The Cleveland Browns got a whole heck of a lot more talented during the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday evening. Coming off a one-win season, Cleveland added three first-round picks to the mix.
One of the most-surprising moves of the evening included the Browns trading their second first-round pick (12th overall) to the Houston Texans for the 25th pick.
With that selection, head coach Hue Jackson and Co. picked up the uber talented Jabrill Peppers from Michigan.
“With the 25th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns select … Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan. “
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) April 28, 2017
While seen as somewhat of a tweener, the former Wolverine defensive star will surely bring athleticism to a Browns roster that has been lacking it in the past.
We don’t know whether Peppers will play linebacker or safety at the next level, but it’s readily apparent that the Browns plan to utilize him on offense as well.
“He (Peppers) is a football player, a very dynamic player,” Jackson said, via the Detroit Free Press. “Obviously, he’s going to play defense for us, but we’ll find a role for him over there on offense. No question. Again, when you have guys that have ability to make plays, you do anything and everything you can to put them in an environment so they can showcase their talent and ability. We will do that, but first we are bringing him in here to play defense and play special teams.”
Cleveland exhausted the first overall pick on defensive end Myles Garrett. That’s surely going to help improve a defense that yielded the third-most points in the NFL last season.
Though, as with any one-win team, there were issues on both sides of the ball. Cleveland finished second-to-last in the NFL in points scored and has a tremendous talent vacuum at the skill positions.
This is where the ultra-athletic Peppers can come into play. He put up 239 rushing yards and averaged north of five yards per tote during his career at Michigan. In limited time as a receiver, Peppers also caught 10 passes. He’ll be utilized more as an offensive weapon at times in Cleveland. That will surely max the value Peppers brings to the table.