2020 NFL Draft grades: Cardinals get a ‘B-‘ for selecting Isaiah Simmons at No. 8 overall

The Cardinals selected Clemson defender Isaiah Simmons with the No. 8 overall pick in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. The CBS Sports NFL Draft team breaks down the pick below, including a grade for the pick, how it affects fantasy leagues and more on Simmons, including his strengths and weaknesses, his NFL comp and more.

8. Arizona Cardinals: B-

Pete Prisco: I’m not in love with this kid as a player. The range is phenomenal, but where does he play? Is he a safety? Is he a linebacker? Is he a hybrid? This kid to me is a safety. I don’t think he’s physical enough to play near the line of scrimmage.

Fantasy impact

Dave Richard: Isaiah Simmons going to the Cardinals feels like a surprise choice, but it shouldn’t be. He’s a terrific jack-of-all-trades defender who can cover anyone on the field. We might see him get listed as a safety — if that’s the case then his Fantasy value would get a bit of a boost since he will line up everywhere and pick up a ton of stats while listed as a DB. If he’s listed as a linebacker, then his value wouldn’t be quite as good. But expect potentially 90 total tackles per year from him with turnovers aplenty. Rookie-only IDP drafters might choose Simmons as one of the three or four best choices out there, putting him in the conversation of a late second-round choice in those formats. His arrival is a key part of the Cardinals DST, but not one that pushes the unit into draftable territory.

NFL Draft profile

NFL comp: Derwin James
Best trait:

Clemson 6-3 5/8 238 9 5/8 33 3/8 81 7/8


  • Can line up at LB, slot corner, EDGE rusher and both safety positions
  • Elite athleticism allows him to easily match up vs. TEs/RBs and even slot WRs
  • Has sideline-to-sideline speed


  • Better as a LB than S
  • Doesn’t always wrap up as a tackler
  • Doesn’t take on blocks

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