Once the 7th round came, the Jets made Deon Simon, DT from Northwestern State their 7th player acquired that weekend (7 including DeVier Posey in Houston trade). Simon would go 223rd overall and quickly spoke out saying, “It feels good. I’ve been patiently waiting and I finally got my opportunity”.
The 24-year-old DT managed an impressive combine. Having recently come off a knee injury, Deon was still able to show great power and straight-line speed. Measuring in at 6ft 4 and 321 lbs, Deon went on to record a 5.12 40 showing he has good pace for a big guy. Later Deon benched in the top bracket of the 220-pound bench press, achieving 35 reps in total. At 35 reps, Deon’s lifts were to be the most among the entire defensive lineman tested at the combine. A number only tied by the ever explosive Vic Beasley.
For a powerful player, its no surprise one of Simon’s strengths is to swallow up blocks on the run. Using his 33” hands well, the DT is described be potentially be a “commander of his spot” by draft analyst Lance Zierlein .
It’s these traits I’m sure Maccagnan and Bowles saw. If Deon can be coached to use his size more, he could become a useful weapon in Bowles’ defence. If Simon can build on his blocking strengths and help to release our star-studded backfield, his efforts wont go unnoticed. Another potential return off the gambles made on 7th rounder’s.
Simon looks to improve on the only other Northwestern player drafted by the Jets, DB Jermaine Jones. Jones only managed one game for Gang Green, 3 in nfl total.