Rd 1: Isaiah Simmons LB Clemson
The NY Giants use a first-round pick to draft a linebacker for the first time since drafting Carl Banks with the third overall pick in the 1984 draft when they select Isaiah Simmons. In doing so they get a dynamic player with a skill set, unlike anything the league has seen before.
This year at Clemson, Simmons played 14% of the time on the defensive line, 18% at safety, 32% at linebacker and an incredible 36% of the time at cornerback. Take a moment to think about that. A man who is 6’4″ and 240-pounds played the highest amount of snaps as a cornerback and did so at a very high level.
By selecting Simmons, the Giants get a versatile hybrid player who projects primarily as a linebacker with sideline-to-sideline range. Simmons reportedly runs a sub-4.50 forty-yard dash and rumors have swirled that he has beaten Clemson running back and teammate Travis Etienne in a foot race and that he once long jumped 25′ in high school. Again, take a long moment to absorb how freakish of an athlete Simmons is.
In addition to his incredible coverage skills, Simmons enjoys delivering bone-jarring hits to ball carriers, blitzing the quarterback with great efficiency, containing run games and long walks in the park. This kid is the total package, he is the type of player NFL teams will build their defenses around in the future.
With Simmons available to be a featured cog in the NY Giants defense, it allows new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham to open up the defensive playbook and get extremely creative with his versatility and unique abilities.
Simmons brings an electric playmaking ability to the Giants that the fans have not seen in a long time and coupled with some key free agent acquisitions would make the young New York defense very dangerous.