Prospect: Julien Simon
Status: SI All-American candidate
Vitals: 6-foot-2, 220 pounds
Position: Linebacker/Wide Receiver
School: Tacoma (Wash.) Lincoln
Committed to: USC
Projected Position: Simon currently plays in the slot as a receiver on offense and as an outside linebacker/big nickel on defense. He projects either as a Sam outside linebacker or Mike middle linebacker in college.
Frame: Has possessed an advanced frame since before high school. Long arms, broad shoulders, and a powerful trunk.
Athleticism: Strong athlete with fluid movement skills on offense and defense. Uses length to his advantage and plays with above-average build-up speed, which is why he is dynamic at driving on underneath routes defensively and generating force to deliver a good thump to finish as a tackler. Simon also has good leaping ability and ball skills, yet his play strength is his top asset.
Instincts: Displays good awareness and vision on both sides of the ball. Tracks throws well on the second and third levels as a receiver and can high point with his mitts. Defensively, at his best in space to read, react and squeeze. Good awareness in zone coverage concepts and has transition quickness to peel off initial matches and insert himself into passing lanes. Has strength and power at the point attack versus the run to go along with good range.
Polish: Simon can be envisioned playing several positions in college (RB, WR, OLB, ILB, S), thus it will be important for him to find a niche/home immediately and focus on developing the appropriate nuances. He has a college-ready body right now and has played against solid competition on various platforms for the last several years.
Bottom Line: With his athleticism, awareness, strength and positional versatility, Simon can fill many roles on a roster. However, he projects best as a Sam ‘backer at this point where he can play to the field/strong side and work in space. He has a chance to also grow into a middle/inside linebacker towards the end of his college career.