As we approach the draft, we’ll hear more and more from the Falcons about potential options, whether it be by leaked (or smoky) information or directly from the team. One name that was popular early in the process and may be again now is Jabrill Peppers, who the team talked up earlier this week.
Here’s the money quote from D-Led’s piece.
“One of the rare guys that you have to put on all three sides of tape to watch him carry the ball, but we see him as a safety for our team and how we play,” Falcons head coach Dan Quinn said.
The team has given some indication that they’re after a safety that can play on the field at the same time as Ricardo Allen and Keanu Neal, and that player could eventually take over for Allen if he doesn’t stick around over the long haul. That would give the team insurance in the long-term and a formidable trio in the short-term, and
Are they going to take a safety at #31, though, especially one with questions about his viability as a safety over the long haul? That’s a big question, and it’s one that I suspect the team will answer in the negative. Justin Evans and Budda Baker both seem like more likely selections if the Falcons were to go safety, but all indications are that they’re after a guard or a pass rusher there. Safety could come as early as the second day, though.
Ultimately, I think the Falcons are doing what they always do this time of year, just with more subtlety than other teams. They’re answering questions posed to them, discussing scenarios they likely won’t pursue, and talking up players who may or may not be realistic options for them at #31, all in the name of obscuring what they’re really up to. That’s not to say that there’s no way they will take Peppers at #31—or certainly at #63, if he should fall—but there’s no denying that his versatility and speed make him an intriguing player in this scheme.
Keep an eye on Peppers, just in case.