We’ve officially entered the peak time of year in which college football’s best players declare themselves eligible for the NFL Draft, forgoing a return to their respective college campuses. We’ll do our best to continue highlighting the best players who could conceivably be on the Chicago Bears radar. For example, earlier this week, we looked at UNC quarterback Mitch Trubisky, who just declared for the draft, and who has previously been projected as a top five pick. And the Bears’ need for a franchise quarterback is well-known.
So, how would you feel about a player with big-play experience on defense, special teams and offense? What if this was someone exceptional with the ball in his hand, but also adept at tackling ball carriers and making plays on passes as a defensive back?
A 2016 Heisman Finalist, Peppers played 11 positions for the Wolverines in 2016. In Michigan’s win against rival Michigan State on the road, the Detroit Free Press reported ESPN charted Peppers as playing 10 different positions in the win – 42 plays at linebacker, 12 at cornerback, nine at nickel defensive back, six as the wildcat quarterback and one play each at H-back, safety, wide receiver, kick and punt returner.
In December, ESPN Chicago’s Jeff Dickerson asked if Peppers makes sense as a Bears draft pick. This post came off the heels of a Todd McShay mock draft that had the Bears picking Peppers fourth overall.
Considering the Bears needs at linebacker, defensive secondary and on special teams, Peppers represents a unique fit for the Bears in multiple phases of the game. He will likely be available for the Bears at No. 3, but the team might have other needs it plans to address with that selection.