Todd McShay's list of top 32 NFL prospects has two B1G players in top five
To find the B1G’s top two NFL prospects, you don’t have to leave the state of Michigan. Jabrill Peppers and Malik McDowell are both top-shelf, next-level talents.
According to Todd McShay, both could go in the top five of next year’s draft. The ESPN NFL draft analyst tabbed Peppers and McDowell at No. 4 and No. 5, respectively, in his latest list of the top 32 prospects in college football.
Those two trailed only Leonard Fournette, Myles Garrett and Jonathan Allen.
Peppers has certainly lived up to his preseason All-America hype. The hybrid defender/return man is already getting lumped into the Heisman Trophy conversation.
McDowell hasn’t had that kind of success dealing with double teams on a regular basis. But McShay still likes how he responds to those situations.
Also cracking the list from the B1G were Illinois defensive end Dawuane Smoot and Iowa cornerback Desmond King.
To see the entire 32, click here. Here’s what McShay wrote about the B1G players that made the cut:
4. Jabrill Peppers, Michigan
Peppers continues to impress with a versatile skill set and rare playmaking ability. Lining up as a hybrid LB/DB, he has 9.5 tackles for loss (fourth in the FBS), two sacks, four QB hurries and a forced fumble. He also has a punt return TD. Peppers is an elite athlete, and his potential is off the charts.
5. Malik McDowell, Michigan State
You have to watch the film to truly appreciate McDowell. He gives really good effort, despite facing what seems like constant double teams. An elite athlete, McDowell can play all over Michigan State’s defensive front, and he shows very good range for his position, closing on the quarterback in a flash.
11. Dawuane Smoot, Illinois
Smoot was one of the lone bright spots for the Fighting Illini’s defense against Nebraska last week, finishing with 1.5 tackles for loss and a QB hurry. A gifted pass-rusher with an explosive first step, Smoot keeps offensive tackles on their heels with his ability to win with speed, power and redirection quickness.
31. Desmond King, Iowa
You won’t see many players in this draft with more live-game reps than King, who has started 44 games for the Hawkeyes. His experience shows on this field: King is very adept at reading the quarterback’s eyes and making a play on the ball (eight interceptions in 2015). King can play in the slot and on the perimeter and has made his impact felt as a run defender this season (14 solo tackles) as opponents have mostly shied away from targeting him in coverage.