How Ravens might make the most of rookie linebacker Trenton Simpson in one in all NFL’s greatest defenses

Trenton Simpson’s first second as a Raven purchased off to an amusing if not clumsy start.

Getting into Day 2 of ultimate month’s NFL draft, Baltimore had seven players targeted for its Spherical 3 select, No. 86 basic. By the point their flip bought right here up, the Clemson linebacker was the ultimate title nonetheless obtainable on the itemizing, so widespread supervisor Eric DeCosta phoned Simpson to let him know he was the Ravens’ different. The solely draw back: Simpson hung up on him.

It was in any case solely a momentary hiccup amid the emotion and pleasure emanating from Simpson’s Stanfield, North Carolina, residence.

As for the Ravens’ alternative of Simpson, it was mildly surprising, given they already had two of the NFL’s best linebackers remaining season in All-Professional Roquan Smith and rising 23-year-old Patrick Queen and a further pressing have to find a cornerback to play reverse Marlon Humphrey. However in some methods, it wasn’t.

Simpson match the Ravens’ M.O. of taking among the finest participant obtainable, Queen’s pricey fifth-year alternative was on the verge of being declined with $100 million already devoted to Smith for the next 5 years, and Simpson’s traits match Baltimore’s mannequin of play.

Simpson has giant receiver tempo (his 4.43-second time inside the 40-yard dash was merely behind fellow Ravens rookie Zay Flowers’ 4.42), his fixed pursuit and vitality impressed the Ravens and he’s a Swiss Military knife defender who was deployed in nickel safety, as an edge rusher and inside the area in three years at Clemson.

That versatility (and tempo) is one function the Ravens will profit from him on specific teams this season.

“It was fairly simple to like this man,” Ravens specific teams coordinator Chris Horton Jr. talked about remaining week. “You activate the tape, and in addition you watch him fly spherical, you watch him get to the soccer, you watch him make performs.

“Once I had the privilege to judge that man as a particular teamer, it was a no brainer for me; I need that type of participant. That man has the traits — these Raven traits — that we search for; he was powerful, he was quick, he was bodily. He liked enjoying soccer, and his vitality was simply off the chart.”

As for the place else the Ravens plan to utilize Simpson, whom the Ravens purchased to see on their observe self-discipline for the first time in rookie minicamp, it’s too early to know for positive. However the safety under second-year coordinator Mike Macdonald is believed for giving myriad hybrid and disguised appears to be.

Doing so has been extraordinarily environment friendly. Within the second half of ultimate season, the Ravens had the NFL’s second-best safety behind solely the San Francisco 49ers in anticipated components added, ranked third in effectivity in Soccer Outsiders’ DVOA and fifth in yards per play. Over the final word six video video games of the widespread season, Ravens opponents averaged merely 192.5 passing yards per recreation, with a 4-3 touchdown-to-interception ratio, and three.8 yards per carry.

And whereas they’re with out defensive end Calais Campbell and his 5 1/2 sacks from remaining season after he signed with the Atlanta Falcons, it’s nonetheless potential they could ship once more edge rusher Justin Houston, whose 9 1/2 sacks in 2022 led the workers, or one different veteran transfer rusher. There’s moreover rookie edge rusher Tavius Robinson, whom Baltimore drafted out of Ole Miss inside the fourth spherical.

As for Simpson, a check out his earlier possibly portends his perform with the Ravens, on the very least for now.

In his remaining two seasons at Clemson, he allowed solely 353 yards on 66 targets — a means that’s ultra-important at linebacker in presently’s NFL. Over 37 occupation video video games for the Tigers, he had 87 tackles — along with 22 1/2 for loss — 12 1/2 sacks, six transfer breakups and three compelled fumbles with a propensity to chop on the ball.

Whereas Simpson’s tackling technique isn’t flawless — his read-and-react time is a tick slower than the place it have to be and he typically will get misplaced inside the wash inside the heart — these are points the Ravens actually really feel he can improve. His movement talents, within the meantime, are far more very similar to that of a defensive once more than a linebacker, which could make him an impactful defender immediately.

A check out one different Raven moreover provides a clue. Security Kyle Hamilton carried out in all places within the defensive backfield, along with specific teams, all through his rookie yr sooner than lastly settling in to alter into an environment friendly starter late remaining season.

Coach John Harbaugh talked about he sees Simpson as a four-down linebacker lastly. However there are numerous areas he thinks he can fill in until then.

“[He] seems quick, [is] choosing issues up, [he is a] excellent communicator,” Harbaugh talked about. “Clearly, there’s loads for these guys on their plate; there’s loads to be taught, however he’s off to a very good begin.”

There’s moreover a protracted itemizing of legendary linebackers who’ve carried out for the Ravens, along with Corridor of Famer Ray Lewis, 2011 Defensive Participant of the Yr and two-time All-Professional Terrell Suggs and 1997 Defensive Rookie of the Yr and four-time Professional Bowl alternative Peter Boulware, amongst others.

Simpson isn’t shying away from that historic previous, and he’s determined to be taught from Smith and others.

“I can slot in any scheme,” he talked about the evening time he purchased drafted. “You’re not going to remorse this decide, and I’m going to maximise each alternative, and Trent Simpson goes to go down as one of many greats for the Baltimore Ravens, consider that.”

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Originally posted 2023-05-20 16:15:23.


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