RoverBack ~ Jabrill Peppers ~ Michigan Wolverines ~ 5112/216
Old Roles are getting dramatically transformed, and virtually every Front 7 ~ or Front 6!! ~ Defensive Job Description is transitioning into an Hybrid Role where the Defender is asked to excel in multiple Roles and in multiple Fronts.
For that reason, and in order to offer NomenClature that speaks not to archaic, obsolete "Positions", but rather to Skill Sets that accurately reflect the dynamic Changes of the 21st Century Game and the Roles they have spawned, I have undertaken to craft Terminology that is designed to break Skill Sets down as they really are.
Defensive Coordinators have, since Time Immemorial, employed highly creative terminology in devising Defenses and in designating Assignments. In that Spirit, I have admittedly indulged myself considerably in devising the following NomenClature. It is undeniably colorful, but I like to think that there's an underlying Logic, as well:
Rovers ~ RoverBack is my term for what Earthlings refer to as "Strong Safeties". I don't find the employment of "Safety" as a moniker for a Position to be nearly as demeaning as "LineBacker", mind you, but it's still a pretty lame term for a Gladiator, if you ask me. The Prototype would be somewhere around 6000/210, or thereabouts.
Rovers are of course Hybrids, in that they are tasked equally with Run Defense and Pass Defense.
When evaluating RoverBacks, this is how I break things down:
Agility: Acceleration, Ricochet, Fluidity, and Verticity ~ that's Turn & Burn Acuity, to you Earthlings!!
Processing Speed: How quickly and effectively one Reads & Reacts to the developing Play.
Run Defense: Power, Agility, Combat Skills, Processing Speed, Motor, and Tackling.
Pass Coverage: Agility, Processing Speed, and Field Vision.
CatchPoint Capacity: Tracking, Timing, Combat Skills, and WingSpan.
Broken down into SubCategories, it'd go something like this:
* Fluidity, above all things: Core Agility & Flexibility makes everything possible.
* Ricochet ~ How crisply and how rapidly one breaks in a new direction.
* Acceleration ~ Short Speed or Quickness. Closing Speed.
* Verticity ~ The Ability ~ or lack thereof ~ to Flips Hips and Turn & Burn in Pass Coverage.
* How quickly and effectively one Reads & Reacts to the developing Play.
* Combat Skills
* Processing Speed
* Agility ~ Fluidity, Ricochet, Acceleration, and Speed, baby!!
* Processing Speed ~ Reading and Reacting with Speed & Precision to Offensive Tactics.
* Field Vision ~ Processing Speed with an emphasis on the Tactical LandScape.
* Combat Skills
* Vertical Agility
Agility: Excellent. Tremendous Fluidity. Outstanding Acceleration and Closing Speed. Average Ricochet, though.
Processing Speed: Impressive, with extraordinary Potential. I believe that he suffered, here, from being moved around too often at Michigan ~ from CorneBack to Rover to MidFielder ~ and not being given a few Years, as most Prospects to, to settle in and master one Skill Set. He flashes Brilliance, but his Speed & Precision, Reading & Reacting to PlayAction Passes, Draw Plays, and Route Combinations was inconsistent. He needs Time & Training at one Gig.
Run Defense: Impressive, with tremendous Potential. He seemed overmatched in 2016, playing consistently close to the Line of Scrimmage, and well he might, for he's too small for that Role. The mediocre Combat Skills that he exhibited against an unhealthy Diet of Trench Gorillas will likely improve against smaller Foes, though his Tackling was rather mediocre, as well. However, he exhibits effective Power for his Role, excellent Agility, and potentially outstanding Processing Speed. He has exceptional Potential at the Point of Impact and could be awesome In Pursuit.
Pass Coverage: Mediocre, with excellent Potential. His Fluidity and Speed are outstanding, though his moderate level of Ricochet impedes his Verticity to Turn & Burn. Excellent all around Agility, he just needs to develop his Instincts and Combat Skills to develop his Routing Skills and his Catch Point Capacity, which are both inconsistent.
CatchPoint Capacity: Horrible!! Excellent Potential, though: Terrific Hands and Vertical Agility. Horrific Tracking & Timing!!
Usually, I have to vet Prospects out'f such Programs for being floated to high by their Coaching and the Talent around'm!!
Not here, though: Peppers profiles a someone out'f Division 47 FootBall ~ all Talent and no Refinement!!
I believe that Jabrill Peppers has Top 10 Talent, but I also believe that, because he has been moved around repeatedly at Michigan ~ from CornerBack to RoverBack to MidFielder ~ that he's miles behind in his Development, having been essentially robbed of the Years of Time & Training that he'd've otherwise benefited from in a dedicated Role.
That's an enormous Liability, as are his lack of Production at Michigan and, while I'm listing them: his short WingSpan, the latter a Liability both in Combat and at The Catch Point. He is by all Accounts intensely Intelligent and Driven, though, evidenced on Tape, as well, were he flashes genuine Brilliance, despite rampant Inconsistency.
I deal in Trajectory ~ Talent x Intelligence X Drive = Potential/Risk. The lack of Production and the short WingSpan are both Red Flags in my Book, and the enormous Learning Curve that he's facing is, as well. On the Credit Side of the Ledger, Peppers brings a phenomenal combination of Talent, Intelligence, and Drive to the Field of Battle.
I once wrote a Scouting Report on Christian Jones, who profiled as a MidFielder, but was a similar Prospect to Peppers in that his Frame wasn't optimal ~ he was the Height of a Bandit but barely the Weight of a MidFielder ~ and in that his remarkable Intelligence had inadvertently been turned against'm in the same way: He was deployed at 3 Different Positions for the Seminoles and consequently mastered none'f'm, despite tremendous Diagnostic Acuity.
Unlike Peppers's Projection, Jones went UFA ~ Undrafted Free Agent, to you Earthlings!! ~ but then rapidly ascended to a starting Role before the Bears tore up their Coaching Staff and switched from a 434 to a 344.
I cannot justify a Top 10 Grade for Jabril Peppers, not with that WingSpan and that lack of Production, but I do believe that he'll prove a far more productive Pro than Collegian, and I have very little doubt, indeed, that he'll succeed.
Grateful Thanks, as always, for the invaluable Work done by the folks at Draft BreakDown!!
None of this is even remotely a Complaint, mind you, but rather a Warning!! Caveat Emptor!