Jabrill Peppers is a rookie Strong Safety who was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft from the university of Michigan (25th overall).
When he played football at Michigan he wore the number 5 on his jersey but this isn’t allowed in the NFL. This is because the NFL applies certain number ranges to certain position groups on both offense and defense. Running backs and defensive backs have to wear a number between 20-49. This rule was introduced to the league to help the officiating crews see and rule on the game more accurately.
When Jabrill Peppers entered the league I would have expected him to take the number 25 as a way of maintaining some of his college identity, but this was already taken by running back George Atkinson III. Because of this, he opted for the number 27, instead.
Now normally I wouldn’t give two hoots about what jersey number a player wears, but this time it is a little different. I personally think Peppers is set to have a good-great career in the NFL so long as he stays away from the weed and any more allegations with regards to the substance. I believe this because of the way the game on the defensive side of the ball has and is evolving. The Cleveland Browns are, on paper, a 4-3 defensive team but they are going to spend, probably, 75% of their time in some form of the “Nickel” formation. The Nickel is a 4-2-5 formation with 4 defensive linemen, 2 linebackers and 5 defensive backs. The 5th defensive back is brought in to help the defense against the passing game of the offense. With it being a more pass-oriented league these days, this formation makes a lot of sense.
What I like about Jabrill Peppers and his style of play is the fact that I think he’ll do well as a hybrid linebacker/defensive back and could/should thrive in a Nickel set. He advertised his willingness to be used in a hybrid role during the 2017 NFL Combine when he became the first player ever to take part in two position group workouts. He pushed himself to do the defensive back drills and then the linebackers drills and did well in both.
Other players I can think of that have been employed to play this role are Deone Bucannon of the Arizona Cardinals who actually still wears the #20 but is now classed as a linebacker, and Mark Barron of the LA Rams who still wears the #26 but is also now classed as a linebacker. Both of these players have done well in this role and we’re going to be lucky enough to see them both during the 2017 NFL London series of games as their teams clash at Twickenham Stadium on Sunday, October 22nd at 6pm GMT.
Why It Effects Me
Whilst I was having a look through Twitter the other day, I came across this tweet from Mr Peppers:
I hope no one went out and bought a 27 jersey..— JP (@JabrillPeppers) 12 June 2017
‘Hmm, cryptic indeed’, I thought. It now turns out he’s decided to scrap the #27 and go with #22, instead. My dilemma is based on the fact that I paid for a signed Jabrill Peppers jersey only a couple of weeks prior to this change.
At first, I was proper pissed about this change and thought, ‘I want my money back!’. I even tweeted my annoyance to Mr Peppers – like he’d be any kind of bothered, hehe. I also asked in the NFL memorabilia Facebook group that I’m in and from where I got the jersey if I could have my money back.
After sitting and thinking about it for a while, though, I wondered if I did actually want my money back or would I be better off keeping it. The replies I got in the Facebook group confirmed what I was starting to think – this signed #27 jersey could actually be a good investment that I can cash-in on at some stage in the future.
My reasoning and that of the guys in the Facebook group is that, if Peppers has a good-great career, this jersey could be worth more than a signed #22 jersey due to its rarity! I’m thinking that he’s already on the right track to a good career with his NFL Combine efforts (first to compete well in two classes) and he’s the perfect fit for how I think the Cleveland Browns will setup and play on defense under new coordinator Greg Williams. I see Peppers playing up in the box as an athletic linebacker like Bucannon and Barron.
Time will tell as to whether I’d be making the right decision to keep or get rid of the jersey now but I can’t see into the future, unfortunately, so I’m still a little unsure of what to do for the best – money back or keep and shout and scream at the TV for Peppers to play great every weekend.
I liked how Dan Hewitt from the NFL memorabilia Facebook group, Touchdown House, put it:
However if you think maybe less than 1 or 2% of all the signed jerseys people had in the world would be the wrong number, Then this would definitely make them more valuable.
A bit like a misprint card or misstamped coin, they are worth more because of the rarity to collectorsDan Hewitt - Touchdown House Facebook group
I also liked the response to my post from who I believe is the group’s top man, Stephen Logan:
Exactly my thinking Dan Hewitt if he changes numbers then going forward you wont see any browns 27 signed jerseys and they will soon become limited and rare, im keeping mine but always happy to have another and make £££££ down the road ha ha good investment even if i am a Ravens fanStephen Logan - Touchdown House Facebook group
Although I probably over-reacted to the news initially, I’m glad I posted in the Touchdown House group because of the responses I got. The guys have kind of put my mind at ease and I’ll probably stick with the jersey and scream at Jabrill Peppers through my TV screen 😉
What would you do and what do you think I should do: keep, let a member of the Touchdown House Facebook group have it or try to sell it on? Let me know in the comments below.
Also, if you’re looking for a place to get quality signed NFL memorabilia, you could have a look at the Touchdown House Facebook group for yourself. They have some great stuff for sale and run raffles (“razzes” as they call them) which give us tight-gets a chance to win some top quality stuff for a cheap price.
If you’re also after a Jabrill Peppers jersey, then head on over the the NFL shop and get yourself kitted out ready to show your support during the upcoming season and at Twickenham Stadium on Sunday, October 29th at 2:30pm GMT!