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NFL Draft Off the Clock (Picks 25-28): Jabrill Peppers, Takkarist McKinley, Tre'Davious White, Taco Charlton
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6 May 2017 05:57 PM EST

-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: Michigan defender Jabrill Peppers. (Image Source: Getty Images)

Here’s a breakdown of picks 25-28 of the 2017 NFL Draft (Picks 1-4, 5-8, 9-12, 13-16, 17-20, 21-24)

25. Cleveland Browns (trade from Houston): S Jabrill Peppers, Michigan

As talented as Peppers is, he needed to go to a situation that fits his versatility and in the Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator Gregg Williams he may have found the ideal coach to play for. Like Michigan’s Don Brown used him this past season, for Peppers to be his most effective he should play multiple positions. Capable of lining up inside or out, as a linebacker or a safety, this Michigan man is a new-age hybrid defender who can be a playmaker in multiple packages. An effective blitzer, Peppers is at his best when he’s allowed to attack the line of scrimmage. In addition to being a defensive Swiss army knife for the Browns, headman Hue Jackson has already stated that Peppers will have a role on offense, to go with his dynamic ability as a punt returner.

26. Atlanta Falcons: DE Takkarist McKinley, UCLA

Do you think the Falcons wish they had another pass rusher on the field in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl? They’ve made strides defensively through the draft over the past two seasons and that pattern continues with the selection of McKinley, whom they hope to team up with Vic Beasley Jr., as bookend pass rushers. He’s light in the pants but does have the long arms to help keep blockers from getting into his frame, which allows him to get into the backfield with his quick first step. At that point, his closing speed can take over once he has the opposing quarterback in his sights. Just as Beasley does, McKinley brings scheme versatility to the table with the ability to play four-three defensive end, as well as three-four outside linebacker. This will allow the Falcons to be flexible and use different personnel packages.

27. Buffalo Bills: CB Tre’Davious White, LSU

With No. 1 corner Stephon Gilmore and nickelback Nickell Robey-Coleman departed, the Bills entered this draft in need of adding a coverman. They had a chance to take the top cornerback in this draft when Marshon Lattimore slid to them at No. 10 but rather than fill their need there, Buffalo shrewdly traded down 17 slots and picked up a third-round pick in this year’s draft, as well as Kansas City’s first-round pick next season. Not only did they get value but they filled a need when selecting White, who is considered to be a solid, versatile, and instinctive pass defender. Someone who has flashed the ability to play on an island, as well as slide inside to handle slot receivers. He has the long arms to help him get his hands on the football and should be a valuable special teams contributor, both as a return man and a gunner.

28. Dallas Cowboys: DE Taco Charlton, Michigan

If the Dallas Cowboys are going to build on last season they needed to address the defense and that’s what they did with their first-round choice. A classic four-three end, Charlton has the length (6’6), bulk (277 pounds), and long arms (34 ¼”) to hold up in the trenches and set the edge. He’s extremely stout against the run and has flashed ability as an edge rusher. Not a speedster, but Charlton is a strong pass rusher, who has some explosion, as well as surprisingly nimble feet. He uses both his upper and lower body well. Powerful and polished, Charlton is ready to contribute from Day 1 if pushed properly and I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up starting sooner rather than later. Inconsistent early on during his time at Ann Arbor, Charlton steadily improved throughout his college career and really found himself towards the end of his senior season when he began to look like Michigan’s top defender.

Daniel Mogollon is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America. He is also a voter for the Thorpe and the Rotary Lombardi Award, as well as the Latino Sports MVP Awards. You can reach him via email: danmogollon@gmail.com.

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