Fourth Round: 129th Pick
John Simon isn't the most physically impressive defensive end in this draft, but he more than makes up for it with his effort and leadership.
The Ohio State product was a big leader of the program, and had an effective senior season which helped boost his draft stock. He could become a man without a position, however, and NFL teams will need to decide how to use him at the next level.
+ Solid, thick upper body
+ Plays with a very high motor
+ Pursues the ball and tackles well
+ Great leader, team captain
- Issues with height and length
- Not explosive off the line
- Doesn't have great pass-rush moves
- May need to change to a 3-4 OLB
Simon definitely doesn't have desired measurables for a 4-3 DE. He's only 6'1" and has average 33 1/4" arms. He's strong, as evidenced by his weight at 257 lbs., although he has not done the bench press during the pre-draft process due to a shoulder injury.
He held an individual workout after Ohio State's pro day because of the shoulder surgery, and had a 4.62 40-yard dash, 34-inch vertical, and 10'1" broad jump, all very solid numbers.
Simon plays with a ton of heart, which is obvious on tape. He has a great motor, playing through the whistle and always going all-out on every snap.
He was a two-time captain for the Buckeyes. He also was slowed by a knee injury during 2012, but played through the pain en route to being named the Big Ten's Defensive Player of the Year.
Ohio State plays a lot of 4-3, which is where Simon looks most comfortable. He played almost exclusively with his hand on the ground, lined up on the tackle's outside shoulder.
Simon gets a lot of his pressure based on strength and determination. He has adequate flexibility and decent technique, but he mostly gets by on straight effort.
His hand usage is very good, however, and he compensates for his shorter arms by having violent, active hands which he uses to keep the offensive lineman from getting ahold of him. But he isn't super quick, and doesn't have any great moves in his arsenal.
Against the Run
Simon is very solid against the run. He is patient and instinctual, which is the perfect combination for a defensive end to have. He can contain and wait for the back to make his move before disengaging and pursuing the ball.
Simon is an exceptional tackler in all facets. He takes good angles to the ball, and hits with a lot of force while using solid technique. Once he gets the ball-carrier in his grasp, he will not let go.
Potential NFL Role
Simon is in a bit of a pickle here. He doesn't have the length to be a great pass-rusher in the NFL as a 4-3 DE. He also doesn't have the mass or strength to be a 3-4 DE. His best bet may be to lose a little weight, get quicker, and push outside as a linebacker.
NFL Draft Projection