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Can the Commanders Afford to Draft Trenton Simpson?

Hogs Haven takes a look at 2023 NFL Draft prospects that could contribute to the Commanders

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NCAA Football: Clemson at Boston College Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Trenton Simpson, LB

School: Clemson | Conference: ACC

College Experience: Junior | Age: 21

Height / Weight: 6’3” / 230 lbs

Projected Draft Status: 1st - 2nd Round

Player Comparison: Rashaan Evans

College Statistics

Defense & Fumbles Table
Tackles Def Int Fumbles
Year School Conf Class Pos G Solo Ast Tot Loss Sk Int Yds Avg TD PD FR Yds TD FF
*2020 Clemson ACC FR LB 8 17 11 28 6.5 4.0 0 0 0 0 0 1
*2021 Clemson ACC SO LB 13 42 23 65 12.5 6.5 0 0 0 2 0 0
*2022 Clemson ACC JR LB 12 41 31 72 4.0 2.5 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 2
Career Clemson 100 65 165 23.0 13.0 0 0 0 5 0 0 0 3
Provided by CFB at Sports Reference: View Original Table
Generated 2/12/2023.

Player Overview

Hailing from a military family, Trenton Simpson was a five-star OLB recruit in high school in North Carolina. After decomitting from Auburn, Simpson chose Clemson to remain closer to home. With Isaiah Simmons departing for the NFL, Simpson was asked to use his elite athleticism to fill his shoes. He had a modest freshman year, but took a major step forward his sophomore year with 12.5 tackles for a loss and 6.5 sacks. A change in defensive coordinator last year meant a change in role for Simpson. This past season, he played more of a traditional linebacker role and reached a career high in tackles. Bruce Feldman also included him on his 2022 Freaks List.


  • Uses elite athleticism to make plays all over the field
  • Substantial striking power when he builds up speed
  • Effective rushing the passer with blitzes and stunts
  • Athleticism allows him to play both zone and coverages well


  • Can be a bit too aggressive and overrun ball carriers
  • Struggles disengaging from bigger blockers
  • Little ball production (no INTs)

Let’s see his work

How he fits on the Commanders

Even with Jamin Davis improving his play in year two, the Commanders need help at linebacker. Mainstay Cole Holcomb is a free agent along with Jon Bostic, David Mayo, Khaleke Hudson (restricted free agent), and Milo Eifler (exclusive rights free agent). The group could look drastically different next season. If the Commanders want a player that will fly around the field and make plays in the front seven, Simpson is an ideal candidate. But with Simpson possibly being the first linebacker off the board, can the Commanders afford to draft him? Even if they plug holes in the roster in free agency, I doubt the team uses the 16th pick on him. I can only see it in a trade back scenario or if Simpson drops into the second round. As much as I would like to add a sideline-to-sideline linebacker that can make plays in the backfield, I think the Commanders would be prudent to consider other options at the position.