Offensive tackle is a major need for the NY Giants, but Isaiah Simmons is a special player that the Giants would regret passing on for years to come.
Calling Simmons an elite athlete is an understatement. At 6 feet 4 inches, Simmons’ freakish athleticism allows him to make plays all over the football field. The 2019 Butkus Award winner finished his 2019 season at Clemson with 104 tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss, eight sacks, eight passes defended, and three interceptions — those type of numbers should leave NY Giants fans drooling.
Simmons’ size and athleticism would drastically improve the NY Giants defense if they drafted him with the #4 pick in the 2020 NFL draft. The Big Blue defense is desperate for playmakers and Simmons can make plays all over the football field in multiple ways.
Multiple will be a key-word for the Giants defense in 2020. Patrick Graham, the new Giants defensive coordinator, believes in using multiple-fronts and multiple-schemes. Isaiah Simmons would be the ultimate chess-piece for Patrick Graham and Joe Judge because of his versatility.
Against the Eagles, Simmons could help shut down Zach Ertz with his size, coverage skills, and athleticism. Against Dallas, Simmons could run sideline-to-sideline to help contain Ezekiel Elliot in the run game. He can confuse young quarterbacks (like Dwayne Haskins) by playing slot-corner back, and then blitz off the edge when it is least expected.
Isaiah Simmons can take away an offense’s biggest strength because the can line up all over the defense. For Clemson’s Brent Venables, Simmons played 36% of his snaps at cornerback, 18% of his snaps at safety, 14% of his snaps on the defensive line, and just 32% of his snaps at linebacker. A player that can line up anywhere can make life difficult for opposing quarterbacks and offensive coordinators.
A current versatile player that gives quarterbacks nightmares is Tyrann Mathieu. When the Chiefs brought in the Honey Badger in 2019, it paid immediate dividends and was a major reason they won their first Super Bowl. Isaiah Simmons can impact the game in similar ways because of this versatility and football instincts.
Simmons’ football instincts were on full display in Clemson’s college football playoff game vs. Ohio State. On a key drive late in the game, Simmons read Justin Field’s eyes from the deep half safety position and was able to sprint all the way to the sideline to intercept the pass from Fields.
Those are the kinds of game-changing plays that the NY Giants have been lacking in recent years. Even in the Giants’ first win of the 2019 season, their defense let Tampa Bay drive right down the field in seconds, only to get bailed out by Matt Gay’s missed field goal as time expired.
In the Giants’ final win of the season, their defense allowed Case Keenum to drive 99 yards in over 6 minutes to send that game into overtime. If the Giants lost the coin toss before OT, they almost certainly would have lost that game and would be picking second in the draft. It was obvious during the season that Big Blue’s biggest weaknesses were on defense.
This is why it is imperative that the Giants draft a difference maker on defense with their first pick in the draft. Many experts have the Giants drafting an offensive tackle with the #4 overall pick. The 2020 draft class is loaded with starting-caliber offensive tackles, and it is likely at least one of them will fall to them in the second round.
Our recent Super Bowl shows us that the NFL is becoming more and more like basketball on grass. Teams force defenses to cover every blade of grass on the field by utilizing their speed, running reverses, and stretching teams vertically.
Simmons’ size, athleticism, and versatility can help the NY Giants counter any kind of NFL offense. If football is becoming like basketball on grass, then Isaiah Simmons can be a Scottie Pippen type of defender in the NFL. His length and athleticism give will give him an advantage versus any opponent.
Isaiah Simmons is a freakish athlete that will certainly have a historically good NFL combine. He would immediately make the NY Giants defense much more difficult to play against.
If the Giants’ front office passes on him on April 23rd, they will likely regret it for a very long time.