SHANE SIMPSON | Virginia | RB | #31 | rSr | 5083 | 199 | 4.54e | Easton, PA | Easton Area | 06.13.97

Overview: 

The common trend of standout FCS athletes transferring to larger programs in the hopes of boosting their draft stock became more prevalent in 2020 thanks to season cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Simpson followed this path when he transferred from Towson to Virginia before the 2020 season. In his time with the Cavaliers, he gained 278 rushing yards with two rushing touchdowns on 54 carries. Through the air, he added 133 receiving yards and one touchdown on 13 receptions. Simpson was not the starter at Virginia and may have even been third on the depth chart. In his final college season, he showed off his intelligence as a runner. Simpson wins by reading and playing off his blocks with nice burst. He also uses his quick feet to make sudden cuts at the right time to force missed tackles. At the contact point, he manufactures power with leverage, leg drive and contact balance. On passing downs, Simpson exhibits reliable hands and a willingness to be physical in pass protection. Moreover, he served as a kick returner in 2020, a testament to his ball skills and vision. All the same, the Towson and Virginia product lacks NFL-level athleticism. He is noticeably stiff, which hurts his ability to make defenders miss and run precise routes. Once in space, he has sufficient but unspectacular long speed. What’s more, his underwhelming functional strength makes him less effective at the tackle point and as a blocker. Similarly, his short arms prevent him from throwing meaningful stiff arms and give him a small catch radius. All in all, Simpson is a smart runner who may offer third-down and special-teams value, but he is a limited athlete whose overall projection is not favorable.

Background: 

Transferred to Virginia prior to the 2020 season, appearing in 10 games for the Cavaliers. Spent five years at Towson. Graduated from Towson with a degree in sports management. Recorded 5,088 total yards while at Towson. Missed the bulk of 2015, 2017 and 2019 with injuries.

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