2023 NFL Draft: Top 10 Linebackers and their fits with the Atlanta Falcons

Wake Forest v Clemson
Wake Forest v Clemson / Jacob Kupferman/GettyImages
2 of 11

No. 1: Trenton Simpson, Clemson

2022: 12 Games Played, 72 Tackles, 4.0 Tackles for Loss, 2.5 Sacks, 5 QB Hurries, 2 Fumbles Forced, 3 Pass Deflections
2021: 13 Games Played, 64 Tackles, 12.0 Tackles for Loss, 6.0 Sacks, 5 QB Hurries, 2 Pass Deflections
2020: 12 Games Played, 28 Tackles, 6.5 Tackles for Loss, 4.0 Sacks, 2 QB Hurries, 1 Fumble Forced

Trenton Simpson is an extremely good athlete who compares stylistically well to Sean Weatherspoon coming out of college. He's solid in coverage but excels against the run when he can hit his run fits, shoots the gaps, and takes down the running backs. Simpson is also an excellent blitzer who works with his linemen in front of him to shoot the lanes as he does in the running game. Teams will have late first or early second-round grades on him and feel he can be a good fit for either a 3-4 or 4-3.

Simpson has long-term potential as a Mike for any defense he's in, and he was a team captain for the Tigers during his junior year. The leadership could be useful for the Falcons in their defense. The Falcons would instantly start him at middle linebacker and could end up having a 10-year star there. Simpson could see some time on special teams for the Falcons early in his career too. Atlanta would have to take him in the second round at No. 44 overall at the latest.

Player Comparison: Sean Weatherspoon