Jaylin Simpson’s Draft Profile | Auburn, S Scouting Report

Auburn safety Jaylin Simpson broke onto the national stage last year as a Jim Thorpe semifinalist. What is his NFL Draft outlook and pro projection?

The Auburn Tigers have been a steady defensive back factory for several years, and the 2024 NFL Draft is no different. After making a name for himself at the Senior Bowl, Auburn safety Jaylin Simpson has put himself squarely on NFL radars.

What does Simpson’s NFL Draft outlook look like? Can he make an impact for an NFL franchise?

Jaylin Simpson Draft Profile and Measurements

  • Height: 5’11″
  • Weight: 178 pounds
  • Position: S
  • School: Auburn
  • Current year: Senior
  • Hand: 9 7/8″
  • Arm: 32 3/8″
  • Wingspan: 77″

A consensus four-star recruit, Simpson took time to break onto the scene at Auburn. The star safety started his career as an outside cornerback for the Tigers, playing there until a transition towards the end of the 2022 season.

His full-time move to safety in 2023 saw him flourish. Playing various roles deep in the defensive backfield, in the box, and in the slot, Simpson earned a spot as a Jim Thorpe Award semifinalist and a first-team All-SEC nod.

Simpson’s Scouting Report

Games Watched: Cal (2023), Georgia (2023), Alabama (2023), Ole Miss (2023), LSU (2023), Mississippi State (2023)

Strengths

  • Versatility at every level of the field
  • Split-field safety, box, and nickel skill set
  • Very good length and uses it to close passing windows
  • Very good ball skills and production
  • Short-area burst to close ground and disrupt plays quickly
  • Good instincts and awareness in coverage, doesn’t get fooled by play-action
  • Smooth and fluid mover, sticks with receivers in off-man
  • Reads and flows with routes well in zone coverage

Weaknesses

  • Undersized frame for a safety
  • Can get caught up in blocks
  • Struggles to consistently wrap up ball carriers
  • Lacks the long speed to play deep safety
  • Limited press-man ability due to long speed issues

Current Draft Projection

There is much to like about Simpson’s projection to the pro game. The ascending Auburn product has played practically every defensive back role throughout his career, and that kind of versatility will be coveted. Despite his versatility, I think he’s best suited to play a nickel/split-field safety role at the next level.

His frame is pretty lean, and he’ll have to bulk up if he wants to hold up in the NFL. If he does, that should help alleviate most concerns about his game. Teams will covet Simpson’s length, short-area quickness, and ball skills to close downhill and shut down passing lanes.


While Simpson boasts tremendous burst, his long speed (or lack thereof) could see him struggle to keep up with faster or more explosive wide receivers downfield or close on deep throws as a “center-fielder” style of safety.

Simpson can fit in any style of defense at the next level and has the ability to hold up in off-man and zone as both a nickel corner and a split-field safety.

Simpson’s smaller frame likely keeps his stock closer to Day 3, but teams will covet his versatility and traits to be a quality slot/safety hybrid, especially as more and more teams live in sub-packages as their “base” looks. Seeing his name called in the third round wouldn’t be a surprise.

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