NFL Draft 2020: AFC scout says Isaiah Simmons would be a perfect fit with the Giants, per report

Isaiah Simmons was already ahead of the rest of the linebacker class heading into last week’s NFL combine. But after putting up impressive numbers during his measurements and on-field work (that included his staggering 4.39 time in the 40-yard dash) at the combine, the former Clemson Tiger could find himself in the top five of the 2020 NFL Draft. 

Simmons’ combine performance was so good that CBS Sports draft analyst Ryan Wilson has the Lions taking him with the third overall pick in his most recent mock draft. And while Simmons could very well end up in Detroit, SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano believes it would be very tough for the Giants, who are drafting right behind the Lions with the fourth overall pick, to pass on Simmons if he is still there for the taking. 

Vacchiano added that an AFC scout stated that Simmons would be a “perfect” fit for the new defensive scheme the Giants are looking to deploy under first year defensive coordinator Patrick Graham. He added that Giants GM Dave Gettelman, who has made it clear that acquiring a linebacker is among the team’s biggest offseason priorities, is not high on the soon to be available linebackers on the open market. 

Graham’s defensive scheme is one born of versatility, as the Dolphins, the team he was with during the 2019 season, played out of multiple fronts throughout the season. While they were mostly a 3-4 defense, the Dolphins would also line up in a 4-3 or even in a 6-2. 

“It was a 3-4,” former Giants and Dolphins linebacker Calvin Munson recently told The Athletic, “with some moving parts to it.”

Graham’s defense requires a versatile linebacker, one that can fill multiple roles when called up on to do so. That shouldn’t be much of a problem for Simmons, who lined up at every position except for defensive tackle during his time at Clemson. Once, Simmons once saw time at five different positions during a game. 

“I think it’s really beneficial for me,” Simmons said from the combine. “I know years ago it wasn’t good to be a position-less guy. But now it’s become a benefit for me just because of all the versatility I’ll be able to do — play linebacker, play safety, whatever it is. Mentally, I feel like there isn’t anything I can’t do.”

While it appears that Simmons would be a good fit in New York, the question is whether or not the Giants are seriously interested in using their first round pick on the talented linebacker. Late last month, Gettleman declared that the Giants were “open for business,” implying that they were open to possibly trading out of the fourth overall pick. But that was before Simmons’ monster combine, which may be causing Gettleman to reconsider how he uses his first round pick. 

The Lions may be the only real road block preventing the Giants from getting Simmons. While the Bengals appeared set on taking Joe Burrow, the Redskins are expected to take pass rusher Chase Young with the second overall pick. And while they are expected to go defense with the No. 3 overall pick, the Lions aren’t — at least publicly — married to any particular player. Wilson has the Lions taking Simmons in his most recent mock, while fellow CBS Sports draft analyst Chris Trapasso has Detroit taking Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah. 

With the fourth pick, Trapasso has the Giants taking Simmons, and we could see that pairing continue to crop up over the next two months.

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