Is Simon going to run a 4.4 forty time? No. Does he fit the Clemons/Irvin mold. Not quite. That said, Simon's tape screams Chris Long. A less athletic, LEO version. Both have long, powerful arms and are outstanding at shedding blocks and display an excellent repertoire of pass rush moves. Simon has excellent leadership/intangibles and is a natural leader of his defense. Quite frankly, I am kind of blown away that he's not up there with at least Bjoern Werner in the pass rusher discussion. Or as a MTD commenter aptly put it:
Simon’s shortcomings are well known, listed at 6-2 and 263, this average athlete continues to make better athletes look average. I believe you are looking at a 4th round steal.
Here is an article on Simon from earlier this year that I thought contained an interesting nugget:
John Simon is an enigma. He's a big-time hustle player and the unquestioned leader of Ohio State's defense. Simon led Ohio State in tackles for loss (16) and sacks (7) as a junior. During spring practice this year, Simon was playing so much better than everyone that coaches took him off the field. Simon has quickly become a favorite of Urban Meyer. The new OSU head coach has spoken glowingly of Simon's toughness, leadership and character, comparing him to Tim Tebow.
Also similar to Tebow, it's somewhat unclear how Simon will translate to the NFL. It's uncommon to see successful 6-foot2, 270-pound defensive linemen in the NFL. Simon also doesn't look to have the natural athleticism to simply shift out to linebacker. Simon may need to be utilized as he is at OSU as a hybrid Leo-style defender.
Simon comes from a defense that utilizes him in a LEO type role. That's a plus for Seattle when looking for pass rushers out of college, because you get a better idea of how they'd handle the role, while the LEO label could hurt his stock with other teams that use a more traditional end and allow Simon to fall further than his talent deserves.
The one common complaint against Simon is his height (6'2"). For reference, Chris Long is 6'3". Chris Clemons is 6'3". Bruce Irvin is 6'3". Melvin Ingram, who ranked high on Seattle's draft board last year and was a mid-1st round pick, was 6'1".
The reason height matters for defensive ends is mainly because more height tends to equate to greater arm length. I don't know what his arms will measure at, but they look plenty long enough on tape. 34" arms would not surprise me.
My only complaint for Simon is his average speed, and Pete seems to prefer burners at DE. However, if he can get over that, Simon is a player that can create pressure almost immediately on a very high percentage of his snaps. Chris Clemons probably won't be the same guy next year, but Simon could really soften that blow. He also has the kind of drive and intangibles that this regime is always looking for.