The New York Giants are in the market for a new linebacker this season after the 2022 season exposed the lack of talent the team possessed at that position. Picking late in the first round, the Giants could target a linebacker prospect at the end of the first round.
Trenton Simpson out of Clemson could be a target for the Giants with the 25th pick in this year’s draft. The 2023 NFL Draft class is thin at the linebacker position, but Simpson stands out among the rest as the top-ranked prospect in this class. Analysts project the Clemson product as a late first-round selection, making him a prime target for the Giants.
What Clemson LB Trenton Simpson could bring to the Giants
Trenton Simpson is the top off-ball linebacker on Pro Football Focus’s 2023 Big Board and the 29th-ranked overall player on The Draft Network’s list of top 100 prospects in this year’s class. TDN describes Simpson as “an impressive athlete” that possesses next-level versatility. He is 6-foot-3, 230 pounds, and is projected to run a sub-4.40s 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Simpson was a two-year starter at Clemson who finished his collegiate career with 187 tackles (22.5 for loss), 12.5 sacks, six pass breakups, and three forced fumbles in 1,443 snaps over 37 games (27 starts) from 2020-22.
He’ll run through blocks and you rarely see him catch a blow as compared to delivering one. His ability to run through blocks is among the best in the class and he showcased elite closing burst when spying quarterbacks underneath—which he did frequently in 2022.The Draft Network on Clemson LB Trenton Simpson
Trenton Simpson has “explosive hitting power” and “electric range in coverage and pursuit,” per The Draft Network. Giants defensive coordinator Wink Martindale runs an ultra-aggressive scheme that relies on its inside linebackers to make athletic plays in the middle of the field. Simpson fits that bill perfectly, possessing rare tools and athleticism to get involved as a pass-rusher and coverage linebacker.
Simpson has room to improve as a traditional run-defending stack linebacker. At times, the Clemson product can be too aggressive and over-pursue opposing rushers. But Simpon’s athleticism and instincts are worth banking on as those tools provide the linebacker prospect with unlimited potential.
Wink Martindale could mold Trenton Simpson into a prototypical modern-day linebacker that relies on his athleticism and usage to create success at the next level. Considering the lack of talent and athleticism the Giants have at the position, Simpson could be an instant impact player for Big Blue if they were to select him with the 25th pick in the draft.