As mix drills get beneath approach, Lions intrigued by Clemson do-it-all linebacker

INDIANAPOLIS — Dan Campbell is the proud son of a Marine. Both of his grandfathers served in World War II. His great-uncle was a Navy pilot. His brother was an Army man in Desert Storm.

The Detroit Lions head coach comes from a really lengthy line of navy household.

And he’s very intrigued by Trenton Simpson, a do-it-all linebacker from Clemson who took his first breaths on this world on an Army base.

“They asked a lot about my father, and they have a lot of respect for my father,” Simpson mentioned of Dan Campbell on the NFL mix in Indianapolis. “I love that, because I have a lot of respect for my father as well. So being able to get that from the coaches and understanding what it takes to be a military guy and be away from your family, they have a large appreciation for that, so I respect that.”

Simpson’s father is Timothy Simpson, a Ranger who was deployed 17 occasions throughout a 26-year profession within the U.S. Army. Simpson was born on a base — at Fort Benning in Georgia — and has spent his life round navy personnel and every little thing that comes with that life.

The self-discipline, the work ethic, the punctuality.

“It’s definitely taught me a lot about discipline and being on time,” Simpson mentioned. “In the military, you have to be your brother’s keeper. That’s what I pride myself on.”

Simpson additionally occurs to be the quickest linebacker on this 12 months’s NFL draft, and will blow up the mix when drills get beneath approach later immediately at Lucas Oil Stadium. At 6-foot-3 and 240 kilos, Simpson can bench press 375 kilos and has run the 4-yard sprint within the 4.3s.

Freaky stuff.

So freaky, Simpson moved between all three ranges of Clemson’s protection over time. He performed 50% of his snaps as an edge defender in 2020, earlier than transferring to the slot (39.5% of snaps) and field linebacker (36.4 %) in 2021, then shifting to extra of an off-ball position this previous season (65% of snaps as a stack linebacker).

He can cowl, that’s for positive, permitting simply 353 passing yards on 66 targets in his profession, or 5.3 yards per goal. That’s positive to draw the attention of a group in search of linebackers who can cowl everywhere in the area.

To that finish, Simpson is paying homage to former Clemson do-it-all security Isaiah Simmons, who went eighth general to the Cardinals in 2020. Simmons went on to make the all-rookie group that 12 months, then added one other 204 tackles, 9 tackles for loss and three interceptions the final two seasons.

“I feel like we’re very alike,” Simpson mentioned of Simmons. “Just watching his tape, he was a huge reason I decided to come to Clemson. Just watching the way he transitioned to the NFL is truly amazing, because I was able to watch him at Clemson as a recruit. I look at him as a big brother for sure.”

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