1. Isaiah Simmons-Clemson University
If the NY Giants decide to address the linebacker position in the draft, then they should consider drafting the best linebacker available with the number-four overall pick. That linebacker is none other than Isaiah Simmons from Clemson University, who has been suggested as a top pick for the Giants with regularity.
At 6’4″ and 230-pounds, Simmons is an absolute athletic freak, unlike anything the league has ever seen. Simmons, who converted from safety to the linebacker position in 2017, is extremely versatile, having played the linebacker, cornerback, safety and defensive end positions with regularity for the Tigers this season.
In fact, Simmons played cornerback, safety, and linebacker nearly equal amounts and played all with great effectiveness. With the amount of versatility Simmons provides, he would allow new Giants defensive coordinator Patrick Graham to be extremely creative with his defensive playcalling.
Simmons would give the Giants a linebacker who is a sideline-to-sideline defender and who can dominate in both run and pass defense. He is an effective run stopper and has the coverage abilities of an elite corner, allowing him to cover running backs, wide receivers and tight ends with great effectiveness. In addition, he is extremely fast, especially for his size and is expected to run a sub 4.50 in the 40-yard dash at the combine.
In addition to his ability to stop the run and cover receivers, Simmons is an excellent blitzer. The 2019 Butkus Award winner, given to the top linebacker in the nation, Simmons has an extremely high football IQ and represents a high motor player. If that wasn’t enough to sell the Giants on Simmons, he also possesses great leadership skills and is a high character player.
Drafting Simmons would provide the Giants with an absolute game-changer on defense. Last season at Clemson he had a stat line that included 102 total tackles, 16 tackles for a loss, eight sacks, three interceptions, eight pass deflections, and one forced fumble.
As previously mentioned, the Giants will have to select Simmons with the fourth overall pick (assuming he is still available) if they hope to get him. He is certainly a top-10 overall pick, with his ability to single-handedly take over a game on defense.