Having written a summary article on the Baltimore Ravens draft class of 2013, this is the fourth of round-by-round individual looks at each of the players after a season with the team. The first article in this series was on first-round pick Matt Elam, and we previously wrote about Arthur Brown (here) and Brandon Williams (here).
Today we will take a quick review of fourth-round selection John Simon. This Ohio State linebacker is a coach’s favorite wherever he goes. Coach Urban Meyer liked him and his work ethic so much that he said he was going to name a child after him. Harbaugh said of Simon that there is nobody who works harder, and he believes this quality is going to eventually get him onto the field.
Most of Simon’s time on the field in 2013 was with special teams, as the Ravens had lots of linebacker depth. He only had a total of four defensive snaps – all against the Vikings on 12/9.
The problem for Simon is that this situation will likely remain true. At this point, the Ravens have returning (with salary noted): Terrell Suggs ($7.8M), Elvis Dumervil ($3.375M), Courtney Upshaw ($1.445M), Arthur Brown ($808K), and John Simon ($591K). There is also a very good chance that free agent Daryl Smith will be back. And then there are other possibilities also in Josh Bynes ($570K), Adrian Hamilton ($495K), and Pernell McPhee ($681K).
Simon is very frequently compared to former Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Jarret Johnson who did not become an impact player until his third season, though ultimately setting a franchise record by starting 129 consecutive games.
So, noting the depth of linebackers on the team, we will likely again this year see Simon playing as a key component on special teams. But special teams often win and lose games, and as such, Simon’s role remains critical for success!