Maurice Simba Caps Off Stingers Career With Pro Day Workout in Front of NFL Scouts

Simba Follows in The Footsteps of Former RSEQ Offensive Lineman, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif

Maurice Simba showed off his abilities during his pro day on Tuesday morning. File Photo Elisa Barbier

Graduating Concordia Stingers offensive lineman Maurice Simba was held his pro day for NFL and CFL scouts at Lachine’s SoccerPlexe Catalogna on Tuesday—the first pro day ever hosted by Concordia for one of the university’s players.

Simba has been attracting scouts’ attention since the end of the 2017 season and Tuesday’s pro day was yet another chance for the Congo native to prove his might to professional scouts.

Simba is coming off two consecutive all-star caliber seasons for the Stingers, made even more impressive by taking into account that he started playing football only seven years ago.

“I am very lucky,” said Simba. “I look back on the last four years of my life and it’s truly incredible. My pro day is my way to thank Concordia for welcoming me.”

The pro day was not the only time the spotlight has been on Simba since the season ended. Earlier this month, the six-foot-seven lineman was fortunate enough to take part in the NFL Players Association Collegiate Bowl in Pasadena, California. An annual bowl game featuring some of the best eligible prospects in the upcoming NFL Draft.

“Before I left, coach Brad [Collinson] told me to forget all my techniques,” said Simba. “When a coach asks you how to do something, just tell them you don’t know and that you want to learn. I did that with coach Mike Tass and I ended up on the starting lineup.”

Tuesday was the final pitch to NFL scouts for the 343-pound giant. With representatives from the Chicago Bears, San Francisco 49ers, Cleveland Browns, New York Jets, and Green Bay Packers, Simba was set to lay it all on the line during the events.

He started things off with the bench press event. The 24-year old was able to complete 25 full lifts of the 225-pound bar. As a lineman, this is a pivotal event for Simba as he looked to prove his explosive strength to the NFL teams.

The all-star also registered a 19-inch vertical, and a six-foot-eleven long jump. Simba moved on to the running part of the events ,clocking in at 5.99 seconds for the 40-yard dash, a 5.76 seconds for the shuttle and a 9.32 seconds for the three-cone drill.

The scouts in attendance also had Simba complete some pad workouts, showing off his mobility through line-of-scrimmage simulations.

“Personally, it was very satisfying,” said Simba of his performance. “I gave all I could today. I hope scouts notice and appreciate the effort. I’m excited to see what happens at the next level.”

Questioned on his highs and lows of the day, Simba joked that he would have liked to run a 4.40 40-yard dash, but that it is pretty hard for a 343-pound man.

With his pro day now in the books, Simba can only hope for the best. He could still possibly work out at the CFL’s annual combine, but agent Sasha Ghavami was not too hot on the idea of taking part in the event.

Ghavami was essential in increasing the notoriety surrounding Simba’s name down in the United States. Ghavami is Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif’s agent as well and he’s the one who managed to find a spot for Simba on the NFLPA Bowl roster.

“After Matthieu [Betts] got the nod for the Shrine Bowl, we decided to give the NFLPA spots to somebody else,” said Ghavami. “Maurice and Alex [Savard] got some exposure and I’m happy for them.”

Ghavami alluded to the world of differences that separate his two linemen. The interest towards Duvernay-Tardif was aimed at his signature mobility and flexibility. In Simba’s case, his natural physical gifts were an instant eye catcher for the scouts.

“The scouts told me that his arm length is of elite caliber,” said Brad Collinson, head coach of Concordia’s football team. “There are not many people with that arm length. Players with his size do not grow on trees.”

Aside from his quickness, Simba’s greatest challenge will be to overcome his lack of experience. Most players entering the NFL or CFL draft will have practiced the sport since their early days. Simba arrived in Canada in 2012, the same year he started playing football at Collège Montmorency.

“I remember when he walked into my office,” said Paul Eddy Saint-Vilien, his former head coach at Montmorency. “He didn’t know much about football then, and now he is holding his own pro day. I’m really happy. It is sort of our payoff as coaches.”

The payoff could even be sweeter for Saint-Vilien come the NFL Draft in late April. Along with Laval University standout defensive lineman, Matthieu Betts, Simba could hear his name called during one of the three draft days.

Ghavami is confident that his player will get a shot at an NFL team, but is not entirely sold on a selection at the draft. The agent alluded to a possible invitation to an NFL team’s preseason camp to turn a tryout into a contract.