June 19, 2024

Jaylin Simpson becomes third Auburn DB to accept Senior Bowl invite, will likely turn pro in 2024

Auburn senior defensive back Jaylin Simpson accepted his invitation to play in the 2024 Reese’s Senior Bowl, pointing to the likelihood of him foregoing his final year of eligibility and turning to the NFL Draft.

The Senior Bowl announced Simpson’s acceptance on the social platform X, formerly known as Twitter, Wednesday afternoon, making Simpson the third Auburn defensive back set to appear in the Senior Bowl on Feb. 3.

Fellow veteran defensive backs DJ James and Nehemiah Pritchett accepted their invitations the week of the Iron Bowl. Junior defensive back Keionte Scott also received a Senior Bowl invitation, but has yet to accept.

Simpson’s Senior Bowl bid comes on the heels of a 2023 campaign at the safety position, which saw him tally 36 tackles and four interceptions and four pass breakups — an effort that helped him to an impressive 78.3 season grade, per Pro Football Focus.

According to PFF, Simpson allowed one touchdown in coverage all season on 25 targets.

ESPN, the Associated Press, CBS Sports, Pro Football Focus, Fox Sports, USA Today, Sporting News, The Athletic, 247 Sports and the Reese’s Senior Bowl all had Simpson as one of their midseason All-Americans.

Jaylin Simpson, Auburn, Athlete

Earlier this week, Simpson also received All-SEC recognition from the Associated Press.

And as impactful as Simpson’s play on the field was, what he brought to Auburn’s locker room was just as — if not more — important to the Tigers.

In October, Auburn players and fans rallied around Simpson’s “Plankton Mentality” quote and explanation. Simpson was also responsible for the Auburn secondary’s “turnover seatbelt,” as well as some of Auburn head coach Hugh Freeze’s poor dance moves.

Meanwhile, all season long, Simpson has taken upon himself to help prepare the Tigers’ young room of defensive backs for the turnover the position is about to experience.

“The young guys that are here, they’re going to have to step in and play at some point,” Simpson said in an interview with Auburn Athletics’ writer Jeff Shearer. “This is going to be their team, their secondary at some point. That’s when I realized I have an obligation to get these guys ready to play for when our time is up here at Auburn.”

And as evident by Wednesday’s news, that time is coming sooner rather than later.

Fortunately for Auburn, Simpson replied in the affirmative when asked about playing in the Tigers’ bowl game against Maryland on Dec. 30.

Simpson has yet to address his future plans on social media, however accepting an invite to the Senior Bowl is almost always step one in preparing for the NFL Draft.

The 2024 Senior Bowl, sponsored for the first time this year by the NFL Players Association, kicks off at noon on Feb. 3 from Mobile’s Hancock Whitney Stadium. NFL Network will televise the game live.

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