New York Giants land defensive playmaker Isaiah Simmons in latest USA Today Mock Draft

Alexander Wilson
New York Giants looking at Isaiah Simmons in 2020 NFL Draft?
Jan 7, 2019; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Clemson Tigers safety Isaiah Simmons (11) against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2019 College Football Playoff Championship game at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants could go down several different avenues in the 2020 NFL Draft. Still, the offensive line seems to be the needy unit, as left tackle Nate Solder is a liability at times, and the right tackle position is wide open. The departure of Mike Remmers in free agency has opened up a potential position battle between Nick Gates and recently signed tackle, Cameron Fleming.

While the offensive tackle position could serve to gain a top prospect, the defense could also use a top playmaker. After GM Dave Gettleman allocated millions of dollars toward bolstering the defense by means of CB James Bradberry, LB Blake Martinez, OLB Kyler Fackrell, and retaining LB David Mayo and DT Leonard Williams, the unit could still use another difference-maker.

That’s where Isaiah Simmons enters the picture.

USA Today’s latest mock draft has the Giants landing Simmons with the 4th overall pick:

4. Giants — Isaiah Simmons, LB/S, Clemson: Having spent big to retain defensive lineman Leonard Williams and reel in cornerback James Bradberry and linebacker Blake Martinez, general manager Dave Gettleman might be drawn to one of his beloved “hog mollies” with this pick. As much as quarterback Daniel Jones and running back Saquon Barkley would benefit from such an addition along the offensive line, Simmons has a strong case as the most valuable option for Big Blue. Defenders with his versatility and range don’t come around often, and he could prove to be the catalyst the Giants have been lacking.

While Gettleman added Martinez and retained Mayo, Simmons adds a different dynamic. His ability to drop into coverage and rush the passer on third downs makes him more of a “defender,” by his definition than a linebacker. His statistical output in 2019 while at Clemson is diverse — 104 total tackles, 7.0 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 3 interceptions, and 8 passes defended.

There’s little evidence to suggest that Simmons wouldn’t be a massive upgrade at the LB position for the Giants, and he would add a coverage attribute that Martinez and Mayo simply don’t have.