Giants eyeing impactful season from versatile linebacker

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) is sacked by New York Giants safety Isaiah Simmons (19) during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

When the Giants traded a late-round draft selection for versatile defender Isaiah Simmons, most applauded the deal in hopes of extracting substantial value. Simmons was on a veteran minimum deal in 2023, and he is sticking around with the Giants for the 2024 season one year, $1.27 million, counting $2 million against the salary cap.

Isaiah Simmon’s Role on the Giants

Simmons, 25, had a relatively decent season with Big Blue last year under the leadership of Wink Martindale, but the Giants have since transitioned to Shane Bowen as their primary defensive coordinator following an entertaining off-season. Last year, Simmons produced 378 total snaps, providing eight pressures, 30 tackles, and 16 stops in the run game.

New York Giants safety Isaiah Simmons (19) celebrates while scoring a touchdown on an interception of Washington Commanders quarterback Sam Howell (14) in the final minute during the fourth quarter at FedExField.
Nov 19, 2023; Landover, Maryland, USA; New York Giants safety Isaiah Simmons (19) celebrates while scoring a touchdown on an interception of Washington Commanders quarterback Sam Howell (14) in the final minute during the fourth quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

However, Simmons should have a decent role on defense, which will utilize more zone coverage, allowing him to be more impactful in the passing defense. Not only is he stacked full of tangible attributes, but he’s also a big personality and is well respected by his teammates in the locker room.

It will be difficult for Simmons to crack the starting roster, with Jason Pinnock, Dane Belton, and Tyler Nubin as the primary three options. Still, in sub packages, Simmons should have an opportunity to work his way into the fold, even if it means playing a little bit of linebacker.

One thing the Giants saw was legitimate sideline-to-sideline speed, and Simmons showed up to make plays when his number was called. At the very least, he is a tremendous depth piece and could work his way into more defensive alignments if he continues to produce.

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