The Seattle Seahawks selected cornerback Tharold Simon in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He clearly fits the mold of a modern Seahawks defensive back: long, tough and aggressive at the line of scrimmage. Yet, despite having all of the traits that Seattle’s defensive coaches look for, Simon’s rookie season was marred by injury and he inevitably missed his opportunity to contribute to the team’s Super Bowl run.
That in itself is likely motivation enough for Simon to have a comeback season. After all, Simon had achieved a great deal of success during his tenure at LSU. Despite his 6-foot-3, 200-pound frame, Simon excelled as a cover-corner for the Tigers and gladly assumed the role of locking down every opposing slot receiver to come his way. His versatility in nickel and dime packages obviously proved intriguing to several NFL teams, including the Seahawks, but it also somewhat muddled Simon’s future in Seattle.
When the young man was drafted, fans in the Pacific Northwest obviously saw his size and college position and naturally assumed he would compete to replace Brandon Browner in the Legion of Boom. However, given Simon’s experience in the slot at LSU — as well as Byron Maxwell’s breakout playoff performance — it’s possible that Head Coach Pete Carroll has other plans for his second-year cornerback.
With Maxwell playing exceedingly well in Browner’s absence last season, Simon could be relegated to spot duty or even a backup role over the next several years. That is, of course, unless he can beat out CB Jeremy Lane as the Seahawks’ primary slot corner.
While Lane is somewhat smaller than Simon, he does stand over 6-foot and has better length than the typical NFL slot corner. The difference between Lane and Simon, however, is their short-area quickness. With Lane running a legitimate 4.3 40-yard dash and apparently having a better feel for the position, Simon is the clear-cut challenger. However, public perception of the young man could drastically change with a strong showing this preseason.
If the former LSU Tiger can regain his burst and form on the field, he definitely has the talent to overtake one (or more) of the players in Seattle’s secondary, perhaps even Maxwell. However, Simon faces a long and arduous path ahead of him riddled with competition from All-Pros, Pro-Bowlers and a plethora of other recognizable faces that are firmly entrenched in the 12th Man’s good graces. Good luck!
Also, be sure to check out Seattle Seahawk 2014 Training Camp Profiles on: Paul Richardson, Cassius Marsh, Justin Britt, Kevin Norwood, Kevin Pierre-Louis, Keith Price, Terrelle Pryor, Dion Bailey, Brock Coyle, Christine Michael, Kiero Small and Eric Pinkins.