This belief is magnified because Peppers is a two-way player. Remember Ohio State’s Chris Gamble? He had seven career interceptions at Ohio State, then had 13 interceptions in his first two years with Carolina. He enjoyed a productive nine-year career with the Panthers but never made the Pro Bowl. Gamble wasn’t a bust, but he’s not headed to Canton. The difference here is that if Peppers has that kind of career in the NFL, the side that thinks he’s overrated will proclaim he’s a bust.
Which brings us to the 2017 NFL Draft. Peppers’ performance likely clinched his status as a first-round pick, and that’s a question that still has wide-ranging answers. Is he Thorpe? Honey Badger? Gamble? Woodson? Su’a Cravens? Deone Bucannon? Somebody else?
Fournette is arguably the most explosive pure runner to enter the league since Adrian Peterson. With the backfield mess of Chris Ivory and T.J. Yeldon, he’ll get every chance to be the workhorse as the team leans on a power rushing attack with new football operations chief Tom Coughlin.
Fournette might struggle a bit if second-round tackle Cam Robinson has only limited effects on the team’s run-blocking woes, and if QB Blake Bortles isn’t more efficient to provide true balance to the offense. It will probably take something like a reasonable 1,200 yards rushing and double-digit TDs for Fournette to contend. It will take Jacksonville vying for at least a wild card for him to win.