Photo of Jerome Simpson
Grade
?
  • 4.47 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 37.5 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 136.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 6'2" Height
  • 190LBS. Weight

Overview

Unquestionably the face of the Chanticleers' program, Simpson brought the young program into the national spotlight with a sensational junior campaign. The school record-holder for game, season and career marks in receptions, yardage and touchdowns, he produced 11 multiple-touchdown performances in 41 games.

Simpson holds the Big South Conference career-record with 2,430 yards receiving, including a Big South season-record 1,077 yards in 2006, a year he also set the league mark with 16 touchdown catches.

At Reidsville High School, Simpson earned Class AA All-State honors and was a runner-up for Class 2-AA Mr. NCHSAA Football honors as a senior. He added All-State accolades during his junior season. He led the team to back-to-back Class AA state titles, setting a championship game-record with 13 catches for 133 yards, while also throwing a 62-yard scoring strike to earn Most Valuable Player honors in his final year. He would go on to play in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas and also competed in the East-West game.

In his final campaign, Simpson hauled in 96 passes for 1,324 yards (13.8-yard average) and 14 touchdowns, despite missing three games with an injury. The school's all-time leading receiver amassed almost 3,000 receiving yards during his last two seasons. He also lettered in basketball and track. He led the hoops squad to its first state title as a senior, scoring 19 points in the championship game to garner MVP honors. He also ran on the school's 4x400-meter relay team that captured the state title (3:21).

As a true freshman at Coastal Carolina in 2004, Simpson earned Big South Conference Freshman of the Year honors and was named Big South Freshman of the Week three times during the season (vs. Morehead State, Davidson and Charleston), where he posted his first career 100-yard receiving game. He started all 11 games, coming up with 26 receptions for 419 yards (16.1-yard average) and eight touchdowns at split end, adding an assisted tackle and a stop for a loss on limited defensive play.

Simpson was a second-team All-Big South Conference selection as a sophomore, as he started six of 11 games in 2005. He also earned South Carolina All-Star recognition from the Orangeburg Touchdown Club. He led the team with 33 catches for 527 yards (16.9 avg) and nine touchdowns, but lost 29 yards on a pair of reverses. He recorded one solo tackle and scored 54 points for the season.

In 2006, Simpson became the first player in school history to gain over 1,000 yards in a season. The All-American second-team choice by the Associated Press and Football Gazette added All-Big South Conference first-team accolades to his resume. He led the league and ranked eighth nationally in receiving yards (89.75 yards per game), ranked third in the Big South in receptions (5.08 per game) and set the school and conference record for touchdown catches (16). He scored 96 points while grabbing 61 passes for 1,077 yards (17.7 avg) and ran once for an eight-yard loss.

With Tyler Thigpen graduated, Simpson had to develop chemistry with the team's young quarterbacks in 2007, as the aerial game struggled to gain momentum. Through the team's first 10 games, he ranked fifth in the Big South in receptions (3.7 rpg) and receiving yards (61.3 ypg). He led the team with 37 receptions for 613 yards (16.6-yard average) and 10 touchdowns. He returned a kickoff 15 yards and also gained 10 yards on a reverse. He recovered a fumble and recorded one solo tackle.

Simpson also lettered twice on the school's track team. He was a member of the 2006 Big South Conference Men's Outdoor Track and Field Championship squad, earning All-Big South honors after finishing third in both the high jump and long jump. He also set a new school record in the high jump with a leap of 2.05m (6' 8.75").

He finished third at the NCAA East Regionals in the long jump and qualified for the 2007 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.. He was also on the school record 4x400-meter relay squad that set the new mark at the Big South Championships.

In 44 games at Coastal Carolina, Simpson started 38 games. He set school records with 157 receptions for 2,636 yards (yardage is also a Big South Conference mark) and 41 touchdowns, averaging 16.79 yards per catch. He scored 246 points, rushed four times for losses totaling 27 yards (minus-6.8-yard average) and returned a kickoff 15 yards. He recorded three tackles (two solo), including one for a three-yard loss and recovered one fumble.

Analysis

Strengths

Positives: Has a lean torso with room to add at least another 10 pounds of bulk without having that weight impact his overall quickness...Shows very good elevation to go over the crowd and reach and extend for the pass at its highest point...Demonstrates good fakes and twisting moves to force the defensive backs to come out of backpedal too early and does a nice job of redirecting coming out of his breaks to take the opponent off-balance...Shows great concentration, natural hands and ball security, doing a good job of shielding the ball from the defender...Compensates for a lack of blazing speed with precise route running and very good plant-and-drive agility...His flexibility and balance in his running stride helps him in attempts to separate after the catch...Has outstanding reach and arm length to get to off-target throws and shows excellent body control keeping his feet along the boundaries...Slippery route-runner with the loose hips to change direction without having to break stride...Competitive, intense player with a very good grasp of the playbook, showing the vision to quickly locate the soft areas in the zone...Sinks his weight and lowers his pads to settle in underneath much better as a senior than he did in the past (would take soft angle cuts or fail to sit in the soft spots)...Instinctive route runner who does a nice job of working back when the quarterback is in trouble...Won't explode off the line, but has a decent initial burst to generate movement and get into his routes...Perfect role model for the team's younger players with his work ethic and takes well to hard coaching...Has an array of moves to fool a lethargic defender in attempts to beat the press...Shows good route progression acceleration and can stretch the defense with the way he comes out of his breaks cleanly...Works hard to uncover and shows the hand-eye coordination, along with timing and excellent leaping ability to pluck the ball away from his framework...When going up for the high pass, his superb elevation will generally see him win most jump balls...Maintains tremendous focus going for the ball in a crowd and is known for making acrobatic catches look routine...Might have greatest reach and biggest hands of any receiver in the 2008 draft...Shows smoothness in his running stride and the flexibility to snatch the ball and then set up the defender in attempts to separate...His high-point receiving skills are superior to most receivers in the college ranks. Negatives: Needs to improve his overall strength and add muscle tone to his frame, as he has skinny thighs and marginal muscle tone in his upper body...More quick than fast, but compensates with precise moves and good lateral agility...Lacks a sudden burst to surprise defenders coming off the snap...Can shield a smaller defender, but his lack of strength makes him susceptible to getting over-run by the bigger defenders when blocking inline...Runs crisp short-area routes, but will sometimes drift or round his cuts attacking the deep seam...Does not have that explosive second gear to separate, but shows the moves, especially when twisting, to break free from the initial tackle...Will use his slippery moves to separate, but does not have the burst to win long distance foot races. Compares To: T.J. HOUSHMANDZADEH-Cincinnati...Like Houshmandzadeh and the Colts' Reggie Wayne, Simpson gets outstanding elevation going for the ball in a crowd. He needs to add more bulk and improve his overall strength, but he has incredible arm length and large, natural hands, along with outstanding elevation to get to the ball at its highest point. Due to a lack of blazing speed, he might be a better fit playing the slot, but he shows great field vision and boundary awareness, as his change-of-direction agility and array of moves surprise the defense in attempts to separate.
C
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99 Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49 Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99 Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49 NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19 Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00 50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99 Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74 Chance to be in an NFL training camp
No Grade Likely needs time in developmental league.
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