Isaiah Simmons Makes NFL Draft Case to Lions With Versatile Performance

Isaiah Simmons

Getty Isaiah Simmons celebrates a big play.

The Detroit Lions were a captive audience for the battle between LSU and Clemson like everyone in America, and what they saw from Isaiah Simmons should have opened their eyes.

Simmons was one of the most impressive players on the field all night long even in Clemson’s eventual defeat. Simmons finished with 7 total tackles, 1 sack, 2 passes defended and 2 tackles for loss. The prospect has been a hot name on draft boards already, but he will become red hot after this game leading into the NFL Combine. A team in bad need of defense like the Lions have to be interested in getting to know Simmons more.

At times, Simmons has done a bit of everything this season. The snaps he has taken in multiple spots show a player who can do a little bit of everything on the football field. Simmons remains an athletic freak of nature that might not have a clear position, and that’s exactly why he should appeal to the Lions.

Detroit needs football players in a big way, especially on defense, regardless of fit. If Simmons is the best football player, he should be in the mix to be selected as a versatile weapon for the team that could be a matchup nightmare for the team’s defense.

The Lions might have more pressing needs at certain spots, but Simmons is an intriguing prospect to remember. Passing on him could be dangerous, as he showed the goods toward being the next big thing in the NFL.

At the very least, Detroit’s eyes have now been opened wide to the possibility.

Recent Lions Draft Results

After a tough 6-10 finish to the 2018 season, Detroit finished with a top 10 pick at No. 8. They were able to snag tight end T.J. Hockenson, who’s been one of the offensive bright spots thus far this season. That proves overall how a painful finish can lead to some better players.

As a whole, Detroit has done a decent job in recent drafts getting talent that can compete on the roster immediately. Last season’s top three picks are playing a major role for the team this season. Names such as Taylor Decker, Kenny Golladay, Jarrad Davis, Graham Glasgow and Tracy Walker are also playing a big role for the team when they are healthy and engaged.

While there have been a few mistakes, Bob Quinn has done a decent job to identify talent with some of the picks he has made thus far during his tenure in the Motor City. Another high pick gives him a chance at adding another impact player to the squad.

Someone like Simmons could be the perfect addition for the Lions considering all they need on defense for 2020.

Lions Biggest 2020 NFL Draft Need is Defensive End

Detroit cannot pressure the quarterback meaningfully in 2019, something that has been painfully obvious for weeks and that is a glaring problem given what the team has done to add to the front in recent months and years. Part of the problem has been injury, but beyond Trey Flowers and Da’Shawn Hand, the Lions simply don’t have any young building blocks they can count on right now. The team has to find some form of consistency in the trenches, and that is why it’s a major need for them moving forward.

If the draft were held today, the Lions would have to target some type of defensive end or pass rush specialist highly, and Chase Young would be the top option if he were there. He’s not likely to be on the board when the team picks, meaning Simmons could be an interesting option. Without a few impact players here in 2020, it’s tough to imagine the Lions turning their defensive fortunes around.

In the event Young wasn’t on the board, the Lions would likely be content to grab Jeffrey Okudah. While defensive end is the biggest need on the team, cornerback isn’t far behind. Detroit’s backfield has been searching in vain for another top flight cornerback for some time, and Okudah could give them just the right mix at the spot.

Obviously, the Lions have plenty of options with the No. 3 pick in the draft, and Simmons could have just become another one overnight.

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