A leader on and off the field, a legend in Ohio State's football history...wait, they got rid of those names; let's try something else. John Simon is a remarkable player. He may not possess elite athleticism or top-tier measurables, but his dedication to the game of football is almost unparalleled.
As expected, Simon wasn't a first round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. After looking at projections, it's difficult to pinpoint when he will hear his name called. Regardless of the round he's taken in or the team he lands with, Simon will be giving 110 percent like always. As he heads to the next level, we bid him farewell with a look at what he'll be bringing to your table on Sundays this fall.
After seeing action in all 13 games as a true freshman, Simon became a full-time starter the next three seasons. He recorded 154 total tackles, 43 tackles for loss and 20.5 sacks in 50 games played. The numbers look solid, but reading over a stat line won't tell you all you need to know about Simon.
Urban Meyer loves him. Like, really loves the guy. He went as far as to say, "If we have another child I want to name him Urban John Simon Meyer or something like that." Direct quote. Players like Simon don't come along every day. Watch Meyer's press conference after Ohio State defeated Cal 35-28 last September and see what he thinks of him. It gives you chills.
"He makes all of us look in the mirror and say, 'Are we doing enough for our team?'" said Meyer. The two-time captain provides instant leadership. Simon probably shouldn't have played against the Golden Bears. But, despite a nagging shoulder injury, he toughed it out and even delivered a sack that day. Don't worry about his toughness. He'll be the last player to ever have his drive called into question.
A phenomenal work ethic consistently appears as Simon's top quality. He doesn't quit on plays, ever. He'll be relentless in pursuit for your team. Where will he be lining up, though?
Simon is a versatile defender. He saw time and LE, RE, DT and LB in college, often playing in the LEO spot. His sole purpose in the NFL will likely be rushing the passer. His coverage skills aren't coveted. Simon struggled covering running backs and tight ends one-on-one at the Senior Bowl practices before withdrawing due to injury. He was announced as a linebacker for that game which some project him at the next level.
However, maybe working with NFL coaches will help improve this facet of his game. Maybe he is more talented dropping back than we know.
More on John Simon/DE-OLB/Ohio St:looked terrific in DL & OLB drills.Fluid and quick.Pass coverage skills & ability to drop surprising— Tony Pauline (@TonyPauline) March 25, 2013
A 4.62-second 40-yard dash at his pro day shows great speed when you're looking for edge rushers. That's just a shade under fifth pick in the draft Ziggy Ansah's Combine time. Plus, Simon is jacked. He didn't get to show of his strength on the bench press due to recent surgery on his shoulder, but he would have shined in that workout as well. Simon may be too bulked up, according to some scouts, as it can limit his fluidity. You try telling that guy to put down that weights.
His tweener status seems to deter some scouts, but line him up on the edge and say, "Hey, get after that guy under center," and you'll see results. Measuring just under 6'2", he doesn't have the "ideal" size for defensive ends. But isn't Elvis Dumervil 5'11"? His pro career seems to be progressing rather well.
Day 2 of the draft just might be his time.
Drafting John Simon gets you a tenacious defender with a great motor, work ethic and attitude. He can rush the passer standing up or putting his hand in the dirt. If he does fall to the later rounds, you're getting a steal. Simon looks to be venturing into a bright future in the NFL.