Should the Lions draft the local playmaker in the first round?
Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press released his second first-round mock draft of the season. After making the controversial pick of Christian McCaffrey the first time around, Birkett made waves, once again, with his pick for the Detroit Lions in version 2.0. With players like Tim Williams and Haason Reddick still on the board, Birkett selected Michigan linebacker Jabrill Peppers for Detroit.
That choice hasn’t been considered much here at Pride Of Detroit, as Peppers is viewed to be a tricky fit in Detroit. His skillset resembles that of Miles Killebrew, the Lions’ fourth-round pick in 2016. Peppers is considered a much better prospect, however.
So today’s Question of the Day is:
Would you approve of the Lions drafting Jabrill Peppers in the first round?
My answer: No. I like Peppers as a strong safety in the NFL and, as mentioned above, Detroit already drafted a linebacker/safety tweener last year in Killebrew. While Peppers would almost certainly be an upgrade from Killebrew, it seems like a waste considering all of the other holes on the defensive side of the ball. If Bob Quinn were to write down Peppers’ name on his first-round card, he’d basically be giving up on Killebrew after just a single year after selecting him.
Admittedly, Peppers’ value as a special teamer is tempting. The Lions just lost their returner from 2016, Andre Roberts, to free agency. Although the Lions did sign Keshawn Martin to compete for that job in 2017, he’s by no means a lock to win it. Pepper would immediately become the front-runner for that job, giving the Lions a little wiggle room with roster choices come August.
Overall, however, I have a hard time justifying the fit and need to make Peppers worthy of a first-round pick in Detroit. He’s more of a playmaker with the ball in his hands than as a defender, and the Lions need the latter more than the former.
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