Browns, NFL Draft

It’s OK to like Browns rookie Jabrill Peppers, Ohio State fans

Ohio State Buckeyes fans have learned to hate Cleveland Browns rookie Jabrill Peppers. Why, you ask? He was a standout player for the University of Michigan. That school that Ohio State fans hate. That school happens to be on the other side of the Buckeyes in college football’s biggest rivalry. That school that Buckeye Nation calls That School Up North. That school that the scarlet and gray have dominated on the football field this entire century.

After the Browns selected Peppers with the 25th pick Thursday night, many Buckeyes fans who are also Browns fans took to social media, expressing their displeasure their favorite NFL team would draft a guy from that school. Peppers was the first Wolverine the Browns have picked since selecting wide receiver Braylon Edwards in 2005.

I hated on Peppers during his three-year stint at Michigan. Wolverines fans obsessed over him and he was overrated in terms of being named a 2016 Heisman finalist purely based on his versatility. But starting Thursday night, him being a former Wolverine means nothing to me, and Ohio State fans should believe the same. Now, I hope that he not only becomes an All-Pro but helps lead the Browns to the postseason—maybe, just maybe, to be Super Bowl contenders, someday—but that’s too far down the road to even worry about right now.

On a barren Browns roster, Peppers will immediately step in and fill one of the team’s biggest needs: A legitimate, game-changing safety. While the rookie will start at safety, his versatility will tremendously help the team. Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams can use him as a safety, nickel cornerback, and even at linebacker depending on the need. With all of the different formations Williams likes to run, Peppers’ versatility will make it so that he doesn’t have to be subbed out if (and when) the defense changes formations during a drive. That is huge. Add in the fact that Peppers can be the team’s kick and punt returner (and also a wildcat quarterback) and Browns fans will love how much this kid can do. Him being from Michigan means nothing to the Browns. The Dawg Pound will follow suit once they see how much Peppers can help the team on and off the field.

So I ask one thing: Once a player is on your favorite professional team, why does where they went to college even matter? Using their college as a reason to dislike them on a rival NFL team is understandable, but their college has no affect on how they will perform as professional athletes. Ohio State fans who also root for the Browns need to stop the hate on Peppers just because he went to that school. Now that he’ll be donning the orange and brown, the fact that he once made a mistake on his college school choice no longer matters.

  • Garry_Owen

    Wait. Are you telling me I’m surrounded?? I knew it!

  • Skulb

    I forgot about the Brockweiler trade. Still, I guess he might be good for a TC competition or something. And they did have the guy on their team for a whole year, so it’s hard to hate them too much. The best QB they’ve had in franchise history might be Matt Schaub. But if you just go by winning % you could make a serious case for Brock Osweiler too, amazing as it sounds. Of course, if you do that it’s Brandon Weeden, although that was just one game.
    I can’t hate a team with the QB history the Texans have. I’m torn between sympathy and just viewing them as comic relief. And I’m not gonna blame them for offloading some of their turds whenever they find takers. It’s like the Trubisky trade; if you’re a Bears fan you don’t hate the 9ers for having a brain or two in the organization that isn’t on hallucinogenic drugs. You develop alcoholism because your own team doesn’t.

  • mgbode

    Tim Biakabutuka running through the defense who thought they were playing flag football or the Woodson Heisman pose or…

    The Cooper years for us had many of those moments.

  • RGB

    We don’t hate Houston because of Osweiler. We want them to lose on a regular basis because we have their 2018 first-round pick. After 2018 they can completely exit our stream of consciousness altogether.


    “the Woodson Heisman pose”

    You mean Howard? I don’t remember Woodson doing it, too.

    (I did just get a nice warm fuzzy thinking of Keith Jackson saying: “Goodbye! Helloooooo, Heisman!” though, so thanks!)


    “We want them to lose on a regular basis because we have their 2018 first-round pick”

    And their second. (And Philly’s, which I keep forgetting.) It is most definitely in our best interests for Houston and Philly still to be as bad as possible.

  • Skulb

    Ah, that makes more sense. Still, it’s not hate though, is it? More like tactical and temporary reverse fandom.

  • RGB

    Sorry. Had to be done. (And I love that gif.)

  • mgbode

    too much context switching this morning, but yes it was Desmond.

    and man, Keith Jackson is still the voice of college football for me even if some of those memories are horrific (I remember that line too, dangit).

  • Believelander

    Braylon. Two. Point. Oh.



    Which would mean some bug fixes in the OS and an improved UI?

  • Believelander

    That’s the special thing and why I compare him to Cribbs – it’s not the straight-line speed which is great but not phenomenal for both of these men, it’s the sudden changes of direction that defined Cribbs as a return man, and defines Peppers too. Those are some big shoes to fill but he fits the same mold – a bit heavier at around 210 lbs, second-tier speed but a top-shelf ability to power into ankle-shattering cuts without losing momentum that leave defenders looking stupid and hopeless in pursuit, and that extra bit of weight and muscle to blow through weak arm tackles like a halfback. That’s why Cribbs is the all-time leader in kickoff returns with Leon Washington, which are a lot harder to go yard on than punt returns, and the new kickoff rules basically guarantee that record will never be broken.

    Washington, too, is another guy with great but not incredible 4.4x straight line speed but legendary high-speed elusiveness. I think Peppers is going to put people on the edge of their seats in the return game.

  • Believelander

    All of these things are probably true. Also Michware released it at a discounted price due to serious defects in the original release.


    As I understand, they had a total shakeup at the top of their executive structure since Braylon 1.0 came around. A couple of bad hires, and the stockholders finally revolted in 2014 and brought in a new CEO who seems to know what the hell he’s doing. Finally.

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