What draft experts said about Colts 5th-round pick Jaylin Simpson

Before selecting Jaylin Simpson with the 164th overall pick, the Colts moved back from pick 155 in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles. For a closer look at those trade details, click here.

Simpson is listed as safety, but nearly half of his career snaps at Auburn came lined up as a boundary cornerback with another 307 coming from the slot.

Simpson, who is listed at 6-0 – 179 pounds, ran a 4.45-second 40 and showcased impressive explosiveness with his vertical and broad jump testing.

He’s an experienced player who had very good ball production last season, totaling four interceptions and four pass breakups on just 25 targets.

The free safety role is up for grabs this summer between Nick Cross and Rodney Thomas, with Simpson now potentially in that mix as well. Overall, this is a position group where the Colts needed to improve the depth, not only for 2024 but for 2025 and beyond.

For more on what Simpson can bring to the Colts’ secondary, here is what a few pre-draft scouting reports had to say about his game:


“Long defensive back with speed, athleticism and ball skills that might have teams posting him in the cornerback column instead of at safety. Simpson has started at both positions but might be caught between the two. He doesn’t support the run well enough to instill confidence as a last line of defense and he can be a little tardy to get his hips flipped in one-on-one transitions as a corner. Simpson does pedal and match receivers in space, balancing his eyes between route progressions and the quarterback as a high safety. He also contests catches with good success. He’s a good football player with explosive traits, but teams will need to have a plan for how to use him.”

Bleacher Report Scouting Department

“Ultimately, Simpson is a high-level athlete who is more than capable of turning the ball over, as he showed with his seven career interceptions at Auburn. He has the skill set to play safety in the NFL, but he will need to continue to fill out his frame and add strength. His versatility is his biggest asset, which should lead him to being a middle-round selection.”

Damian ParsonThe Draft Network

“Simpson is a solid starting hybrid defensive back. His instincts, athleticism, and positional flexibility make him a fit for creative defensive coaches. He is best utilized as a free safety in the high post to combat explosive passing plays.”

Story originally appeared on Colts Wire