Trenton Simpson grew up idolizing former Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith. Now he’s wanting forward to working alongside the All-Professional in Baltimore.
The Ravens used the No. 86 common resolve inside the NFL draft on the earlier Clemson standout Friday evening time, using their second selection on a spot most didn’t enterprise as an area of need. No matter Simpson was lacking inside the eyes of the other 31 teams that triggered him to fall to the middle of the third spherical, he positively makes up for in confidence.
“I can slot in any scheme,” Simpson acknowledged. “I’m probably the most versatile linebacker on this draft. Y’all will not be going to remorse this choose. I’m going to go down as one of many greats for the Baltimore Ravens.”
That’s a daring assertion considering the crew’s historic previous on the place — Corridor of Famer Ray Lewis, 2011 Defensive Participant of the 12 months and two-time All-Professional Terrell Suggs and 1997 Defensive Rookie of the 12 months and four-time Professional Bowl selection Peter Boulware, to name numerous.
Then there’s Smith. He came over ultimate season in a commerce with the Chicago Bears, who acquired the Ravens’ second-round resolve this 12 months as part of the deal. Between Chicago and Baltimore, he had 169 tackles, 103 of them solo, along with 11 tackles for loss and 4 1/2 sacks on his resolution to being chosen for the Professional Bowl.
However Simpson has motive to be comfortable with turning into a member of a unit that moreover incorporates rising youthful star Patrick Queen.
The 6-foot-2, 235-pound Simpson was ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr.’s prime obtainable participant on the board on the time the Ravens picked him and was broadly thought-about one in every of many prime inside linebackers inside the draft, given his versatility and that he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.43 seconds.
A former working once more and a five-star recruit in highschool, Simpson — the No. 1 open air linebacker inside the 2020 recruiting class — allowed merely 406 yards in his occupation on 612 safety snaps in three years at Clemson, in accordance with Professional Soccer Focus. He was a hybrid defender for the Tigers, with coaches normally relying on his versatility by using him as a nickel on one play and an edge rusher the next.
Alongside the best way through which, he racked up 87 tackles, along with 22 1/2 for loss, 12 1/2 sacks, six transfer breakups and three compelled fumbles over 37 video video games (27 of them begins) at Clemson, the place he was a Butkus Award semifinalist ultimate season after tying for third on the crew in tackles with 77, along with 4 for loss, along with garnering 2 1/2 sacks, three transfer breakups and two compelled fumbles in 616 snaps over 12 begins.
“He’s gonna assist us quite a lot of other ways,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh acknowledged. “I see him as a four-down linebacker finally.”
What Simpson’s selection means for fellow Queen’s future, nonetheless, stays to be seen.
The Ravens have until Tuesday to find out on the 23-year-old’s fifth-year selection to carry him on the roster through 2024. Simpson and Queen are comparable avid gamers in some methods, and though Queen was one in every of many Ravens’ good spots on safety ultimate 12 months, posting a career-high 117 tackles, choosing up the selection would worth $12.277 million, in accordance with Over The Cap.
Shortly after Simpson was drafted, Queen tweeted, “Sheesh.”
Ravens primary supervisor Eric DeCosta acknowledged the crew is extra prone to wait until the deadline to resolve about Queen’s chance.
“Patrick is, in my thoughts, one of many higher [weak-side] linebackers within the league,” DeCosta acknowledged. “I believe he’s a Professional Bowl linebacker within the making. In Trenton, we get a man who was actually the easiest participant accessible.”
As for Simpson, DeCosta acknowledged the Ravens had seven to eight avid gamers that they had been considering inside the third spherical, a spot many anticipated the Ravens to take a cornerback after choosing Boston School massive receiver Zay Flowers at No. 22 common on Thursday. By the point their resolve bought right here spherical, that they had been all the way down to 1 establish.
“It’s a must to take the perfect participant,” he acknowledged. “That’s what we do.”
Added Ravens director of participant personnel Joe Hortiz: “If you put the movie on, you watch him go from sideline to sideline. He can shut floor in a short time in pursuit.”
Put one different method, Simpson who’s any individual who should see participating in time in numerous roles for the Ravens, along with on specific teams.
“My strongest place is within the field,” Simpson acknowledged. “I need to adapt to any scheme and simply be a playmaker. That’s how I pleasure myself — making performs and being versatile.”
He moreover relishes the possibility to be taught alongside two of the league’s most interesting in Smith and Queen, two avid gamers Simpson acknowledged he’s watched highlights of.
“I like the best way they play,” he acknowledged. “They play like me. They play quick, bodily soccer they usually hit something that’s transferring. I’m excited to come back in and convey my skills and study from the vets.”
That Simpson was nonetheless obtainable to the Ravens the place he was drafted was one factor of a shock, he acknowledged. It moreover served as a motivator in opposition to his critics.
“It was positively longer than I anticipated, however this was nicely well worth the wait,” Simpson acknowledged. “To be a Baltimore Raven, to go in there with the fellows you have already got within the locker room and so as to add me and my mindset, we’re gonna be nice. We’re gonna win some championships, positively. I’m able to work.”