CNNSI.com NFL Draft 2002


 
Grading System
Julius Peppers | DE | North Carolina | Atlantic Coast Conference
Selected by Carolina Panthers in round 1, pick 2 (2 overall)
Height Weight 40 Grade
6'6 283 4.68 4.88
Julius Peppers
Craig Jones/Getty Images
Three-year starter that impacted the program since he was a red shirt freshman. All-Conference and All-American last year after totaling 55/17.5/9 while also intercepting three passes and breaking up eight more. Again, All-Conference as a red shirt sophomore and earned some All- American honors when his numbers were 64/24/15, with one intercepted pass. Freshman All- American in '99 after totaling 50/10/6, tallying his first interception. Played on the UNC basketball team and early in his career saw action at tight end.

Tremendous athlete and a prospect that may have more upside potential than any other player in this draft. Fluid, fast and explosive in every aspect of his game. Plays low with leverage, quick and fluid changing direction, displaying the ability to immediately alter his angle of attack and pursue the action with speed from any angle on the field. Makes plays sideline-to-sideline, moves like a linebacker and rarely off his feet. Can twist or stunt, catches the ballcarrier from the backside and rarely moved out of his angle of attack. Breaks down well, plays with knee bend and terrific balance. Fluid dropping off the line of scrimmage, effective playing in space and redirects to the ballcarrier well. Effective with his hands, quick adjusting off the initial block and relentless in his pursuit to the action. Not the most instinctive or quickest reading the play, a bit too concerned getting up the field and overruns the action, also lacking the great first step off the snap. Should be able to carry more weight on his frame and a game impacting pass rusher that will grow into a complete defensive lineman down the road. Early first round.

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