Linebacker Trenton Simpson

Clemson LB Trenton Simpson talks AFC West and versatility at NFL Combine

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Prospects speak at the annual NFL Combine, and Clemson linebacker Trenton Simpson shares his thoughts.

Raiders’ defensive coordinator Patrick Graham loves versatility. “Versatility” just so happens to be the one word that best describes Trenton Simpson’s game, per himself.

Simpson is confident he can do a bit of everything on the football field. With 13 sacks, 23 tackles for loss and five pass deflections since 2020, he might be right. Those numbers are exactly why the Clemson LB firmly believes he’s a three-down linebacker.

The one attribute Simpson believes sets him apart from other linebackers in this year’s draft class is his speed.

“I feel like I’m the fastest linebacker here,” Simpson said during the Combine on Wednesday. “I got a lot of speed.. so I got speed and physicality, so I feel like I can find the [running] back, find the quarterback every time,” he later added when asked how he felt about playing in traffic.

If “versatility” is the word that best describes Simpson, “confidence” is a close second. The 21-year-old linebacker is even excited to show off his abilities during Combine drills.

“When it’s time to go out there and run 40s and do drills, I know I’ll excel at that because I’ve been doing it my whole life.”

Simpson, a perfect fit with the Raiders, talks AFC West at the Combine…

The Las Vegas Raiders need help at linebacker, and Simpson provides an answer.

Even if the team manages to retain Denzel Perryman, who’s slated to be a free agent in March, there’s still a giant question mark presented at each of the remaining linebacker positions.

Simpson is able to play whichever linebacker position Patrick Graham assigns him.

How does Simpson feel about potentially playing in the AFC West, though?

On Wednesday, I asked the three-year Clemson Tiger what it would be like playing against quarterbacks such as Justin Herbert and Patrick Mahomes twice per year. His confidence shined the brightest.

“That would be a blessing,” Simpson stated. “I look forward to getting in the backfield, getting a couple sacks on Mahomes. It would definitely be a dream come true,” he added.

Simpson is listed as the 40th-best player on ESPN’s Big Board, while Pro Football Focus has him at 59. The Raiders hold the 38th-overall pick in this year’s draft.

*Top Photo: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

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