Over the past month, since Walter Thurmond headed elsewhere in free agency, the Legion of Boom has been looking for a nickel-package corner to step into the slot and lock it down. L.O.B may have found its man.
Former LSU defensive back Tharold Simon has apparently been generating the most buzz amongst not only the defensive backfield, but the entire defense. A kid with a 6’3″, 202 lbs frame, Simon’s potential insertion would accomplish two things for the Seattle Seahawks; give them more size against the screen/draw game in late-down situations and likely produce even more physicality against receivers than at any point in which Thurmond was in the game the past few seasons.
Both are significant for a team that lost not only that nickel corner, but a key element of their edge pass rush in Chris Clemons. Yes, theoretically that element has been replaced, but with Bruce Irvin still recovering from surgery and adding new elements to the defensive line… well, we all know that things don’t always come together the way they’re intended to.
If Simon, or Jeremy Lane, or even Phillip Adams can come in and really produce in the nickel spot it would help that D-line transition along. Because of his size and apparent speed, the most noteworthy candidate is Simon. Pete Carroll has mentioned his speed as something that really stood out since coming back at full-strength. That’s also good news for manning the outside at corner if Simon was asked to do it at some point.
Just for update’s sake, a couple weeks ago we talked about sixth round draft pick Eric Pinkins stepping into the slot defensively, but apparently his safety skill-set is too defined at this stage to move him down. The thought right now is that the three guys I mentioned (Simon, Lane and Adams) will battle it out into the preseason for the nickel spot. I can only imagine two spots on the 53-man and I see Lane as a definite mainstay on the roster. Simon could lock up the other spot with a solid Fall and Adams really needs to turn it on to make his own push. On the plus side for Adams, he did return punts over the past two seasons for the Oakland Raiders.