The Cleveland Browns ranked in the bottom three of the NFL in most offensive and defensive areas in 2016. Though Peppers, one of their three first-round draft picks, won't single-handedly reverse their fortunes on either side, he's going to be one piece of both puzzles.
“Line him up in a lot of different places and give him that opportunity," Browns head coach Hue Jackson told the Detroit Free Press on Thursday night.. "He is a football player, a very dynamic player. Obviously, he’s going to play defense for us, but we’ll find a role for him over there on offense. No question.”
Peppers played offense, defense and special teams at Michigan. At safety (primarily) in 2015, he was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year, First-Team All-Big Ten and Second-Team All-American. As a redshirt sophomore linebacker (primarily) in 2016, he was the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, First-Team All-American and Heisman Trophy finalist. He also won the Paul Hornung Award as the most versatile player in college football.
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Peppers had 111 tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss, three sacks and one interception on defense from 2015-16. At running back/wildcat quarterback/receiver, he added 45 carries for 239 yards and five touchdowns, and 10 catches for 82 yards. He also had 987 return yards and one score.
“No question but we’re going to start him over there on defense for sure," Jackson added. "Again, when you have guys that have ability to make plays, you do anything and everything you can to put them in an environment so they can showcase their talent and ability (including offense). We will do that, but first we are bringing him in here to play defense and play special teams."