Trenton Simpson Complete NFL Draft Profile (Coverage Skills Set Simpson Apart at the Linebacker Spot)
By Larry Rupp
Clemson linebacker Trenton Simpson is eligible for the 2023 NFL Draft following his standout college career. A third-team All-ACC talent, Simpson showcased versatility with the Tigers as he was asked to play all over the place on defense. He could hear his name called as early as the first round in April.
Here's everything you need to know about Trenton Simpson heading into the 2023 NFL Draft.
Trenton Simpson Draft Stock & Mock Draft Projections
New Orleans Saints
Pro Football Network
New York Jets
Mock draft sources accurate as of 4/19: Walter Football, Sporting News, CBS Sports, Pro Football Network, Mel Kiper, Todd McShay, ESPN.
Projected Draft Round: Round 1 (2), Round 2 (3), Round 3 (2)
Projected Team: Saints (1), Vikings (1), Broncos (1), Jets (1), Bills (1), Cowboys (1), Steelers (1)
Trenton Simpson Scouting Report
Simpson committed to Clemson as a top-20 overall recruit and wasted no time making an impact on the defensive side. He logged 28 total tackles (6.5 for loss) to go along with 4.0 sacks in eight games as a freshman. Simpson then improved with 65 total tackles (12.5 for loss) and 6.5 sacks in 2021.
The North Carolina native finished his college career by posting 72 total tackles (4.0 for loss), 2.5 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles across 12 games in 2022. Simpson garnered third-team All-ACC honors for his efforts and was able to earn his Bachelor's Degree in Communications before departing.
Highlighted strengths of Simpson's game revolve around his versatility. He was used all over the defense while at Clemson and excelled in pass coverage, which is crucial for linebackers in a pass-heavy NFL. Simpson's ability to run through blocks with physicality sticks out on game film as well.
Simpson is not a prospect without flaws, though, as he saw his production decrease when taking on a traditional stack linebacker role. He also lacks a capability to consistently set the edge when it comes to rush defense. Nevertheless, Simpson could shine if he lands with the right NFL coaching staff.
Trenton Simpson NFL Draft Prediction
Simpson has the instincts needed to fall back into coverage in pass defense and move up to the line of scrimmage in rush defense. He is rarely caught off guard or in a bad position, which makes him an intriguing prospect for defensive coordinators. It also makes his draft stock quite unpredicatable.
Simpson could hear his name called in any of the first three rounds of the draft, so I'll focus on fit for this projection. The Steelers are in need of a coverage linebacker as TJ Watt is best utilized disrupting the quarterback and Alex Highsmith broke out as a pass-rushing beast with 14.5 sacks last season.
Head coach Mike Tomlin already reportedly met with Simpson for dinner at the NFL Combine, which shows that at least a bit of interest exists. The Steelers could opt to play it safe and take Simpson at the start of the second round or hope he is still on the board when the No. 49 overall pick arrives.
Prediction: Pittsburgh Steelers (Round 2, 32 overall)
Check out more NFL Draft content from The Duel:
Trenton Simpson NFL Combine Results
Trenton Simpson Clemson Stats
Tackles For Loss
Trenton Simpson Clemson Highlights
Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.