Dulac Picks Peppers For Steelers In Annual L.A. Times Beat Writer Mock Draft

The Los Angeles Times held their annual NFL beat-writers’ mock draft on Thursday and you can see the pick-by-pick results below. If you would like to read the full explanations of each and every selection you can do so by following the link.

Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette picked for the Pittsburgh Steelers and he drafted Michigan safety Jabrill Peppers with the 30th overall selection and he writes:

The Steelers are looking for playmakers in the secondary who can cover the field. With so much sub package, Peppers would be the ideal fifth DB for now.

Peppers has showed up quite often as the Steelers first-round selection in several major media mock drafts as of late. Additionally, a few weeks ago, Aditi Kinkhabwala of the NFL Network reported that Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert is quite fond of Peppers.

“I can tell you at that 30th pick, GM Kevin Colbert loves Jabrill Peppers,” Kinkhabwala reported nine days ago during a television segment. “Will he actually be available, that of course will be the big question.”

Peppers, who measured in at this year’s scouting combine at 5107, 213-pounds, ran the 40-yard-dash in 4.46 seconds while in Indianapolis. Last season he registered 72 tackles, 16 tackles for loss and one interception as a linebacker. During his 2015 season as a defensive back, Peppers recorded 45 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and a career-high 10 defensed passes. He also played some running back at Michigan in addition to returning punts and kickoffs.

So, did Dulac choose wisely for the Steelers based on the way the first 29 picks went? Who would you have selected instead of Peppers? Let me know in the comments below.

PICK #NFL TEAMSELECTIONMEDIA MEMBER
1Cleveland BrownsDE Myles Garrett, Texas A&MMary Kay Cabot, Cleveland Plain Dealer
2San Francisco 49ersDE Solomon Thomas, StanfordMatt Barrows, Sacramento Bee
3Chicago BearsFS Malik Hooker, Ohio StateRich Campbell, Chicago Tribune
4Jacksonville JaguarsDT Jonathan Allen, AlabamaRyan O’Halloran, Florida Times-Union
5Tennessee TitansSS Jamal Adams, LSUJason Wolf, The Tennesseean
6New York JetsCB Marshon Lattimore, Ohio StateBrian Costello, New York Post
7Los Angeles ChargersWR Mike Williams, ClemsonDan Woike, Los Angeles Times
8Carolina PanthersRB Leonard Fournette, LSUJoe Person, Charlotte Observer
9Cincinnati BengalsDE Derek Barnett, TennesseePaul Dehner, Cincinnati Enquirer
10Buffalo BillsQB Mitchell Trubisky, North CarolinaTim Graham, Buffalo News
11New Orleans SaintsOLB Haason Reddick, TempleJeff Duncan, New Orleans Times-Picayune
12Cleveland BrownsTE O.J. Howard, AlabamaJeff Schudel, News Herald
13Arizona CardinalsILB Reuben Foster, AlabamaKent Somers, Arizona Republic
14Philadelphia EaglesWR John Ross, WashingtonLes Bowen, Philadelphia Daily News
15Indianapolis ColtsOLB Takkarist McKinley, UCLAStephen Holder, Indianapolis Star
16Baltimore RavensWR Corey Davis, Western MichiganJeff Zrebeic, Baltimore Sun
17Washington RedskinsRB Christian McCaffrey, StanfordMaster Tesfatsion, Washington Post
18Tennessee TitansOL Forrest Lamp, Western KentuckyJason Wolf, Tennessean
19Tampa Bay BuccaneersRB Dalvin Cook, Florida StateRick Stroud, Tampa Bay Times
20Denver BroncosOT Garett Bolles, UtahMike Klis, 9News
21Detroit LionsDE Taco Charlton, MichiganDave Birkett, Detroit Free Press
22Miami DolphinsDT Malik McDowell, Michigan StateOmar Kelly, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
23New York GiantsTE David Njoku, MiamiTom Rock, Newsday
24Oakland RaidersILB Jarrad Davis, FloridaVic Tafur, San Francisco Chronicle
25Houston TexansQB Patrick Mahomes, Texas TechJohn McClain, Houston Chronicle
26Seattle SeahawksCB Kevin King, WashingtonBob Condotta, Seattle Times
27Kansas City ChiefsQB Deshaun Watson, ClemsonTerez Paylor, Kansas City Star
28Dallas CowboysDE Charles Harris, MissouriCharean Williams, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
29Green Bay PackersOLB T.J. Watt, WisconsinPete Dougherty, Green Bay Press-Gazette
30Pittsburgh SteelersSS Jabrill Peppers, MichiganGerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
31Atlanta FalconsDE Carl Lawson, AuburnD. Orlando Ledbetter, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
32New Orleans SaintsCB Tre’Davious White, LSULarry Holder, New Orleans Times-Picayune

  • Robbie

    I don’t mind the pic as long as a viable pass rusher is taken 2nd

  • budabar

    I would rather have the at 31 and 32

  • Donte Williams

    he doesnt have Marlon Humphrey going in the 1st man give me him or OBI or White who went 32 over Peppers i like Peppers a little but i consider him a slot.

  • Sam Clonch

    To me, Obi seems to have every bit of the “play making ability” everyone wants to say Peppers has, plus he’s ACTUALLY made plays! Taller, longer, faster, more explosive… I don’t get the Peppers love. All of 1 INT in 3 years, and it was a fluke from what I hear.

    Would still rather land a pass rusher, but if it comes down to Jabril or Obi, give me Obi.

  • Biggie

    I’d be quite happy with Peppers in this scenario, he is the bpa and fits. We go Edge in Rd 2 with Peppers I’m all for it. In this I’d look at Humphrey, White, Budda, Awuzie, Jackson or Obi as well. Cunningham might be interesting here but see no value guy at Edge. Still overall would take Peppers over the rest.

  • Ralph Wagner

    Mr. Dulac just made the pick for the Bengals. This guy must be pretty good if the Steelers like him. LOL

  • JT

    Peppers over Lawson and White would make me puke.

  • Bryant Eng

    Didn’t look like a lot of the top pass rushers were off the board in this Mock. Lawson, D. Rivers, Tim Williams, Tyus Bowser (who the Steelers don’t appear to have a great deal of interest in), Tarrell Basham and Jordan Willis drop to the second round.

    I think I prefer Humphrey, and it’s really a toss up for me between Obi and Peppers. It’s unfair, to a degree, to knock Peppers for his play making ability when they moved him around so much. If I had to pick, I think five years of team control of Humphrey is a better bet. It would solidify the CB position for the rest of Big Ben’s career.

    One thing that I think we have overlooked is the fact that Tuitt, Dupree, Hargrave and Heyward are legitimate pass rushers. If all stay healthy this year, then the addition of Rivers as a edge specialist to compliment Harrison’s limited snaps will improve the pass rush. Secondary help, from that perspective, is more important.

  • H.K. northern cali

    Not sure who we will take. Im sure after its over the secondary will be strengthend.

  • Mike Lloyd

    So if the Steelers grabbed Peppers here, I’d be ok. But I’d much rather move down 6-8 spots grab an extra 3rd, and maybe get Ofi? I like Peppers alot, but I’m looking for value, and I would think they’d be close grade wise. Why not move down, get the equivalent talent and garner an extra 3rd? Then again, I know in this exercise, no trades, and for sure you could lose out on Ofi AND Peppers…he could go to the Browns or anybody else before that pick…Just my 2 cents…

  • falconsaftey43

    give me Obi, Humphrey, Lawson or White over Peppers.

  • falconsaftey43

    On Peppers, it’s not like he moved around during the game all that much. He played safety for a year and LB for a year. I want to like him, but if I had to make a defensive highlight video for him, it’d consist of maybe 5 plays, a couple schemed blitzes, his one INT and maybe a TFL or two. Just not an impact guy on defense.

  • Jeff Papiernik

    Give me Obi or Humphrey in this scenario

  • Why do people keep calling Peppers a playmaker? He is an athlete, absolutely. But there isn’t much to support him being a playmaker on defense. 1 INT, 11 passes defensed and no forced/recovered fumbles wouldn’t be considered overly impressive defensive stats for a season, let alone a career.

    I would take Lawson, White, Obi, or Humphrey over Peppers without even blinking.

  • Steelers12

    wow no Obi in the 1st, i would seriously consider trading out if 1st round

  • He’s a so-called “impact player” that isn’t a great open-field tackler or coverage man. He’s not worth a first unless he is going to be used more as an athlete.

  • falconsaftey43

    because he was a dynamic offensive player and returner and people assume it was the same on defense because Michigan had a good defense. And they moved him around on defense, and you only do that with playmakers…

  • Bryant Eng

    A TFL or two? He had 16 in 2016. It was my impression, based on review of his scouting report, that he was moved around the field constantly. Moreover, it’s tough to develop as a DB when you aren’t consistently there. He has more upside than I think we give him credit for, but if all he’s just a Mark Barron clone, then we should pass.

  • Donte Williams

    you said the same thing i posted 20mins ago

  • falconsaftey43

    Yeah, I know he had more TFLs than that, but honestly, most were from weakside blitzes and weren’t actually that impressive. 2015 he was used at safety most of the time, either deep or up on a slot WR. Normal stuff. 2016 he played at LB most of the time. He def has upside because he’s a great athlete, but I need to see SOME impact on film from my 1st round pick.

  • Donte Williams

    100% agree

  • Smitty 6788

    I like Peppers but Obi M would be my pick.

  • “And they moved him around on defense, and you only do that with playmakers…”

    And “athletes” that you can’t find a position for. 🙂

  • Didn’t see that before I posted

  • Nicholas Ewry

    Have you actually watched the two players play? Obi is the tape of a day 3 prospect. Forget the measurable, Peppers is the better player and it isn’t close.

  • Steve Johnson

    I totally disagree with this pick. Again, like I’ve said before, the guy is a Jack of All Trades, A Master of None. If a Pass Rushing Specialist, a Premier CB or true Safety is there, go with that pic in the order listed. Hey Dulac, stick to writing.

  • Steve Johnson

    150% agree.

  • Steve Johnson

    Evert year they hype a player up just like J. Peppers. I see BUST written all over this guy.

  • S.T.

    151% agree. Am I the highest bidder? Did I win?

  • CP21

    Hate the idea of drafting a guy that doesn’t play a “true” position but is a ‘Swiss knife’ on the D. Would rather we make a solid pick like Lawson or White, both of whom have “starter by mid season” written all over them.

  • Jay Hallauer

    If we take peppers in the 1st i will be pissed. He is the most overrated defensive player in this draft

  • Smitty 6788

    Peppers may be at his ceiling. Obi’s ceiling is much higher imo. Cant get over the fact Peppers made no plays outside of St’s. But I still don’t dislike Peppers just think Obi is going to be special.

  • Jon Crissinger

    I agree with you 100%. It’s kiliing me all these people wanting Obi when he looked slow and out of place on tape. And Peppers didn’t play safety his last year. How can someone say he’s at his ceiling when he’s never truly played his natural position

  • Jon Crissinger

    Peppers was playing out of position because they requested him to. Look up Brett Kollman and watch his breakdown on Peppers.

  • Peppers played LB his senior year and put up unimpressive stats. Prior to that he played as a DB, lining up at both CB and safety (though limited), and put up unimpressive stats. So which position are you claiming he was a playmaker at but did not get the opportunity?

    Peppers’ tape looks like a more athletic Taylor Mays to me. I don’t see anything to make me think he is a first round pick. If the draft broke as listed above, there would be far better value available than him.

  • He has upside, but almost no production, and very limited tape at his projected position. You don’t pick a guy like that in the 1st unless you are talking about a DE making the switch to OLB.

  • Maxx Williams (though partly due to injury), Cordarelle Patterson, Matt Elam, Taylor Mays back in the day. You mean like those guys?

  • Big Joe

    With Lawson and Obi still on the board, I’d take them before Peppers.

  • Darth Blount 47

    I think this is one of the closest and most sensible drafts that I’ve seen yet. Makes sense coming from the writers in each of their respective purviews.

    Who would I take? Well this just goes to show that in a draft THIS loaded, we are gonna have a LOT of great options left at 30 this time around. Lucky us.

    I would have one heck of an internal struggle going on in my head, heart, and gut. With only 2 CB’s gone before our pick, that leaves Humphrey, Conley, and White, among others. Obi Melifonwu is still there. And so are many of the Edge rushers.

    Clock is ticking down and I have to chose… uh… uhm… “With the 30th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft: The Pittsburgh Steelers select: Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama.”

    I wanted to pick Obi, I swear I did. And I really wanted to just go ahead and secure Jordan Willis too. And Gareon Conley could end up as a stud with those long arms and good height and all. But I just can’t get over thinking about Humphrey and Burns, locking down the Outside. Cockrell is only on his now “1-year prove it tender.” And worst case, we now have very good depth at CB. I think I may be able to get Willis at 62, though unlikely. And if I pass on Obi, I can come back around and hunt for Josh Jones, or find me a $backer guy a bit later. Humphrey, though not the biggest need to check off, gives us the weapons to be able to stare passy happy teams in the face for years to come.

  • Marcel Chris Chauvet

    Gareon Conley and Marlon Humphrey left completely out of first round. These guys might be worse than Kiper. Lol Taking Peppers over Conley, Humphrey, and White? I think it would be a very suspect move.

  • Denny

    Brett Kollmann did a scouting report video, attempting to explain his role on the Mich Def and where he might fit in the NFL. I found it interesting and he was a fan.

  • Zarbor

    I agree 110%. We can only hope some dummy would take Peppers before he gets to us. This dude is the Reggie Bush pick on defense. Major hype and an average player at best. He’s too small and like Sanquez this would be a mistake.

    Obi is clearly the pick over Peppers…Its not even close people. What are they watching?

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    I see your 151 and raise you 155%

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    I feel the same way about watt mot saying he won’t be good but I think he may be over rated because of his brother

  • Michael Conrad

    I don’t like Peppers and will say right now if we pick him he will be a bust in our system. He is a player without a position . He can’t cover and is to small for LB play.

    The bad thing is I have a feeling if he is on the board the Steelers will pick him . Please let someone take him before our pick.

  • Sam Clonch

    Foster flunked a drug test at the combine. What a dope! I’m surprised he was even there long enough to get tested, lol.

  • Dorian James

    I would have taken obi

  • EdJHJr

    He will go on top 15. Guaranteed

    Heard it hear first

  • John

    I have read several draftniks today. Based on them, we are likely picking Peppers or Tim Williams first. I realize you don’t prefer either.

  • John

    With Humphrey please keep in mind he had the best defense and pass rush in particular in front of him. Alabama corners have been generally underwhelming in the pros.

  • S.T.

    I fold. Too rich for my blood.

  • Consistent

    I feel like the hype created to make him a Heisman candidate is what alot of people are holding on to.

    Congratulations Coach Harbaugh for attempting to get Peppers in the 1st round but I remain sceptical

  • Donny Simmons

    I would have Marlon Humphries or Derick Rivers before Peppers. I do love the kid he is a hard working team first player with skills.

  • John

    I read a recent write-up on him. He seems perfect for what the team wants. Someone they can move around his year and play in space. Then later move to safety when Mitchell is done

  • If I had seen the playmaking ability on defense to go with his athleticism, I would agree, but I haven’t seen it. I would be fine with him in the 2nd. I don’t see first round value there.

  • Conserv_58

    You pretty much described my rationale for not taking Peppers at #30. Of any player in this draft, Peppers is the quitecenncial example of an enigma.

    There is no consensus amongst NFL GM’s as to where he would play to maximize his physical attributes. Their opinions vary. Some see him as a safety, a RB, a slot corner, a safety/linebacker hybrid, and a kick/punt return specialist. That uncertainty underscores a potential dilemma. If after a year of playing safety in the NFL and he doesn’t live up to expectations does a coaching staff take the risk of changing his position? The downside of that scenario is it could disrupt team chemistry. Other players are going to lose jobs to accomodate a position switch. The void left at the safety position by switching him could pose a big problem for the defense if they don’t have a competent replacement.

  • Conserv_58

    Peppers’ film shows that the vast majority of the plays he made are within five to ten yards of the LOS.

  • Conserv_58

    Maybe it was a case of, Jim Harbaugh and his coaching staff knowing they had a gifted athlete, but he was so raw that even they didn’t know exactly what to do with him. I’m just speculating because with a guy that physically gifted one would assume that a coach with Harbaugh’s experience he would have had a clearly defined role for him.

  • Alan Bonin

    Peppers would not be a good pick. He may be athletic but did not really make plays. We needs someone that is athletic and a playmaker.

  • While playing LB. That is what you expect. That is not what we need from a hybrid role in the secondary. This is a role that would primarily be playing coverage on obvious passing downs, not crashing the line for run support.

  • Richard

    Great pick!

  • Richard

    To small he is 5 11 213 that’s actually big for S and CB. He was put all over the field LB, CB, S he reminds me of Dupree a freak physically that was put on numerous positions and wasn’t able to focus on a set position.

  • Richard

    Lawson and white are no better than LBs who would be avaliable in 2nd round like a rivers

  • Aj Gentile

    We all win if Peppers is not the pick

  • Aj Gentile

    I don’t think he is a bust. But he’s not a first round talent. He’s not going to be on the field this year. A team is going to have to teach him what ever position they want him to play. If he played his whole career at S or slot cb then maybe he goes in the first round. And I don’t like knocking him for doing what ever it takes to help his team.

  • Aj Gentile

    I saw that breakdown. And I think he is a great teammate for doing what was best for the team. But a nfl team is going to have to teach him whatever position they want him to play.

  • Jon Crissinger

    Yeah and Peppers himself even retweeted his breakdown. If Pittsburgh met with him and likes him, I’m 100% for it. I don’t think he’s overrated at all. Of course if they like Obi I’m 100% on board for that as well.

  • John Bennett

    Peppers is an athletic football player without a position….so what do you do with him? Hope he turns out to be another Troy? Not likely. You take the best edge rusher you have on your board here or cover corner.