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Trenton Simpson (LB): a radioactive linebacker

While waiting for the post-season draft sheets, the editorial staff of DNA of Sports offers you a spotlight on the future nuggets who will join the NFL in 2023.

Trenton Simpson

Born June 14, 2001 in Charlotte, North Carolina
1m91 for 110 kilos
Linebacker, Clemson, junior

Smart like Liza Simpson and dangerous like her brother Bart, Trenton Simpson also possesses Homer’s unpredictability.

If I were a quality: versatility

If he is a different player from Isaiah Simmons (Cardinals), his predecessor at Clemson, like him he is a very versatile linebacker. And as it would be silly not to take advantage of the different qualities he can bring, his trainer does not hesitate to use Trenton Simpson in multiple ways, from one game to another.

This diverse array was notably at work against Wake Forest in 2021 (see end of article). Lined up on the defensive line to put pressure, on the second curtain in coverage of a receiver in the slot and even as Single High Safety (in the axis and 20 yards behind the line of engagement). He will have known everything in this match: chasing and tackling a runner, covering, blocking a space, reacting and changing his plans. He also knocked down the opposing quarterback by overflowing from the outside. Trenton Simpson can do it all. And do everything well!

If I was a fault: rushing

Because he is capable of burst games, Trenton Simpson tends to sometimes rush, forgetting that offensive players, too, practice this sport based on feints! Out of position, he can no longer intervene. Knowing how to be patient is often the best tactic to adopt in defense. A mental discipline that is often difficult for players with the qualities to regularly make an impact game.

If I were a stat: 12.5 tackles for losses, 6.5 sacks in 2021

If tackling is important for a linebacker, doing so while inflicting a loss of yards is even better. Trenton Simpson has done it 12.5 times in 13 games in 2021! 6.5 times, he was able to put an opposing quarterback on the ground (1 sack shared with another player). And because the sacks cause the opponent to retreat, they are therefore counted in the tackles for losses: 12.5 tackles for losses including 6.5 sacks.

This statistic highlights the side versatile of the player: his tackles for loss are as much a takedown by the quarterback as a stop by the runners before they cross the line of engagement.

If I were a date: with the quarterbacks

The question every quarterback asks every game: where is he? ” What is he going to do ? is the second. And there are plenty of quality quarterbacks on his way in 2022. This Saturday, September 24, 2022, Trenton Simpson was able to upset Wake Forest bomber Sam Hartman. Then will come the turn of Devin Leary (North Carolina State), Phil Jurkovec (Boston College) and Tyler Van Dyke (Miami). Ah and Spencer Rattler too (South Carolina).

It’s a safe bet that everyone, disappointed, will shout “D’oh! very often seeing Trenton Simpson annihilate their offensive intentions.

If I was an NFL player: Quay Walker (Packers)

Tall, strong and very athletic! This is the seductive profile offered by Quay Walker when he left Georgia. However, his qualities do not seem to be exploited at best in Green Bay: in a zone system that is more passive (in reaction) than aggressive, Quay Walker is still doing well. And if 3 NFL games are insufficient to draw a conclusion, his debut seems to justify his selection in the 1st round in 2022: 18 tackles in 3 games (only 1 missed). Strong and fast like his elder, Trenton Simpson could experience the same success from his rookie season in 2023.

Because no comparison can be perfect, his versatility and speed can also evoke Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (Browns). His ability to overflow from the outside is reminiscent of that of Micah Parsons (Cowboys).

If I was a draft pick: 10-20

If game intelligence takes precedence over any other quality, a linebacker recognizing the game, but being unable to intervene in time, is useless! This is why linebackers who have proven their “football IQ” as well as superior athletic qualities are prized: Trenton Simpson ticks too many boxes to escape the 1st round in 2023. Not to mention that the character of a young man raised by a father sergeant major in the army, will reassure the evaluators.

If I were an NFL team: Detroit Lions

If several franchises will be interested in Trenton Simpson, that of the Lions is the one that makes the most sense: Detroit will have 2 choices in the 1st round in 2023 and Alex Anzalone will be out of contract. Above all, the Clemson player is just perfect for their defensive system: the Stack Defense.

This diagram organizes the defense in 335 (3 defensive linemen, 3 linebackers and 5 defensive backs). This diagram therefore aligns 6 men in what is called the box, and with 6 players it is well filled (stacked). A 335 which could even be broken down into a 3233: three linemen + 2 linebackers each attacking a space between the players on the offensive line. Then, a linebacker with two par safeties and others varying their assignments: coverage, blitz and of course defense against the run. Enough to confuse the tracks! The depth being managed by a safety and two cornerbacks.

The main quality of this system is that it is basic and requires little learning: a “man to man” defense where the players know what they have to do. This saves time when the defense has many young players, which is the case in Detroit.

With his ability to chase runners or drop back into coverage, pressure from the outside or more on the inside, Trenton Simpson would be like a fish in water in this scheme (position with the W, below ). If his namesake Homer “works” in a nuclear power plant, in Detroit Trenton Simpson could become a real reactor!


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