Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

As the football community continues to debate how teams will use and/or value a player like Jabrill Peppers, Jim Harbaugh has no doubts about his former star player making the transition to the next level.

The Michigan head coach spoke out in support of Peppers in an appearance on “The Rich Eisen Show” on Tuesday, seemingly indicating that league personnel agrees with his overwhelmingly positive assessment.

“The pro coaches I talked to and the scouts who called and talked about Jabrill, they see it now,” Harbaugh said, according to The Detroit News. “They’ve watched all the tape, they’ve combed through it this year, last year. They see how they’re going to use him.

“He’s going to be a safety, he’s going to be a safety that plays in the deep middle of the field. He’s going to be a safety who plays in the two-deep, but they also see how he can be a linebacker, how he can be a nickel corner, how he can be an in-the-box linebacker, how he can blitz, how he can tackle, how he can be used in the return game, both the kickoff and the punt return game.”

Harbaugh went on to praise the the person and the player Peppers is in all situations, particularly as it pertains to leadership and bringing energy to the practice field.

“I’ve never seen anything like the guy in terms of the way he likes to practice, the way he wants to win at practice, the way he likes to compete, the satisfaction he derives from practice,” Harbaugh said. “I think they’re really liking to hear that. What they’re telling me, he’s going to go very high.”

Harbaugh’s comments are particularly notable given his history and success at the NFL level. But college coaches talking about their players during the pre-draft process should always be taken with a grain of salt.

Peppers said last week that the vast majority of teams see his skill set translating to safety in the NFL. After a junior season where he earned Heisman consideration for his play at linebacker, though, the projection could certainly be difficult.

One aspect of his game that teams won’t have any trouble evaluating is his athleticism.

Confirming the profile that made him such a playmaking threat both as a punt returner and during occasional reps on offense, Peppers demonstrated his speed and explosiveness with a 4.46-second 40-yard dash and strong jump scores at the combine.

Menu