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Jaylin Simpson embraces challenge of defending top wide receivers

Simpson said he loves competition and prides himself on playing well in big games.

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After playing in the SEC and lining up against some of the best wide receivers in the nation, Jaylin Simpson said he feels like he's ready to take his game to the next level.

"In the SEC we play against the biggest and the baddest - guys who went in the first round," Simpson said. "I played against [Malik] Nabers for three years, Jayden Daniels, all those guys and then playing against guys on my team. I feel like it's the best conference because it's the closest thing to the NFL."

He will get his first real taste of NFL action soon after the Colts used their No. 164 pick on Simpson in the fifth round.

Listed as a cornerback by the team, but boasting a lot of experience at safety, Simpson said he can play all over the secondary.

"I'm just a defensive back. I'm not just one defined defensive back - corner, safety, nickel. I could play all of them," Simpson said. "I just feel like at the end of the day, everything in my game can be touched up on and I'm just gonna continue to keep working on everything."

The Colts added to their defensive backfield on Saturday, selecting Auburn cornerback Jaylin Simpson in the fifth round (No. 164 overall) of the 2024 NFL Draft.

Though Simpson said he was unsure how the Colts planned on using him, he said he's ready to step up to the plate.

"The last conversation I had with them was a while ago, it was like right after the Combine. But, they really liked me at the free [safety] spot," Simpson said. "They liked my range, my athleticism, so that's really what I remember. But whatever they need me to do, I will do it and I will be productive at it."

No matter where he lines up, the team will ask him to match up against some of the best wide receivers in the league.

Something, that Simpson said he's looking forward to.

"I just like playing against the best of the best," Simpson said. "In college, especially with SEC teams, you kind of play against smaller league teams before you get to SEC play. I personally didn't like that. I wanted the big games, the Georgias, the LSUs, the Alabamas. That's when the stars come out, the big plays, the big moments and you really get to see who rises to the light. I feel like I always did."

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