This year’s NFL draft might show us if college football bowl games really mean anything in the long run.
Jabrill Peppers was one of many players who skipped their teams’ bowl games after declaring for the draft, but that might come back to bite the former Michigan safety this week. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Monday that some teams are worried about Peppers’ commitment after he didn’t play in the Orange Bowl against Florida State.
The report is interesting, considering top running back prospects Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey both skipped their respective bowl games, too, but it doesn’t appear their draft stock is in danger. Schefter said teams are skeptical of Peppers, who’s also expected to go high in the draft, because he opted not to play on the day of the game. However, ProFootballTalk’s Michael David Smith noted Schefter himself reported Peppers was hurt the day of the Orange Bowl, so the whole situation is a bit confusing.
Peppers did reportedly fail a drug test during the NFL Scouting Combine, but it was for a diluted sample, which means the 21-year-old didn’t test positive for a specific drug, but there was a high concentration of water, which can (but not necessarily always) mean the player was trying to hide the presence of drug-masking chemicals. Either way, we’ll just have to wait until the draft begins Thursday to see how Peppers’ situation pans out.
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