NFL Draft Results: Seahawks select CB Tharold Simon in the 5th

Scott Cunningham

The Seahawks have selected CB Tharold Simon with the 2nd of their three 5th round picks. He's a 6'2, 202 pound corner out of LSU - he has 32 3/4" arms with 8 3/4" hands. Simon registered a 34" vert and a 128" broad jump at the Combine while running a 4.51 40. He's a right side corner - likely the long-term successor to Brandon Browner, and his physicality in tackling shows up on tape.

The Seahawks went in an opposite direction - big school versus small school - as last year when it comes to selecting a corner - Jeremy Lane was a sixth round pick in 2012 out of Northwestern State in Louisiana, and reportedly a big part of what impressed the Hawks was how well he competed against LSU. Now, Seattle goes with the LSU corner that had lined up on the other side.

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Our own Derek Stephens had this to say about Simon:

Tharold Simon
CB
LSU
#24
0602 208 4.51
Eunice High School
Eunice, Louisiana

Positives: Long, muscular frame with powerful hands and an aggressive, physical nature. Routinely gets his hands up and onto his opponent in press and exhibits strength to redirect receivers of all sizes and levels of quickness. Does a good job of maintaining enough contact to keep tabs on his man downfield without drawing penalties. Uses length well to shed blockers in pursuit as a run defender. Gets his head around and locates the ball early, adjusting his body to attack it in the air. Accelerates well to recover when beat initially and uses length well to reach and knock the ball away. Tracks well over his shoulder. Can really lay a wallop, and prides himself on the big hit. Keeps the motor running high all the time.

Negatives: Potential character red flags after an arrest and rumors of not being fully committed in practices or the weight room. Isn't an extremely flexible or fluid athlete when changing direction and will struggle to stay with receivers on sharp in or out cuts, particularly if his hips have already began to turn upfield. There's not a lot of suddenness to his game as he's relatively easy to shake on hitches - again, this is due to him getting his hips turned upfield and committing too early in the play. Can get grabby when the ball is in the air on vertical routes, pulling at his opponent's jersey, and will have to learn to be sneakier about his contact downfield. From a backpedal, isn't extremely explosive when planting and driving back to the football. Late recognition and gets confused in zone at times.

Summary: Simon has ideal size, strength and length to be an effective press corner at the next level. He's a gambler so he'll be beat from time to time, but he's as disruptive to a receiver's timing as anyone in the draft, when jamming. Look for a press-heavy team to take him in the middle rounds. For zone teams, he may be off the board completely.

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Simon was arrested two days ago for 'Intimidating an Officer" down in Louisiana, and the details of the arrest are pretty interesting, to say the least.

Lafayette, La., television station KATC reported that Simon's vehicle was blocking a street and he was asked to move it. According to the report, he told the officer, "I own Eunice" and "I'm going to buy these projects and you are going to be mine," before getting into his car.

The report said Simon spun his wheels, "backed up in an aggressive manner" and "turned his radio all the way up." When he was arrested, he reportedly told the officer that "the mayor was on my side" and that the officer would be fired for giving him a ticket.

Simon's account of the arrest is, predictably, very different.

Simon's agent, Peter Schaffer, disputes police accounts and says the officer acted in a "shameful" abuse of power.

"There were 30 witnesses. We've talked to about 20. They all corroborate Tharold's story. He did nothing wrong. The police overreacted," Schaffer said. "We're 100 percent confident he'll be completely exonerated and that charges should never be filed.

"Tharold is a wonderful young man who acted with the appropriate class and dignity in this matter in an attempt to avoid any altercation with the officer, and we're very proud of the way he handled himself. We're appalled with the actions of the officer, certainly coming on the eve of one of the most important days of Tharold's life."

Obviously, the Seahawks didn't seem too concerned. Sounds pretty familiar to Bruce Irvin's arrest prior to the Draft last year.

I didn't closely scout Simon, for some reason, despite the fact he fits Seattle's profile at CB, but here's what his NFL Combine Profile had to say:

STRENGTHS Has great height. Extremely long arms and frame. Tracks and locates the football well. the football well. Makes plays (22 pass breakups and seven interceptions) in three seasons. Fluid hips, can turn and run with receivers. Will use his hands throughout the route.

WEAKNESSES Doesn't use his hands well at the line of scrimmage, poor pressing technique. Not always smooth in coming out of backpedal, takes elongated strides. Doesn't have tremendous feet, lacks quickness and the proper base.

BOTTOM LINE Simon is sure to draw a lot of interest based on his length and play-making ability, along with the fact that his hips are much more fluid than most other tall corners. Some of Simon's length is mitigated by the fact that he doesn't press very well, and he'll need to clean up his footwork and technique at the next level.

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