The Las Vegas Raiders will be eyeing Isaiah Simmons in the 2020 NFL Draft. And the talented hybrid linebacker worth trading up for.
The Las Vegas Raiders have been searching for a solution to the linebacker position for a number of years now. But if they play their cards right, they could land the solution they’ve been searching for in Isaiah Simmons.
Simmons is a rare breed of defender who headlines an average linebacker class in this year’s 2020 NFL Draft. But Simmons himself is anything but average.
At 6-foot-4, 238 pounds, Simmons is a monster of a linebacker prospect and the definition of a freak athlete when combined with his blazing speed. The Clemson product ran an incredible 4.39 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine and coupled that with a 39.0-inch vertical and 132.0-inch broad jump.
At his size, those numbers are downright unheard of. But don’t mistake Simmons for simply a “Combine warrior,” so to speak.
There is perhaps no player more versatile in this class than Simmons. Clemson lined him up at seemingly every position on defense and used him as their own swiss-army knife.
In 2019 alone, Simmons played 299 snaps at inside linebacker, 262 snaps at slot cornerback, 132 snaps at free safety, 116 snaps as a stand-up edge rusher, and 100 snaps at strong safety. He’s not a linebacker, safety, cornerback, or edge rusher.
He’s a defensive player — and a darn good one at that.
His speed and range make him extremely valuable in coverage and they also allow him to be used in a variety of blitz packages. Simply put, Isaiah Simmons is a defensive coordinator’s dream.
Unfortunately, Simmons is expected to be selected very high in this year’s draft, likely before the Raiders’ first pick at No. 12 overall. However, Simmons is so good that he’s worth trading up for.
The Raiders are slated to have two first-round picks in the 2020 NFL Draft at No. 12 and 19 overall. That said, if it comes at the cost of the latter selection, trading up wouldn’t be worth it.
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Vegas also has three picks in the third round, but none in the second. Determining whether trading up is worth it or not will depend, of course, and how far the team has to move up and how much they would need to surrender.
They have enough draft capital to make a move and if Simmons begins to slide, the Raiders would be smart to trade up and secure the face of their defense for years to come.
Simmons isn’t just a linebacker, but he could be the player to solve the Raiders’ woes at that position.
If the price is right and the Raiders play their cards correctly, Simmons might just be playing in silver and black next season.