John Simon 2013 NFL Draft prospect notes

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 5: John Simon #54 of the Ohio State Buckeyes celebrates a third down stop against the Indiana Hoosiers in the first half at Ohio Stadium on November 5, 2011 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

John Simon
6'2, 260 pounds | Defensive lineman | Ohio State

Games watched: Illinois, Wisconsin, Akron, Miami, Penn State, Michigan

First word: John Simon is an enigma. He's a big-time hustle player and the unquestioned leader of Ohio State's defense. Simon led Ohio State in tackles for loss (16) and sacks (7) as a junior. During spring practice this year, Simon was playing so much better than everyone that coaches took him off the field. Simon has quickly become a favorite of Urban Meyer. The new OSU head coach has spoken glowingly of Simon's toughness, leadership and character, comparing him to Tim Tebow.

Also similar to Tebow, it's somewhat unclear how Simon will translate to the NFL. It's uncommon to see successful 6-foot2, 270-pound defensive linemen in the NFL. Simon also doesn't look to have the natural athleticism to simply shift out to linebacker. Simon may need to be utilized as he is at OSU as a hybrid Leo-style defender.

All-American in 2011. Named to the Nagurski Trophy watch list as a senior.

Strengths:

Simon is an incredibly versatile player and Ohio State lines him up all over the place. He's been used a lot at tackle, but Simon was at his best in 2011 playing end.

Pound-for-pound, Simon is one of the strongest players in college football. He has reportedly bench pressed 225 pounds 48 times and should be a star at the NFL Combine.

Employs a solid, but sometimes reckless, spin move. Simon often uses this to work to the inside.

Simon's game is based on his effort. Citing a player's effort has become cliche, but Simon truly gets by thanks to his motor. His effort is relentless. Simon fights with his hands, never gives up on a play and is still playing hard in the fourth quarter.

Weaknesses:

Get off on the line of scrimmage is slow. Although Simon makes up for it with his effort, good NFL linemen will be able to knock him off the line because he's slow at the snap.

Size is the obvious issue with Simon. When he gets pressure up field, long-armed linemen with solid technique will give Simon problems.

Doesn't generate a great leg drive to push blockers back in the run game. Gets by more on quickness.

Is a bit of a man without a position. What makes him successful in college (effort and smarts) will get neutralized to a degree in the NFL. Simon would do well to pick the brain of OSU linebackers coach Mike Vrabel, who was similar to Simon in playing style.

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