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Sunday, May 28, 2023

Ravens Trenton Simpson Makes Early First Impression

Baltimore Ravens 2023 third round pick Trenton Simpson got to put on an NFL jersey for the first time after three standout seasons at Clemson University. Simpson, along with other Ravens first-year players, checked into Owings Mills earlier this week for rookie minicamp. 

From the NFL Scouting Combine, to Clemson’s pro day, to finally making it to the NFL Draft, Simpson couldn’t wait to join his new team. 

“I would say I came in eager,” Simpson said. “I was ready to get to work. I couldn’t wait to wake up Thursday morning to fly here and just get started with ball again. 

“All the nerves are down now, and I just feel like I’m playing football and getting into the locker room, meeting new teammates and getting to building the relationship with all my coaches, special teams [coordinator Chris Horton], defensive coordinator [Mike Macdonald], and all my teammates. It’s a blessing to be here, for sure.”

Adding a versatile player like Simpson that can play both inside and outside linebacker will get the rookie on the field frequently. That can be rotating into the heart of the defense with linebackers Patrick Queen and Roquan Smith or adding to the pass rush off the edge. 

Simpson looks up to Smith, who was recently made the highest paid linebacker in NFL history. Joining him as a teammate will be the ultimate opportunity to learn from. However, Simpson’s impact extends beyond the defense. 

Simpson’s 4.43 second time in the 40-yard dash at the Combine showcased a major skill that will make him an early contributor on special teams as well. At 6-foot-2, 235 pounds Simpson’s size and speed is ideal for punt or kickoff team coverage. He already has the mindset to be able hit the ground running. 

“I would say the key is being relentless, giving it all you’ve got and taking that special teams rep like you would take the first team defensive rep,” Simpson said. “That’s what I pride myself on, just doing all the small things right and giving it all I have. [I’m] trying to empty the tank each practice so when game day comes, it will be super easy for me.”

Simpson finished last season with 72 tackles and 2.5 sacks. That’s down from the 6.5 sacks he had in 2021. Nevertheless, the Ravens staff likes what they see in Simpson after his first days on the field. 

“[Trenton] Simpson, [He] looks fast, is picking things up, [he is a] very good communicator. Obviously, there’s a lot for these guys on their plate; there’s a lot to learn, but he’s off to a good start,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. 

The Ravens defense could use a boost from this year’s rookie class. Simpson is the team’s highest draft pick on that side of the ball. The future is bright for Simpson as he looks to contribute to Baltimore’s traditionally strong defensive unit.

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