New Jersey Native Jabrill Peppers Enters NFL Draft

By WILLIAM BOLOGNA
On March 1, 2017

Photo courtesy of Maize & Blue Nation, Flickr

Another North-Jersey native is set to make his way into the NFL as Jabrill Peppers, a Paramus Catholic alumni, will be up for grabs in this year’s NFL Draft. 

Many mock drafts predict that he will go to New England. Bill Belichick, the current general manager of the New England Patriots and a former Jets assistant coach, has been notorious for having both former Jets players, as well as players from areas populated specifically by Jets fans, pitted against them.

With the need for depth at his primary position, safety, Peppers would be a typical Belichick-esque pick, as he has been known to love versatility and special athleticism, both of which are traits possessed by Peppers. 

As a redshirt sophomore at Michigan, Peppers was a standout player who covered the field in 11 different positions. Following this past season, Peppers was named the Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year, Butkus-Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year and the Rodgers-White Return Specialist of the Year and a unanimous All-American.

“For years I’ve been watching players and coaches go back and forth between the two teams” said lifelong Jets fan and season ticket holder Mike Rossi, 50, from the Bronx. 

In regards to the Jets-Patriots rivalry, Rossi said, “Some of their best players ended up playing for the other team at some point. It always kept the rivalry interesting, being able to watch players return to play their former team.”

Despite being considered one of the greatest Jets of all time, perhaps what may have been Darrelle Revis’ greatest football accomplishment was winning Super Bowl XLIX with the Patriots in 2015 during a one-year stint with the team. 

In addition to Revis, Danny Woodhead, who was a preseason standout with the Jets in 2009, had a breakout year with New England in 2010 after being cut by the Jets. 

Many other Jets players went on to play for the Patriots later in their careers, such as Chris Baker, Shaun Ellis and Victor Green. 

As if Belichick using former Jets’ players and being a former Jet himself was not bad enough, he has also been notorious for bringing in players from “Jet territory." 

Wyckoff native Chris Hogan was a difference maker during the Patriots championship season, especially in the playoffs. 

Additionally, Logan Ryan, from Berlin, New Jersey, who played college football at Rutgers, has also proven to be a quality starter at the cornerback position for Belichick and his Patriots.

Peppers, another Jersey native could prove to be a great addition to the Patriots if he falls to them at the end of the first round. 

While it may still be too early to accurately predict the results of the upcoming draft, the possibility of Bill Belichick snagging another player from “Jets territory” to use against them should terrify Jets fans everywhere.

wbologna@ramapo.edu

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