Jabrill Peppers reportedly tested positive for a dilute sample at the NFL Scouting Combine. The Michigan linebacker/safety was considered a lock to go in the late first-round of the 2017 NFL Draft, which starts Thursday night. Now some are questioning if he’ll fall. Frankly, this shouldn’t impact Peppers’ stock one bit.
CAA, which reps Peppers, released the following statement about his test:
“Peppers went to the combine. He was sick after flying there from San Diego. He has a history of cramping. Peppers was being pumped with fluids, drinking 8-10 bottles of water before he went to bed, because he was the first guy to work out two days for the LBs and DBs. He had to go through that first day, come back on second day, and that was the fear. So Peppers was pounding water and under the weather. He never failed a drug test in his life, nor tested positive before for any substance.”
This is true, Peppers did not test positive for anything, but a dilute sample almost always means the person taking the test was trying to cover for something. Is it inconceivable that Peppers just genuinely had too many fluids in his body? No. Is it likely that’s the explanation? Of course not.
Look, we know what Peppers can do on the field. If he was smoking pot and trying to cover it up, does that really change his abilities as a player? Sure it may not make him as reliable and yes he’d have to commit to stop doing whatever he was doing, but by most accounts he’s a good kid and an extremely hard worker. He’s also never tested positive for anything before.
There are valid questions as to whether Peppers is a linebacker or a true safety and other concerns, but the kid is a playmaker and always has been. He’s a two-time All-American and was Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year in 2016. If a team liked him before this news, its opinion should not change because of this news.