Tharold Simon: 5 Things You Need to Know About the LSU Cornerback
The 2013 NFL draft is loaded with potential starting cornerbacks. Tharold Simon is just another name on that very, very talented list.
Compared to other cornerbacks in the draft, Simon is relatively unknown. Despite enjoying an extremely successful collegiate career, Simon was largely overshadowed throughout his stay at LSU.
Simon was forced to play behind the likes of Patrick Peterson, Morris Claiborne and Tyrann Mathieu. It's no wonder Simon wasn't making headlines at LSU; his fellow cornerbacks were headline machines.
Regardless of how well he is known, Simon is a very good cornerback. Here is everything you need to know about him.
Full Name: Tharold Simon
Birthday: March 6, 1991
Hometown: Eunice, Louisiana
High School: Eunice
Major: General Studies
Tharold Simon has always been a dynamic athlete. It became obvious in high school that Simon was a physically superior athlete, dominating games on both sides of the ball.
Simon's stellar high school career got him noticed by LSU, and the renowned football university made sure to offer him a scholarship.
Simon enjoyed a breakout year last season at LSU, and he decided to enter the NFL draft a year early.
(All information courtesy of LSUsports.net)
2010: Eight games (zero starts), eight tackles, one interception, three passes defended
2011: 13 games (two starts), 42 tackles, two interceptions, 10 passes defended, one forced fumble
2012: 13 games (13 starts), 45 tackles, four interceptions, nine passes defended
As soon as Simon joined the Tigers, it was clear that he was immensely talented. Unfortunately, however, it was also clear that he would not see much time as a starter.
In a loaded defensive backfield, Simon was stuck behind the likes of Patrick Peterson, Morris Claiborne and Tyrann Mathieu.
This, though, did not deter Simon from making as large an impact as possible, given the situation. In his freshman year, despite seeing little playing time, he managed to make his presence felt, breaking up three passes and even picking off one pass.
Then, after the 2010 season, Peterson entered the NFL draft, freeing up playing time for Simon. He became the primary backup cornerback, still stuck behind Claiborne and Mathieu.
Simon's increased playing time, however, proved to be extremely beneficial to the Tigers defense. He broke out onto the scene, becoming a coverage nightmare for opposing offenses.
Finally, last season, he got his chance to become a full-time starter; Mathieu left the team, and Claiborne entered the draft.
Simon took advantage of the opportunity, continuing to display his vast coverage skills.
And now, after an incredible junior season, Simon tests his luck in the draft, where he will likely be selected in one of the middle rounds.
(All stats courtesy of LSUsports.net)
- Height: 6' 2"
- Weight: 202 pounds
- Arm Length: 32.75"
- Hand Size: 8.75"
- 40-Yard Dash: 4.51 seconds
- Bench Press: 9 reps
- Vertical Jump: 34"
- Broad Jump: 128"
Pro Day Results
- 40-Yard Dash: 4.44 seconds
- Short Shuttle: 4.41 seconds
- Three-Cone Drill: 7 seconds
Long, lanky and athletic, Simon performed as expected at the NFL combine and at his pro day.
He put his size and speed on display, proving that he has the body to match up with NFL receivers. He runs a quick 40 time, and he has the height and long arms to break up passes deep downfield.
The one area where Simon must improve is his pure strength. Compared to other NFL cornerbacks, he is extremely weak, and this could allow opposing receivers at the next level to overpower him.
If Simon hits the gym and improves his strength, he can become a formidable NFL cornerback.
Simon was a dynamic athlete in high school. In addition to being a superstar cornerback, he recorded 671 yards and four touchdowns as a receiver and 122 yards and four touchdowns as a running back.
In college, Simon became a pass-swatting machine. He led LSU in passes defended in 2010—recording more than the likes of Tyrann Mathieu and Morris Claiborne. However, he was not satisfied with this impressive stat. He believed that most of those defended passes should have been interceptions.
And in order to improve at grabbing interceptions, Simon spent much of the offseason running routes as a wide receiver, hoping to improve his pass-catching ability.
Simon, however, has not had a perfect collegiate career. Before the 2012 season, he boasted that he was focusing on off-man coverage instead of press coverage, as he believed he had already mastered the latter. This belief appears to only have hurt Simon. Currently, the main factor keeping him out of the earlier rounds is his lack of press coverage skills. Maybe he should have focused more on it at LSU.
Simon was also suspended in 2011 for violating the team's drug policy.
Observations from around the web about Simon...
Has great height. Extremely long arms and frame. Tracks and locates the football well. the football well. Makes plays (22 pass breakups and seven interceptions) in three seasons. Fluid hips, can turn and run with receivers. Will use his hands throughout the route.
Simon is sure to draw a lot of interest based on his length and play-making ability, along with the fact that his hips are much more fluid than most other tall corners.
Simon's physical stature gives a huge advantage over his opposition. His height, long arms and wide frame make him difficult to deal with. His fluid hips and natural speed allows him to keep up with receivers downfield.
Not a quick-twitch athlete and lacks elite long-speed. Lacks the fluid hips or feet to quickly recover when he gets turned around. Needs extensive overhaul with his technique, getting too high in his backpedal. Needs to better understand situational football and allows too much of a cushion in short-yardage situations. Caught holding once receiver gains a step and gets too grabby in coverage, attracting penalties. Too undisciplined and needs to eliminate the mental errors. Suspect eye discipline and struggles anticipating routes. Needs to challenge receivers more at the line of scrimmage and do a better job in press. Struggles locating in man coverage downfield and will have a tough time holding up on an island at the pro level. One game suspension in 2011 for allegedly failing a drug test.
Despite all of his strengths, Simon comes with plenty of baggage. He does not possess elite speed, and his average footwork allows exceptional route-runners to get open quite easily.
He struggles pressing receivers, which causes him to get called for an excessive amount of holding penalties. He was also once suspended for failing a drug test.
Simon is a great player, but his weaknesses will drag down his stock on draft day.