Ravens rookie linebacker Trenton Simpson makes most of opportunity

BALTIMORE — Ravens rookie linebacker Trenton Simpson has been behind Patrick Queen and Roquan Smith on the depth chart.

However, Simpson finally received extensive playing time in the regular-season finale against the Steelers, and he took advantage of the opportunity.

Simpson finished with five tackles, including his first career sack that forced a third-and-20. He also had two tackles for a loss and played a season-high 26 defensive snaps.

“It just opened up for me, and I was like, ‘I’ve got to go make a play.’ I’m just so blessed with the opportunity to go out there and be able to showcase my talents today – just staying patient and trusting the process,” he said. “And just knowing God has a plan for me was my main message to myself, personally, all through the season. So, to go out there today and make a couple of plays for the team, I feel like I’m headed in the right direction, for sure.” 

The Ravens drafted Simpson in the third round of the 2023 NFL Draft from Clemson, where he finished with 187 tackles, 22 1/2 tackles for loss, and 12 1/2 sacks over three seasons.

Queen is eligible for free agency in the offseason and might have priced himself out of the Ravens’ plans after making his first Pro Bowl. The Ravens already signed Smith to a five-year, $100 million extension last year.

As a result, Simpson might step into Queen’s role next season next to Smith.

“I’d say just being able to come out and make tackles, just playing relentlessly,” Simpson said. “I feel like that’s why they drafted me here – just the way I play. So, [I’m going to] just keep continuing to get better every day, improve, trust my coaches and just listen to Roquan [Smith] and ‘PQ’ [Patrick Queen] and [everyone in] the linebacker room. I feel like things are continuing to grow for my career.” 

Simpson was taking advice from Smith during the game against the Steelers. The veteran linebacker told him to “just go out there and play. It’s just football.”

Queen thought the rookie played well once he got comfortable with the speed of the game.

“Proud of him. Couldn’t be happier for him,” Queen said. “Great dude. He had me nervous; we were going over all the calls and stuff, and he was just asking [a lot of] questions trying to figure out everything. But that’s why you’re seeing the way he’s played. He’s just on top of all his stuff.”

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