- Jamison Hensley, ESPN Ravens reporter
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The Baltimore Ravens blog will take a look at the team's top five draft picks in 2013 this week and how they fared as rookies:
Position: Outside linebacker
Key stats: Four tackles (all on special teams).
His 2013 season: Much like third-round pick Brandon Williams, Simon played the first half of the season before sitting out most of the second half. He was active for five of the Ravens' first seven games and then was scratched for seven of the last nine games. Simon was almost exclusively a special-teams player, which is the role many envisioned for him this season. He was the fifth outside linebacker behind Terrell Suggs, Elvis Dumervil, Courtney Upshaw and Pernell McPhee. Simon played a total of four defensive snaps as a rookie and all came against the Minnesota Vikings on Dec. 9 , when Dumervil missed his only game of the season.
Forecasting 2014: Simon could become a core special-teams player for the Ravens. If Suggs returns, Simon will remain behind those same four linebackers. He could follow the same career path as linebacker Jarret Johnson, another fourth-round pick. Johnson didn't make an impact on defense until his third season.
What the Ravens are saying about Simon: "Nobody practices harder, works harder than John Simon. I think he’s just going to make himself into a player. He’ll find a way to get on the field, one way or another. He’s got some pass-rushing talent." -- Head coach John Harbaugh
The Baltimore Ravens blog will take a look at the team's top five draft picks in 2013 this week and how they fared as rookies:JOHN SIMONPosition: Outside linebackerDrafted: Fourth round, 129th overall (selected one spot after 49ers WR Quinton Patton and one pick before Ravens FB Kyle Juszczyk)Key stats: Four tackles (all on special teams).