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  If your defense is in need of repair, the best buys can be found at linebacker. "The strength there (on defense) is the linebackers. I see linebackers as full-time guys," said a long-time NFL scout who interviewed for this draft series on the condition that his name not be used. "It's a better group of linebackers than usual. There are five, six who can play and can play full-time and not just be specialists." The player who can upgrade any defense is Clemson's Isaiah Simmons, a freakish athlete who is not a specialist but positionless. Simmons, who was measured at 6 feet 4 and 238 pounds, ran the 40-yard dash in 4.39 seconds, lifted 225 pounds 20 times and had jumps of 39 inches (vertical) and 132 inches (broad).

At Clemson, Simmons played multiple spots at all levels of the defense, even making a big interception 20 yards down the field in a College Football Playoff semifinal win over Ohio State. Simmons' versatility and impact on the game is similar to the Chargers' 6-2, 215-pound All-Pro safety Derwin James, but Simmons is faster, taller and more than 20 pounds heavier. "I never seen a guy like Simmons," the NFL scout said. Simmons seems to know his value in the current landscape of the game. "The game is no longer a 250-pound linebacker. It's more guys that can run side to side and are able to cover," he said at the combine last month. "The name of the game is stopping tight ends; something has to be done to stop the Travis Kelces or George Kittles out there." - Honolulu Advertiser

(DS#1 OLB) rJr/2020 OLB Isaiah SimmonsClemson
News Source: Honolulu Advertiser



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