Detroit Lions draft prospect #4: Isaiah Simmons – S/LB
Despite being ranked as the No. 1 safety prospect by CBS Sports, Isaiah Simmons has kind of flown under the radar in terms of being drafted early.
Simmons is a very interesting player, mostly because he’s one of those linebacker/safety hybrids. In his first three seasons at Clemson, Simmons played as a pure safety. This past season however, he ended up playing as a LB/S hybrid.
A decade ago, one would say that drafting this type of player is crazy. But now, in this new age of packages and role players, this phase of the hybrid player seems to be here to stay. With Detroit having problems at both linebacker and safety, Simmons could be the answer to their needs.
The switch to the LB/S hybrid for the redshirt junior was one for the better. Through 14 games, Simmons set career highs in total tackles, having 97. He also tacked on seven sacks and three interceptions.
Being a safety for all of his life, his football IQ is off the charts. He reads his keys very well, and has great anticipation. He breaks on the ball with no fear, and doesn’t mind getting his nose in there.
His enormous wingspan gives him an extended tackle radius, as well as make him an excellent block-shedder. He’s able to extend his arms when engaging blockers and delivers the first blow, which is crucial whether he’s at the safety or linebacker position.
When it comes to his weaknesses, well, there’s not really much to say. The only thing that screams out to me as a weakness, is his zone coverage. His peripheral vision lacks in shallow zone coverage, which can result in missed opportunities to jump on passes across the middle.
Standing at 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds, Simmons is a unique breed. His stature combined with his speed makes him an X-factor for any defense. He solidly takes the #4 spot on this list.