NFL Fans Are Heartbroken Over The Tragic Death Of 2024 Draft Prospect

NFL Draft stage NFL Draft stage (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)

One NFL Draft hopeful will never realize his dream of possibly hearing his name after his life came to a sudden and tragic end.

Former Albany defensive lineman Amitral “AJ” Simon, who had hopes of getting selected in the 2024 NFL Draft, tragically died this week at the young age of 25.

No cause of death was provided.

“The UAlbany football program was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former student-athlete Amitral “AJ” Simon this morning,” the football team said in a statement Wednesday.

“AJ was a tremendous young man and even better teammate throughout his time at UAlbany. He was a role model both on and off the field, serving as a pillar to this program over the last two years. He will be profoundly missed.”

Social media was incredibly saddened that a young athlete died so suddenly and will not get a chance to realize his NFL dream.

During the 2023 regular season, Simon—who was born in Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania—played five games for the Great Danes. Prior to spending the last two seasons playing for Albany, he attended Bloomsburg University for his undergraduate studies.

Seven NFL scouts visited Albany’s Pro Day to observe the “pass rush stud,” according to a video that Simon posted online late last month.

Simon said in December of last year that he would be joining the NFL draft.

‘My time at UAlbany has not only honed my athletic skills but has also shaped me into a better individual both on and off the field.’

He added: ‘Their guidance has been pivotal in shaping my path toward this momentous decision to enter the NFL draft.

‘Thank you once again for everything. I am truly honored to have been a part of the Purple Fam and look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead.

‘I am thrilled to represent the University at Albany as I take this next step in my football career. Sad that it’s over but grateful that it happened.’

Dane Brugler of The Athletic recently rated AJ Simon as the 36th-best edge rusher in the 2024 NFL Draft class. He likely had the talent and drive to end up on a team’s practice squad and worked his way up.

Brugler paid his respects to Simon on X, formerly Twitter, “Absolutely tragic: Albany pass rusher AJ Simon, who was considered a potential draft pick, has passed away.

“Simon was a fun player to study, and the coaches raved about him on and off the field. Thoughts and prayers to his family.”

He ranked No. 2 on CBS Sports’ top 25 small college draft prospect list.

AJ Simon Had a Career Year In 2023 That Could’ve Proved Useful To A Team In The NFL

AJ Simon (Photo via AJ Simon Instagram)
AJ Simon was a first-team All-NCAA defensive end who helped lead Albany to the semifinals of the NCAA FCS playoffs in 2023. He put in the work and had potential as a defensive end in the NFL. He also recently had a pre-draft visit to the New England Patriots.

Last year for Albany, Simon racked up 55 tackles (37 solo), 12.5 sacks, and 21.5 tackles for loss via

Simon posted five sacks and 10.5 tackles during the 2022 campaign after transferring from Division ll Bloomsburg.


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