By Danny O'Neil
The rationale: Simon is the quintessential Seahawks' pick in that he is a tall cornerback who excels playing press coverage and is coming off a legal scrape. He was arrested Thursday in Eunice, La., his hometown after a dispute with an off-duty police officer involving where Simon parked.
Simon entered the draft early after his junior year at LSU, starting all 13 games and leading the team with nine pass breakups and four interceptions.
A fifth-round pick, he sits in what has been a sweet spot for the Seahawks to find quality defensive backs. Safety Kam Chancellor was a fifth-round pick in 2010. He not only became a starter in 2011, but reached the Pro Bowl. Cornerback Richard Sherman was a fifth-round pick in 2011, and he was chosen an All-Pro last season.
The risk: It's always curious when a player chooses to enter the draft early and winds up chosen in the second half of the draft, especially when you consider that he was a rising player on a powerhouse team in LSU. This upcoming season could have been his time to shine.
|Height/Weight:||6-3, 193 lbs.|
|Drafted:||Round 5, 138 overall|
|Simon says:||"They like tall, physical corners and I'm a tall, physical corner."|
NewsLink: Cornerback Tharold Simon arrested in his hometown | ESPN.com
"It's my fault," Simon said in a conference-call with Seattle reporters. "I shouldn't have been parked outside the road, but I was just chilling in the house, by my grandmother's house, and my car was parked outside the road by my grandmother's house. And I saw a car pull up and it looked like a cop car so I went out there, and when I went out there he told me to move the car.
"And when I turned the car, the music was up, and so when I pulled up in the driveway, he told me to give him my license. I gave him my license, and then I just sat in the car. He was running my license through, and he called another cop to give him a ticket book. I guess he was going to write me a ticket.
"One of my friends had come to congratulate me on the draft that was going on and stuff, and he told my friend to move around, and then I had got out the car, and I was like, 'Man, you tripping for nothing.' I mean, there's really nothing serious going on around here. I guess he said my pants were low. He was like, 'Pick your pants up before I take you to jail.' And I picked my pants, and he just grabbed, and he said, 'You know what, matter of fact, put your hands behind your back.' So I put my hands behind my back.
"I had my girl's car keys. I was trying to throw my girl's car keys to my cousin, so I kind of jerked my arm. He said I was resisting arrest. I never ran. I never flinched a move or nothing. He said I was resisting arrest. So he took me to jail or whatever, he said I threatened his life or whatever. But I told him I had 30 witnesses right there that know I didn't do anything wrong. I didn't say nothing wrong. I'm a humble guy.
"I'm embarrassed about what happened because it shouldn't have happened. Like I said, everything happens for a reason. Right now, my focus is just to get up to Seattle and just go compete and play some football."
The Seahawks were aware of the incident, and Ed Dodds – the South Central area scout who followed Simon – said he spoke to the player shortly after the incident.
"He called me as soon as that kind of happened," Dodds said. "As far as specifics, we'll just kind of wait to see what shakes out, but we were comfortable with what me and him talked about. I talked to other people down there so I don't see it as an issue."
The bottom line: "The quarterback thinks the player is open, but this guy is so long he gets there," Dodds said of Simon. "With him, though, he's not just knocking it down, he's catching it."