Isaiah Simmons solidified himself as one of the top few prospects in the draft after the NFL combine. Should he be priority #1 for the NY Giants?
Many NY Giants fans are divided on what to do with the #4 overall pick in this draft. Most tend to agree that trading back and accumulating extra picks is the route to go, but if Big Blue decides to stay put, Isaiah Simmons will be hard to pass up.
After running a blazing 4.39 40 at 6’3 238 pounds, Simmons showed why many are calling him a ‘generational’ (there’s that word again) defensive player. For a defense that lacks any true playmakers at the moment, Dave Gettleman could surely fall in love with the former Clemson player and feel trading down and potentially losing out on him isn’t worth it.
The NY Giants have not had a dominant sideline-to-sideline linebacker in years, and they’ve never had one that can also play free safety, slot corner and even edge rusher. A unicorn of sorts, Simmons will wear many hats in the NFL. One of the main knocks on him has been that he doesn’t have a true position, but any defensive coordinator worth their salt would easily figure out a role for him.
On the flip side, Big Blue also hasn’t had a blue-chip, dominating offensive tackle in what seems like forever. The franchise has neglected the offensive line for far too long, and with the free agency route blowing up in their faces with Nate Solder, drafting one of the top four offensive tackles (ideally after a trade down) has to be on the table as well.
However, there’s a solid chance that Simmons will have a higher grade on him and be higher up on Big Blue’s big board than any of those four tackles. That’s where the age-old debate of drafting for need vs. taking the best player available will come into play.
To me, it’s easier (and much cheaper) to find an off-ball linebacker/safety in free agency or later on in the draft than it is to find a cornerstone offensive tackle. But Simmons is one of those prospects that could – and deserves to – break the trend of a non-pass rushing specialist linebacker going in the top five of a draft. It’s only happened twice in the last 15 years, and one of the players – Aaron Curry – was a complete failure.
With Chase Young seemingly out of the picture at the moment, that offensive tackle vs. superstar defender debate will rage on right up until draft night. If it comes down to landing a tackle and meaningful extra picks with a trade down against staying put at #4 and taking Simmons, the former seems like it would be better for the overall future of the team.
Still, the fact that Simmons can even make that a worthwhile debate speaks to the type of rare player he truly is.