This is the worst time for any prospect to deal with bad news and Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers just got hit with one. Per Adam Schefter, the safety/linebacker hybrid failed his Combine drug test due to a diluted urine test.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 24, 2017
This puts Peppers in the same category as Rebuen Foster, who is experiencing a draft stock slide that may push him into Round Two. To be fair, Foster has several other issues that’s led teams to be wary, including the Cincinnati Bengals, according to Dave-Te’ Thomas on today’s podcast.
Still, it’s a bad look for Peppers, who doesn’t have much time to talk to teams to explain what happened.
Peppers is using a similar excuse as Foster – which isn’t us saying they are telling the truth or lying, to be fair – saying dehydration led to the failure. Foster because he was sick, Peppers because he was working out on back-to-back days. Per Schefter, here’s a statement from Peppers’ agency, CAA.
“Peppers went to the combine. He was sick after flying there from San Diego. He has a history of cramping. Peppers was being pumped with fluids, drinking 8-10 bottles of water before he went to bed, because he was the first guy to work out two days for the LBs and DBs. He had to go through that first day, come back on second day, and that was the fear. So Peppers was pounding water and under the weather. He never failed a drug test in his life, nor tested positive before for any substance.”
This is especially noteworthy because he is arguably the most popular player linked to the Steelers. If you believe media reports, Kevin Colbert is apparently a big fan and the team has explored the idea of adding a hybrid safety. The Steelers did once select Mike Adams in the second round after a true failed drug test, Adams made personal apologies to each team, so this isn’t a dealbreaker. But it’s certainly bad news and will give teams some level of pause on draft day.