John Simon Scouting Report

February 13th, 2013

John Simon lacks a definable NFL position (photo from Cleveland.com)


QB / RB / FB / WR / TE / OT / OG / OC / DT / DE / OLB / ILB / CB / SAF
Prospect: John Simon, OLB, Ohio State
Height: 6’1”
Weight: 256 lbs
Grade: 6.36 (Grading Scale)

Scouting Report:

Athleticism:
+/-Compact player with a thick, muscular build, frame definitely maxed out though
-Struggles to chase plays down in the open field, top end speed limited for a linebacker prospect
-Lateral agility not what it needs to be for a smaller defender, limits ability to get off blocks and into pursuit
+Quick off the snap and can shoot gaps, very aggressive player

Intelligence/Effort:
+High energy player with a relentless motor, makes up for athletic deficiencies with high effort
-Struggles to pick up the ball consistently with his eyes, lack of height limits overall ball awareness
+Used in a number of positions across the defensive line during career at Ohio State

Pass Rush:
+Very technically sound pass rusher with low pad level and developed hand usage
+Strong hands to control blockers with a heavy initial punch
+Quick and effective spin move off of contact, heaviliy reliant on it, also works in an effective swim move
+/-Clear lack of combination pass rush moves, almost all moves are initial contact moves with no creativity after
-Speed rush very limited, if he wins outside on initial move the tackle can usually still redirect and make up for it
-Turns his back to the ball too often in general, usually with an ineffective swim move
-Very limited ability to bat passes if any at all, doesn’t get off the ground and is rarely in passing lanes

Run Support:
+/-Plays with very low pad level, doesn’t make great use of it as a run defender, mostly wants to penetrate and make plays in the backfield
-Struggles to hold gap discipline due to inability to anchor at the point of attack, resorts to shooting backside gaps and trying to chase
-Doesn’t stack and shed at a high enough rate even though he has the hand usage ability to create space for himself
-No experience playing from a standing position or from one with a read and react requirement from a position of space

Coverage:
-No pass coverage experience, athletic ability not promising for future prospects
-Stiff hips and heavy fit a big hindrance for him in space, lacks suddenness to break quickly on the ball

Overall:
John Simon had a tremendous career at Ohio State as a whole. He was one of only 8 players in Buckeye history to be a two-time captain. Simon is well known to be a strong leader of the team, earning the praise of head coach Urban Meyer. His production after four years was nothing to write off either, recording 20.5 sacks and 43 tackles for loss. All those things are nice. When it comes down to it though, John Simon is pretty maxed out as a football player. His technique is very sound and he gives you maximum effort. But he’s not going to get any stronger or any more athletic. He also lacks a definite position. That’s his biggest problem. He’s small for a defensive end prospect, yet he’s never played from a position of space and could be exposed for a lack of speed or quickness. It’s tough to see Simon ever being a three-down defender in the league. The best bet is as a situational pass rusher somewhere. A guy whose future prospects are as limited as John Simon’s definitely cannot be drafted until at least the 5th round, and I believe that’s generous in this instance.—Darren Page

Scouting Notes:

Ohio State vs. Michigan State
• Blows past right guard with a quick swim move, ball comes out just in time
• Squeezes inside a cut-off block on a run to the opposite side, gets ahold of Le’Veon Bell to finish the play
• Gets hands into chest of left tackle and throws him effectively, squeezes through inside gap as left guard comes to help, chases QB from the pocket
• Spins effectively off of contact and wins around the corner in pass rush
• Consistently making plays against the run crashing inside
• Dominating tackles with hands, locks into the blocker’s chest and throws him off balance
• Spins to the inside before Bell bounces a run to his side, struggles to change directions and get back outside

Ohio State vs. Nebraska
• Blows past left tackle with a swim move to the inside, plants Taylor Martinez from his blind side
• Is let free off the snap, runs past the blocker awaiting him and chases Martinez off his spot
• Blows right past left tackle with another swim move, times it perfectly swats away blocker’s inside hand perfectly
• Slides off of a one on one block against the tight end on a read option keep up the middle by Martinez, makes the play for a TFL
• Major miscommunication between right tackle and guard, let Simon comes unblocked from 5 technique position for an easy sack
• No hesitation as unblocked defender against read option, blows up the running back as soon as he takes the handoff
• Wins around corner with a simple speed rush, forces a Martinez fumble as he sacks him

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