Cleveland Browns: 3 defensive takeaways from Week 7

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Browns
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Finding Jabrill Peppers an impactful role is necessary

The Browns selected Jabrill Peppers late in the first round in April’s draft. They knew they were getting a versatile threat that had the potential to thrive in various positions as he did in college.

Though, Peppers has struggled to find a way to create plays as safety with the Browns. Gregg Williams was eager to get him involved and now must find a role for the Heisman candidate to get more involved in the defense.

Peppers has primarily played deep center field for the Browns this season. Sometimes even 25 yards beyond the line of scrimmage. However, his coverage skills were a weakness in college and continue to be a risk in the NFL. The coaches know this, which is part of the reason he plays so deep and out of harm’s way.

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But a first-round pick is a first-round pick and Williams needs to incorporate Peppers more efficiently. Despite being a liability at times, the Michigan standout was an unbelievable playmaker during his collegiate career.

That ability is rare to come by at this stage and when it’s there it must be utilized properly. Peppers certainly attains that trait and Williams needs to figure out how to get the most out of him.

The pressure of being a first-round draft pick is indeed heavy. It becomes natural to be held at a higher standard and the expectations can surpass reality. The amount of criticism Peppers has received is likely unfair and exaggerated.

But he has made a few significant mistakes without making up for them with his playmaking skills. Those mistakes were minimized at Michigan with his ability to take over a game with his solid play. Now, with the Cleveland Browns, on a winless team, those mistakes will become magnified.

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Peppers needs to find his role with the Browns because the talent is without a doubt there. The Browns have been rather impressive on defense in 2017, specifically with preventing the run. If the Browns can get Peppers a sustainable role that presents him with the opportunity to maximize his potential, the Browns defense will reach that next level.