Photo of John Simon
70.5 ?
  • 6'1" Height
  • 33 1/4" Arm Length
  • 257LBS. Weight
  • 9 1/2" Hands


Simon has a well-deserved reputation as a workout warrior, putting up big numbers and going through tough endurance skills in the weight room ever since high school. He?s also a two-time team captain at Ohio State, presenting just about everything an NFL team wants in a prospect in terms of strength and leadership.

He played regularly as a reserve defensive tackle in his true freshman season (16 tackles, three for loss, 1.5 sacks), then started all 13 contests in 2010 on his way to honorable mention All-Big Ten accolades (41 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, three sacks?one in the Buckeyes? Sugar Bowl over Arkansas). And though Simon was a consistent pain for offensive linemen to handle during his productive junior campaign, his numbers were bolstered by a three-game stretch in the middle of the conference season; nine of his 16 tackles for loss and five of his seven sacks for the season came in consecutive weeks versus Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana. In 2012, as a senior, Simon racked up nine sacks, 14.5 tackles for loss, and one forced fumble. His play earned him a first-team All-Big Ten selection.



Strong, high-motor defender. Can break down to tackle ballcarriers in the backfield. Combines agility with excellent upper-body strength to be a secure and explosive tackler. Works down the line with a blocker on his shoulder without giving up ground. Will pressure the upfield shoulder of slower tackles when selling out as a rusher, possesses enough flexibility to capture quarterbacks stepping up in the pocket. Patient when containing, stays engaged until ballcarriers goes inside or outside, then rips off to chase. Uses his hands very well, often batting down the arms of linemen attempting to block him. Displays good pad level. Two-time captain leads his teammates vocally and by example.


Shorter than many teams prefer in a defensive lineman, and his length is only adequate. Late to react to the snap, less than stellar first step. Slow in spin move attempts. Can struggle to get off blocks from better tackles and will lose sight of the ball at times. Might need to drop some weight to gain agility and quickness whether playing end or linebacker. Not very experienced getting deep drops in coverage or playing man-up for longer periods of time.

NFL Comparison

Rob Ninkovich

Bottom Line

This two-time All-Big Ten pick and two-time Buckeyes captain lacks the height and length most NFL teams want in a defensive end, but teams with less stringent size requirements will covet his exceptional weight-room work ethic. He's late off the ball, and not an explosive athlete, but he understands pad level and hand usage. He's going to have to prove to teams that he can handle himself effectively enough in coverage.
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.