By now, you all are pretty well aware how enamored I am with Ohio State linebacker John Simon and Penn State linebacker Michael Mauti, and I am hoping that at least one of them is a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers by the time the day is done.
As far as Mauti goes, I don\’t think that I need to explain his situation again. He might even go undrafted thanks to all of the knee injuries that he has suffered. If he can make it back and eventually play the BUCK position, that would be great. If he can\’t, that\’s how it goes.
Simon, who has played on the Buckeyes defensive line as well as the LEO position, has had me intrigued most of the offseason and even more so after reading what Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau said about him while in attendance at his private pro day.
“I know that this is a relentless football player, and a strong character too. He\’s going to be an asset wherever he goes,” LeBeau told The-Ozone. “I would just be looking to see where the best place for him is, to give him his best chance to play, and what we would be asking him to do. I\’ll continue to look.”
As I have mentioned about Simon previously, he is likely too undersized to play defensive end and doesn\’t necessarily have the classic build and bend of a 3-4 outside linebacker, which the Steelers no longer need anyways after drafting Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones in the first round. Outside of offensive linemen, who can sometimes make the move inside to guard from the tackle position, I am not a big fan of drafting players with the idea of asking them to play a total different position than the one they played in college. With Simon, however, I wonder if he could make the move inside and play the BUCK position.
The Youngstown, Ohio native is very strong, smart and possesses, as LeBeau says, a relentlessness. He is a workout warrior and a leader both on and off the field.
As one of my readers pointed out, as far as his measurables go, Simon\’s numbers match up with those posted by inside linebacker prospects, Arthur Brown, Manti Te\’o, Alec Ogletree and Khaseem Greene, to name a few. As far as character and football smarts go, I am willing to bet that Simon outshines all four of the aforementioned players in that area with ease.
Simon, like Mauti, is a football player and a team such as the Steelers can never have too many of those. I am not going to hold my breath that he will be drafted by the Steelers on day three, but if he is, it wouldn\’t surprise me if they tried to move him inside either. I bet he can do it.