Simmons was drafted No. 8 overall by Arizona in 2020. The 6-foot-4, 238-pound 25-year-old started 37 of 50 games for the Cardinals. In 2022, he had a career high in sacks (4.0) and added 99 tackles. He had 105 tackles in 2021. Simmons, though, has never really had the impact that might have been expected.
Coming out of Clemson with a diverse skill set, Simmons was looked as a defensive chess piece. The Cardinals never really seemed to settle on a position for him.
The Cardinals used Simmons all over the defense. He played inside linebacker, edge, slot cornerback, wide cornerback, and free safety.
For his career, Simmons has played 1,077 snaps at inside linebacker, 432 at edge, 641 in the slot, 65 as a wide cornerback, and 63 as a free safety.
Where does he fit with the Giants?
Honestly, a little bit of everywhere. As we have said multiple times throughout the summer, the Giants’ depth at inside linebacker and on the edge has been questionable. Simmons fills both of those roles. He also gives them depth in the slot in the event that sixth-round pick Tre Hawkins III struggles and the Giants want to move Adoree’ Jackson back to the outside.
Mostly, Simmons seems like a fantastic toy for defensive coordinator Wink Martindale, who often refers to his defense as “position-less.” Simmons seems like an excellent addition at a bargain-basement price for a defense that wants to be as flexible as possible.
Coach Brian Daboll said Simmons has “multiple role potential” for the Giants:
Here is what BBV’s Nick Falato sent me in reaction to the trade. And yes, a film study will be forthcoming.
“It’s fair to say Isaiah Simmons never maximized his immense potential when the Cardinals selected him eighth overall in the 2020 NFL Draft. The 25-year-old played linebacker, nickel, safety, and some edge in Vance Joseph’s defense over the last few seasons. He needed a fresh start on a defense that wouldn’t pigeonhole him into a specific role but rather would find ways to leverage his explosiveness and length. The Giants need depth at edge, and Simmons’ quick first step will help Martindale’s philosophy of loading the line of scrimmage to create free rushers; plus, Simmons has plenty of athletic ability to drop into space and operate smoothly since he’s experienced at nickel and safety. Think of the Oshane Ximines role on third down early last season - that’s one way the Giants will leverage Simmons’ skill-set.”
What grade would you give the Giants’ trade for Isaiah Simmons?
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