With Cleveland, he was primarily used as a free safety, a position he’s capable of playing, but not at a very high level. He ranked as one of the worst free safeties in the NFL during his rookie season, but he learned new skills that will ultimately help him succeed in the future.
What does Jabrill Peppers bring to the New York Giants?
The diversity he brings to the defense will hopefully replace Landon Collins…at least that’s the hope. The influence Collins brought to the team isn’t easy to replicate — his efficiency in the run game and tenacity in all other facets. His primary weakness, though, was in coverage.
Peppers is more refined in that category and will have more of an impact against tight ends and running backs coming out of the backfield. Defensive coordinator James Bettcher refers to Peppers as his “Swiss Army Knife,” a player that can move around and play in different areas with quality.
On one play he can line up as a slot corner, the next as a box safety, and free safety…not to mention his proficiency as a kick returner. There’s so much to like about the young defender, especially when you look at his progression over the past two years.
In 2017, he recorded just 57 combined tackles and zero quarterback hits. One year later, he earned 79 combined tackles and four QB hits. That’s a good sign, improvement, and development. The fact of the matter is, Peppers is still growing, which is why veteran safety Antoine Bethea will play a role in the success he sees with Big Blue.
There’s plenty left to learn on his end, and the way Bettcher intends to utilize him should help him reach his full potential.