Position: Outside linebacker
Weight: 230 pounds
School: Clemson Tigers
Isaiah Simmons 2020 NFL Draft Profile
Isaiah Simmons is a versatile linebacker who can play any number of positions and is kind of a Swiss army knife in terms of abilities. He’s opting to forgo his senior year of eligibility and is opting for the draft. Simmons projects to be a top-10 selection in this draft. He is coming off of a junior season that saw him lead Clemson in tackles with 104. He also added seven sacks, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, and three interceptions. He’s an impact player than offenses have to key around. He has a tremendous blend of strength and speed and is an athletic specimen.
Simmons played his high school football in Olathe, KS for Olathe North High School. He was a standout and first-team all-state at both defensive end and wide receiver. Simmons also broke the state record for the long jump. He received offers to play football from Clemson, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri and Nebraska among others. Simmons chose to enroll at Clemson where he redshirted his freshman year.
Simmons excelled at Clemson and in 2019 he added a bunch of hardware to his trophy case. He was first-team all ACC, the ACC defensive player of the year, unanimous first-team All American and won the Butkus Award as the nation’s best linebacker.
- absolutely the most versatile linebacker in the draft;
- his nose for the football is elite;
- known to be a tremendous athlete;
- does a great job at shedding blocks;
- excels covering tight ends and running backs.
- will need to improve size as an every-down linebacker in the NFL.
- doesn’t pencil in well as an inside linebacker to teams running 3-4 defense.
- can struggle to set the edge as a defensive end.
- has had some issues against the run on film from the inside backer position.
- not as strong as others at this position.
NFL Comparison: Darius Leonard
Teams With Need at Position: Carolina Panthers, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, New York Giants, New York Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks, Tennessee Titans, Washington Redskins
Projection: potential top-12 pick
Isaiah Simmons is among the best defensive players in college football. He will be a major contributor for whichever team is lucky enough to draft him. He will more than likely be a top-10 pick and could find a home at Carolina or Jacksonville at either pick seven or nine. He’s the most versatile player in college football and can play defensive end, inside linebacker, outside linebacker and safety at the next level. Led Clemson in tackles this past season and was named a unanimous first-team All-American and was the 2019 Butkus Award winner as the nation’s best linebacker. He’s truly a blue-chip prospect and I suspect his stock will soar at the NFL Combine.