As the 2020 NFL Draft takes place one name that will be eagerly watched by a number of fans of the Arizona Cardinals is Isaiah Simmons.
The Clemson product is a bit of anomaly, with his size and speed lending to few athletic comps.
His play style and versatility is reminiscent of Tyrann Mathieu, but his listed size at the combine is six inches taller and nearly 50 pounds heavier.
When you push the athletic comp of Simmons the closest you get, and a player who also shows great versatility to Simmons is that of Derwin James. James is a bit smaller, but plays with a more physical presence than Simmons does.
Which actually may not be a bad thing for Simmons as James has already missed time due to injuries.
Simmons profiling similar to James in athleticism and play style is a great high end prospect. James has already been a 1st Team All Pro in the NFL in only two seasons.
A person I trust said the best way to deploy Simmons is actually closer to how Dick LeBeau used Troy Polamalu and sees Polamalu as the best comp for Simmons, obviously in a bigger package.
High end comps like James and Polamalu should be exciting.
If Simmons is deployed in a more conservative way, ala a traditional linebacker some folks see his comp being that of Jamie Collins. Collins was an athletic monster out of Southern Miss who has had a nice career with New England, but never produced at the elite level his athleticism would have expected.
We’ll see if Simmons makes it to eight, there are rumors that he could end up being a teammate with James if he makes it to the sixth pick.