year, as well as a Unanimous All-American. Peppers was also named the Walter Camp FBS Player of the Week, Co-Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week, and Special Teams Player of the Week in September.
He contributed a career-best 72 tackles, 16 tackles-for-loss, four sacks, one interception and one forced fumble. Peppers also excelled in special teams, posting 21 punt returns for 310 yards (14.8 average) and one touchdown. He also had 10 kickoff returns for 260 yards (26.0 avg.) and also contributed on the offensive side of the ball, rushing 27 times for 167 yards and three touchdowns while catching two passes.
He was also named a finalist for the Heisman Trophy. Head coach Jim Harbaugh had a few words to say on Peppers.
During the NFL Combine, Peppers recorded a 4.46 in the 40 yard dash, had 19 reps in the bench press, jumped 35.5 in the vertical jump and a 128.0 in the broad jump. The latest draft speculation seems to indicate that Peppers might not be drafted in the first round, but rather in the second.
Peppers had a pre-draft visit with the Baltimore Ravens on Tuesday, according to the Houston Chronicle. Questions have been raised as to whether he can play safety in the NFL. Peppers spoke during the NFL Combine and had a few words to say on who they were comparing him to.
The NFL Draft is set for April 27th.