Giants’ versatile new acquisition flashes potential in first appearance

New Giants linebacker Isaiah Simmons during warm ups
Chris Pedota, NorthJersey.com / USA TODAY NETWORK

The New York Giants put their latest acquisition on the field during their preseason finale on Saturday night, playing LB Isaiah Simmons after trading for him just 48 hours prior. The Giants traded for Simmons on Thursday morning, then had him suit up in blue on Saturday night. He played only five snaps in the final preseason game but managed to make an impact and flash his potential in defensive coordinator Wink Martindale’s system.

Isaiah Simmons pressures Jets QB Aaron Rodgers

Simmons was out with the first team in the Giants’ final preseason game against the Jets on Saturday night. It did not take long for the new LB to make an impact as he quickly got in the backfield, pressuring Jets QB Aaron Rodgers on third-and-long to force a punt.

How will Simmons be utilized in the Giants’ defense?

He was on the field for only five snaps against the Jets, but the way Simmons was utilized in that small sample size reveals plenty about the team’s plans for him. Simmons is a versatile defensive player, splitting time at linebacker, safety, and even nickel corner during his three seasons with the Arizona Cardinals.

With Big Blue, Simmons will be able to play a variety of roles in Martindale’s defensive system. The initial expectation was that the team intended to play him primarily as an inside linebacker. But in his first snaps with New York, Simmons was primarily utilized as a pass-rushing outside linebacker.

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Simmons blitzed on all five of his snaps on Saturday. According to ESPN’s Jordan Raanan, Simmons blitzed from every angle, lining up over the A and B gaps, over right tackle and left tackle.

This season, Simmons can be utilized as a defensive weapon. Not only will he add some athleticism to Big Blue’s linebacker corps, but Simmons will also provide depth for the Giants in the pass-rushing department. His skillset is expansive and versatile and Martindale will make the most of Simmons’ abilities to impact the game as a pass-rusher.