The Wolverine

February 2017

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 32 of 75

FEBRUARY 2017 THE WOLVERINE 33 legitimate chance to be drafted late this year. What you see is what you get. He's not going to be able to con- sistently create yardage on his own, but he's going to get what is blocked for him. "He's big, physical, with lateral quickness to work around bodies. He doesn't have that great deception as a runner, but he's a hammer. He can do some things as part of a back- field. "He has value as a blocker as well. He might be the best pass-protecting running back in this draft, from pre- snap awareness to the technique and power it takes to body up and match up with blitzing defenders. He can do that as a rookie in the NFL, and it could be the reason he ends up on an NFL roster next year." CHANNING STRIBLING Position: Cornerback Key Factor: Length Projected Day Taken: Second/ third Brugler 's Assessment: "Strib- ling really came on this year. He impressed scouts and moved up, going from a borderline draft pick to someone pushing to go into the day-two area. "Right now, he's fourth round or so, but he has the size and length — 6-1 or so, long arms. He's lean, probably 180 pounds, but fast and aggressive. He was able to stay on top of routes this year and didn't give up a lot of big plays." "If he does the Combine and tests well, does well at the East-West Shrine Game, I wouldn't be surprised if he moves up and goes even higher than the fourth round." CHRIS WORMLEY Position: Defensive line Key Factor: Versatility Projected Day Taken: Second Brugler 's Assessment: "Chris Wormley is a very reliable player. When a guy is above 300 pounds, teams usually want him inside, but he does some of his best work on the outside as a defensive end. "That's probably his best posi- tion at the next level — a base left end in a 4-3 defense. He sets a hard edge, he holds contain, he has the knee bend to anchor and create that strong base, flashes violence in his hands to control the point of attack. "He's not going to be a guy who screams off the edge and is an im- pact pass rusher. He's not going to routinely beat offensive tackles off the edge. That's not his game. But what he can do in the run game, and maybe move inside on passing downs … he's a very reliable player. "He doesn't have that huge ceil- ing as a player, but he has a very high floor. He's not a guy you ex- pect to be a bust. At the very least, he can be a solid rotational player in the NFL." Note: Brugler sees senior safety Dy- monte Thomas as a late-round pick or undrafted free agent, but has not seen him extensively enough to comment further. ❏ Channing Stribling is one of seven Wolverines playing in the East-West Shrine Game; no school has more. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN Jabrill Peppers made it official Jan. 10, declaring himself done as a Wolverine and available for the NFL Draft. Now come the questions: who takes him, how soon and where does he play? With Peppers manning 15 different positions at Michigan at various junctures, NFL Draft analyst Dane Brugler noted there's some mystery involved. "Jabrill Peppers is such a unique prospect," Brugler said. "He's being viewed as such by NFL teams. He's not a true safety, he's not a true linebacker, and I don't think he should be viewed in a specific position." Brugler noted that whatever team picks Peppers, it needs to have a very specific plan in mind for him. "He's a hybrid player … he can play near the line of scrim- mage, but if he's going to play near the line of scrimmage primarily, he's going to be eaten up by blockers, so he also needs to be playing off," Brugler said. "His coverage skills are what he needs to improve upon the most, He's not really a true safety, such that you can just put him in man coverage whenever you want. "He's an explosive athlete, and he's very football smart. There's a lot to like about where he's going to be in the future, but right now, there is some question about where his fit is at the next level." Those questions have injected more vari- ation on his draft projection, although all agree he won't have to wait around long. "He's a first-round player," Brugler said. "The question is where. I think he's going to end up anywhere between picks five and 25. "There will be a wide range of opinions on where Peppers should come off the board, because he's such an explosive athlete and there is so much to like about him — but he does need work and there are some question marks there." — John Borton Questions Surround Jabrill Peppers' NFL Leap Nobody doubts the talent of Peppers, but his fit within an NFL scheme and questions over his coverage ability after a year at line- backer have clouded projections over how he will do at the next level. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Wolverine - February 2017