He just declared for the draft, and after reading up on him a bit he sounds like he would be perfect for our defense. I could get onboard with picking him at 3.
I like him, too. I don’t know at three, but, he is a stud.
How exactly is he a perfect fit for our defense when our coaches want 250+ lb linebackers?
I think the value is in his versatility.
I heard the role he was most suited to was Walkers so, if true, it ain’t gonna happen
He’d be a hybrid safety, he plays great in man coverage and can handle any TE and some receivers. He’s not a zone guy though, he should be playing around the LOS…if the Lions drafted him, they’d move Walker to the deep FS role.
I haven’t had time to breakdown film yet but in the surface he is exactly what this team needs at LB. Sideline to sideline and can cover backs and TEs with ease. He’s also excellent on the blitz from the edge and up the middle.
My only concern is I don’t know if he’s physical enough to play close to the LOS. Can he play through traffic, shed blockers, and hold the edge? Is he a downhill player?
No, at least not yet, he doesn’t have the functional strength to do that. He’s very long and it’s hard to get hands on him, but he gets engulfed by OL if they get to him.
I like him only as a trade down scenario, not at three.
Exactly. Young or trade down (imo)
Simmons is lean, he can add 20lbs in a year without losing much of his speed.
Simmons is not a Safety, not sure where that stuff is coming from. He’d be put in a LB position to best use his speed and athleticism.
He plays quite a bit of safety actually
Well he was a Safety before he was converted to LB but Clemson did move him around a lot, including Safety yet…but he’s not going to take Walker’s spot or any other Safety’s spot.
This defense ideally likes to deploy 3 safeties. That’s what makes Simmons a good fit.
That was just a journalist’s opinion. Ge could play Walkers’ role or Jarrad Davis role. Davis’ role is I believe where he’d be looked at, for his ability to cover receivers, Davis’ weakness.
He can guard te/rb something this defense really needs.
This defense needs LB’s a lot more than we need Safeties. I wouldn’t doubt if we had the weakest LB corp in football right now. If we needed a Safety, then I’d go for Delpit before Simmons. If we draft Simmons, he’ll be in the box, call him a LB or Safety or whatever but he better be drafted to help at the LB position.
I envision Simmons as a little better version of a Lawrence Timmons kind of LB.
Here’s the article, for whatever it’s worth.
How the Lions would use Isaiah Simmons on defense
January 16, 2020 3:13 pm ET
Seemingly every year there is a player who is extraordinarily talented but it’s difficult to place his fit in the NFL. This year, that player is Clemson’s Isaiah Simmons. He has yet to officially declare for this year’s draft class, but with talk of him being potentially selected within the Top 10 picks, it seems likely he will declare.
If Simmons does declare, the next question is, will Lions consider him with the third overall pick? To answer that, let’s take a look at who Simmons is as a player and if/where he would fit in the Lions multiple defensive scheme.
At 6-3, 228-pounds, Simmons has — on paper — a 43 WILL linebacker body type. But when you watch him play, you can see his frame is lankier, giving the illusion he is more of a bulked-up safety.
When a player falls in-between traditional positions they typically get labeled as a Hybrid or Tweener. A Hybrid is a player who can play multiple positions at a high level, while a Tweener doesn’t have a true fit at any position. Simmons is very much a Hybrid player.
So how versatile is he?
I rewatched both of Clemson’s College Football Playoff games from this year and saw Simmons take snaps at MIKE, SAM, deep center-field safety, shallow center-field safety, strong/box safety, nickel corner, outside corner, and defensive end. His versatility makes him a four-down regardless of where you play him.
Simmons is an elite coverage player with sideline-to-sideline speed, fluid hips that allow him to thrive in man coverage, as well as the instincts and effort to cover large areas of the field, and is most successful when given the opportunity to operate in space.
Clemson’s Isaiah Simmons is such a difference-maker, hard not to get Derwin James vibes from him.
He’s the do-it-all type every NFL team is looking for right now.
So where does he play in the NFL?
This is going to strongly depend on who drafts him. Some teams will view him as an inside linebacker, while others will want to keep him on the outside, or in a safety role.
So where would he play for the Lions?
For the Lions, I believe his ideal fit would be as a JOKER safety.
The Joker role, asks a player to play a significant amount of snaps at the linebacker level, mostly over the slot or tight end. The JOKER will also be asked to routinely drop into a deeper safety role, and occasionally they will be asked to shift inside over the A- or B-Gap.
The problem for the Lions?
They already have a JOKER in Tracy Walker, who is a rapidly ascending player who could be talked about as one of the top safeties in the league in the very near future.
Would having Walker rule out the Lions drafting Simmons?
No. But adding Simmons would likely mean an adjustment in Walker’s role, and with him thriving, the Lions may not want to slow down the rising star.
Further complicating matters, last year’s third-round pick Will Harris expected to take on a bigger role in 2020 and even if they are willing to shift Walker’s responsibilities around, adding Simmons could slow his development.
Is there room for all three players on the field?
Yes. In order to make room for all three players, the Lions would have to be willing to shift a bit of the defensive philosophy around, leaning on even more three-safety sets this upcoming season — something they could realistically do.
Last year, they deployed three safeties around 50-percent of snaps but adding Simmons would take that number up a few notches.
Would the Lions be willing to increase their three safety sets?
We will likely know the answer to this when we see how they approach free agency.
If the Lions significantly upgrade their defensive backs in free agency, either at corner or safety — this does not include the retention of players like Tavon Wilson or Rashaan Melvin — they likely won’t be looking to select a defensive back early in the draft.
Although, if the Lions hold pat with their secondary — or make minimal additions, especially at safety — that would open the door to adding a player like Simmons and increasing the three safety sets.
Is Simmons in the mix for the Lions at pick No. 3?
For sure. The idea of having a player with his coverage potential is very appealing — but they would have to be confident in how they can make alterations to their secondary.
With the NFL is shifting offenses and utilizing tight ends, pairing a player like Simmons with Walker would make the Lions defense very difficult to pass on at the intermediate level and down the seam.
Additionally, with Simmons, Walker, and Harris all capable of cycling through the Lions’ three safety positions, it would make things even easier to justify.
So, what’s the final verdict?
Yes, Simmons will be in the mix for the Lions at pick three, but so will several other defenders, including Derrick Brown (DT, Auburn), Jeffrey Okudah (CB, OSU), Javon Kinlaw (DT, South Carolina), and A.J. Espensa (EDGE, Iowa) — and of course Chase Young (EDGE, OSU) if he is there.
The big difference will be, the Lions won’t have to adjust their defense for any of those other four players.
It’s too early to predict if Simmons is worth that high of a selection. But I’m not ruling him out either.
I see him as a Roquan Smith with much better coverage ability.