Among the many ways that Jabrill Peppers made an impact at the University of Michigan was in the return game and it is one that the Browns think Peppers can also fill for them after making Peppers a first-round pick in April’s draft.
Peppers returned both punts and kickoffs while in Ann Arbor and Browns special teams coach Chris Tabor said last week that Peppers bears some resemblance to former Browns kicker Josh Cribbs, who returned eight kickoffs and three punts for touchdowns during his time in Cleveland.
“The way [Peppers is] built, he kind of reminds me a little bit in the Cribbsy mold,” Tabor said, via the Akron Beacon Journal. “He has some thickness to him. If you look at our past returners, even when I was in Chicago with Devin [Hester], Devin was a little slighter guy. Travis [Benjamin] was a really slight guy. [Peppers is] a mix of more of a Cribbsy and can go north, south. But I thought he had good vision coming out, and you could see it on a lot of plays where he could just create on his own, and I think those are good traits in a returner.”
Peppers is also pencilled into a starting safety role as a rookie and the Browns may not want to put too much on his plate too soon, but the desire to see if comparisons to Cribbs go beyond the way the two players look should present him with opportunities on special teams this year.