The 2020 NFL Draft will be a great event for teams to start building for their future. The Game Haus will be doing scouting reports on some of the top prospects in the 2020 NFL Draft. Clemson defensive player Isaiah Simmons will be an interesting prospect to watch due to his versatility and athleticism.
Class: Redshirt Junior
Size: 6-foot-4, 230 pounds
2019 stats: 104 total tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss, 8 sacks, 8 passes defended, 3 interceptions, 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery
Simmons was buried on the depth chart behind some pretty talented players when he got to Clemson. Since that point though, he has proven to be one of the most unique prospects that the NFL will ever see, as he entered his name in the draft following his redshirt junior season.
He redshirted in 2016, but started to see the field as a redshirt freshman in 2017. His play helped Clemson reach the College Football Playoff, which would be a theme from his time in college. In 2018, he really started to emerge as a star with 88 total tackles. Clemson wound up winning the National Championship Game. This season, he upped his game even further with 104 total tackles, but Clemson fell to LSU in the National Championship.
His style of play is very unique, which helped him and Clemson have a successful time when he was on the field. Now, he is prepping for the NFL Draft as he looks to be one of the first players selected.
His athleticism paired with his size makes him a unicorn of a prospect. He is 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds but can run with wide receivers, which is something that has not been seen. Simmons has great body control and uses it in all facets of the game.
Because he is so athletic and big, he is versatile. Simmons lined up at linebacker, safety and corner over his time at Clemson. This will make him a three-down player at the NFL level. Defenses may elect to move him around so that offenses won’t know what to do. His versatility will give an NFL defense more flexibility.
The coverage he provides will be great. Whether he plays safety or linebacker, he should be able to stick with a lot of NFL receivers. Against teams with elite tight ends, Simmons will be able to match up with them both with his speed and his size. In man to man and deep zones, Simmons has seen success in coverage.
Simmons is a very unique prospect, which is a good thing, but defenses will have to know how to use him. He is best used as a weakside linebacker or safety to take advantage of his coverage skills and athleticism. A team should not play him at other linebacker spots if they want him to be as successful as possible. ‘
His play strength needs to improve if he is going to play linebacker. He is decently strong, but needs to add more strength to shed blocks better and help in stopping the run. This will also help if the defense he plays in asks him to blitz and rush the passer on occasion.
He won’t be the most successful run defender in the NFL. Simmons can improve on that with the added strength, but he also needs better form tackling to make sure the ball carrier gets to the ground. He already fills in gaps well, so it won’t take much to make him a better defender against the run.
Projected Draft Range: Top 10 pick