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NFL Draft Profile: Trenton Simpson, Linebacker, Clemson Tigers

NFL Draft profile scouting report for Clemson LB Trenton Simpson

Clemson LB Trenton Simpson
clemson tigers

#22
Pos: LB
Ht: 6022
Wt: 225
40: 4.99
DOB: 1/14/2001
Hometown: Charlotte, NC
High School: Mallard Creek
Eligibility: 2023

Trenton Simpson
Clemson Tigers


One-Liner:

A physical specimen that embodies versatility, Simpson’s usefulness in multiple schemes and athletic traits may place him in the top half of the first round.

Evaluation:

Stacked frame with musculature top to bottom. Athletically built with Arms and wingspan that become handy. Plays one snap in a two-point stance as a 5-technique, and the next as a single high, post safety. Thrives in the box as a stacked linebacker or in coverage as an overhang. Possesses an explosive first step that he uses to generate an upfield rush. Incredible short-area quickness and faint feet despite his size. Powerful athlete that exhibits toughness and tenacity on every play. Battering ram that will take linemen head-on, and protect every blade of grass as an enforcer. Scrapes gap-to-gap with effortless lateral agility. Dangerous Blitzer and pass rusher thanks to a ruthless display of speed to power. Exposes running backs in pass protection, simply bulldozing via bullrush. Loose hips to turn and sink into zone coverage. Smooth in his back-pedal, easily confused for a defensive back. Speed and length equate to range in his ability to cover the flat. Recovery speed that shows when employed in man coverage and asked to cover the seam. Block shedding requires development. Needs to learn a plethora of moves to fend off linemen. Too often tries to throw a shoulder, which despite his strength can be mitigated by guards and tackles with natural size advantages. Can sure up his tackling, intermittently looking for the big hit instead of the routine form tackle. Motions and misdirection can throw him off, requiring better eye discipline. Want to see improvement in route recognition and anticipation, as routes aren’t always passed off correctly in zone coverage. Needs to fine-tune his jam in coverage, as he misses and allows free releases too frequently. Simpson will leave defensive masterminds salivating for his services in the NFL. A skill set that can be utilized in multiple alignments, if he can clean up some technical liabilities, look for Simpson’s name to be called early.

Grade:

1st Round 

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Background:

Trenton Simpson, from Charlotte, North Carolina, is a key player for the Clemson Tigers. He is the son of Timothy D. Simpson, who has an extensive military background. At Clemson, he is a Sports Communications Major. Before Clemson he was the third ranked player in North Carolina according to Max Preps and in 2019 was the Arnold R. Solomon Award winner which is the North Carolina High School Football Player of the Year. He has helped Clemson tremendously and going forward, will be a big defensive piece for the Tigers in 2022. 

Quotes: 

“If you enjoyed Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah’s college film, you’re going to love Clemson LB Trenton Simpson (6-3, 230, JR). He’s cut from a similar cloth, but even bigger. Experience at all 3 levels of the defense, highly physical as a tackler, Blitzer, and edge setter.”

Jordan Reid ESPN, Via Twitter

“He was an immediate impact player for the Tigers his freshman season in 2020, and he proved to be even more effective in his sophomore season, improving his game across the board. If he continues on this path, Simpson has a chance to be one of the highest, if not the first linebacker selected in the 2023 NFL draft.”

Alex Turri, Yahoo Sports.