ESPN NFL Draft “guru” Mel Kiper released a new Top 25 Big Board. Two Michigan players made the cut.
Jake Butt at No. 19
After breaking out last year (51 catches), Butt is off to a great start in 2016. He has the length NFL teams covet (6-6) and strong hands. He consistently makes catches through contact and can pluck the ball away from his body. He's not a big-time athlete, but he is above-average and has everything else you'd want in a tight end, and the Wolverines trust him to block, too.
Butt should be a first round selection in the draft. My NFL comparison for him is Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert. A sure handed red-zone threat, reliable third-down target, and a willing blocker, Butt should have a fine career at the next level.
Jabrill Peppers at No. 4
I moved up Peppers a couple of more spots. He's one of my favorite players in college football and has been the most impressive Big Board player so far this season. Coach Jim Harbaugh raves about Peppers (6-0, 210 pounds), who plays safety, corner and outside linebacker and is a dynamic returner, as he showed on a punt return TD this season. He also has played a little offense. Could he become a Deone Bucannon at the next level? I expect him to test off the charts at the NFL combine.
Peppers will undoubtedly be a monster at the combine in position drills, vertical, broad jump, and everything else. What’s not to like? The fact Kiper says he’s been the most impressive player on the Big Board this year has me asking why isn’t he number one then? Oh well, Mel.