CBS Sports’ Dane Brugler is hopping on board with Charley Casserly in mocking the Pittsburgh Steelers Michigan safety Jabrill Peppers with the 30th pick in his latest mock draft. Here’s his explanation.
“Pittsburgh hasn’t been able to properly replace the hole left by Troy Polamalu at strong safety and although Peppers isn’t on that level, he has intriguing blend of athleticism and physicality.”
I still think Sean Davis is the most invisible man to the big media but Peppers could still fit in the defense as a hybrid defender. He’s a strong athlete and reliable open field tackler who started two years for the Wolverines. Last year, he recorded 72 tackles, 16 for a loss, and four sacks.
My biggest issue with Peppers is not about a defined role but his lack of playmaking on defense. He recorded just one interception and forced on fumble in his career despite playing in Don Brown’s defense, one of the best defensive coordinator’s in college football.
For what it’s worth, Kevin Colbert reportedly is high on Peppers. Mike Tomlin and Colbert attended Michigan’s Pro Day to in part watch Peppers work out. There was no report of a Pro Day dinner with him, meeting with Taco Charlton and Chris Wormley instead. Peppers has yet to be brought in for a pre-draft visit.
Though these are just mock drafts, these have some measure of importance as we get closer to draft day. Several mocks had the team taking Artie Burns in their latest mocks before the 2016 draft. Casserly has had Peppers to the Steelers for his past two mock drafts.
Other notables in this mock include Derek Barnett to the Bengals, Obi Melifonwu to the Buccaneers, TJ Watt to the Lions, and Patrick Mahomes to the Giants.