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2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Jaylin Simpson (DB – Auburn)

2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Jaylin Simpson (DB – Auburn)

FantasyPros will be taking a look at early NFL Draft scouting reports before the Combine in March. Here’s a look at Auburn defensive back Jaylin Simpson.

2024 NFL Draft Guide

2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Jaylin Simpson

Jaylin Simpson (DB – Auburn)

6’1″ – 178 lbs.

Background:

A four-star recruit, Jaylin Simpson began his collegiate career as a cornerback. Played very sparingly in 2019. He started once in eight appearances the following year, allowing just four out of 14 targets to be completed. Started in five out of 11 games in 2021, allowing 21/41 passing (51.2%) for 242 yards, four touchdowns, one interception and five breakups. Started in six out of 12 games in 2022 — 20/36, 268 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions and three breakups. Moved to safety this year and had 36 tackles and four interceptions.

Positives:

A three-year contributor who has experience at both safety and cornerback. Typically worked on the boundary in previous years before playing primarily as a high safety this year but will take some snaps out of the slot and box as well. Has a tall frame with good length. Quick feet and good balance in his backpedal. Typically looks fluid flipping his hips when pattern-matching. Range is a plus. Able to shade over the slot and stick with opposing receivers down the field, showing easy movement skills. Looks fast when driving on a spot. Has a nose for sniffing out screens. Has impressive length and flexibility to contest throws at the catch point. Came down with four interceptions this season as a first-year safety. Typically does a good job of breaking down in the open field and has developed into a pretty reliable tackler. Was used occasionally as a blitzer and closes quickly when he finds a lane.

Negatives:

Frame is very thin for a pro defensive back, especially at safety, and has limited functional strength. Still honing his instincts as a safety. Can be a tick slow to recognize routes and process combinations from high zones. A lack of ideal anticipation allows some easy completions. Has the occasional clunky transition. Probably not the most well-suited for a box safety role from a physical/temperamental standpoint, and didn’t take many snaps there during the games reviewed. Can be a bit of a pile inspector; stopping power is relatively limited. Gets washed out of the play when successfully engaged by blockers.

Summary:

A lanky, thin, and athletic defensive back with experience at both corner and safety, he was able to make a pretty smooth transition to high zones this year, making several plays with his length and fluid movement skills. As it currently stands, there are times when he doesn’t seem to quite trust his instincts as a safety. However, with more experience, and with time in a pro strength program, could conceivably develop into a rangy high safety.

Projection: Round 5/Round 6

More 2024 NFL Draft Prospects

Cornerbacks

Defensive Backs

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