Ranked By: Joe 412 and John Toth
Clemson’s Trenton Simpson, in the vein of the modern day multi-positional
linebacker, projects as a hybrid player at the next level. His rare combination of
strength and speed will allow him to play both inside and outside, making a great
candidate to help the Pittsburgh Steelers fill a hole in their defense.
A former 4-star (ESPN) and a 5-star (247 Sports) athlete in high school,
Simpson was heavily recruited for his array of physical attributes. At the
conclusion of his NCAA career, he best demonstrated his positional flexibility by
becoming a semifinalist for both the Butkus Award and the Lott Impact trophy.
Simpson will be a player at the next level, perhaps best described in the
hybrid role the Steelers covet. His play reminds Draft 412 of Ryan Shazier, an ILB
that could contribute both inside and in pass coverage, but it is hard to ignore
flashes of Troy Polamalu or even Cowboys Micah Parsons in his game. Simpson
can play all over, moving to safety, linebacker and in some instances help with the
rush. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah who was drafted by Cleveland 52nd overall in the
2021 draft is a great comparison of how Simpson may be used in the NFL.
Here is a look at Trenton Simpson pros and cons:
LB-Trenton Simpson Measurables:
Weight: 240 lbs.
Hands: 10 3/8”
Span: 76 6/8”
Elite speed, unofficial 4.3 type times given from Clemson coaches
Flexibility, able to rush or cover on 3rd down with no issue
Big hitter, with elite range
A sure tackler who wraps up; technically sound
Gives team options at where he can line up, down to down
Can be taken out when trying to seal the edges by bigger lineman
More speed than strength
Can be over aggressive at times and bites on fakes at times
Must improve hands when battling one on one with blockers
Trenton Simpson is a tough player to project. Simpson is a freak of nature with his
build and speed. His flexibility and athleticism should have defensive coordinators
begging for this pick, as he should be able to succeed in most defensive schemes.
But having no natural position may cause him to slip.
Projected Draft Position
Trenton Simpson could go as early as mid-first or as late as mid-2nd . Either way
expect Simpson to be in the top three linebackers taken and for the Steelers to
have a keen interest, as he fits their scheme and needs well.