NFL Draft analyst says Isaiah Simmons' versatility makes him valuable
|Sunday, February 23, 2020, 9:41 AM- -|
Daniel Jeremiah is an analyst for the NFL Network and a writer with NFL.com, and he spoke with the media earlier this week about the upcoming NFL Scouting Combine and the NFL Draft, and of course, there were a few Clemson players in the conversation.
The NFL Network will provide live coverage of the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine beginning Thursday, February 27 at 4:00 PM ET with the quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends. NFL Network’s coverage of the Combine continues Friday, February 28 at 4:00 PM ET with the running backs, offensive linemen and specialists, Saturday, February 29 at 4:00 PM ET with the defensive linemen and linebackers, and Sunday, March 1 at 2:00 PM ET with the defensive backs.
Jeremiah was asked about the Philadelphia Eagles on day two of the draft, and he said he likes AJ Terrell in that spot.
“When you start getting to day two, look, you've got a guy like A.J. Terrell from Clemson, who's real tall, lean, real fluid,” Jeremiah said. “He's somebody that plays a variety of techniques there. A really good blitzer coming off the boundary too, which would be fun for Jim Schwartz to play with a little bit.
“But he can be a little sticky when he has to work back downhill. But he's a tall, long, athletic corner. I think he's a late 1, early 2, could end up slipping a little bit in the second round, see what happens.”
Jeremiah also likes the Eagles’ chances of landing wide receiver Tee Higgins midway through the first round.
“And you get into Tee Higgins, who I think will probably be there, who is really tall, long and rangy. You hope you're drafting A.J. Green,” Jeremiah said. “I don't think he's on that level but that's the style with which he plays. There's a little bit of concern with him just getting off press. Some of the better competition they played later in the year he struggled a little bit with that. I would say that group of wide receivers is probably the ones they'll be staring at.”
Jeremiah has linebacker Isaiah Simmons as a top ten pick, perhaps to the Jaguars in the nine spot, and said Simmons is valuable because he can play different positions.
“I'll start with him. Because he can do anything. We had the same debate about Derwin James when he was coming out where some teams had him as a Will linebacker, some had him at a strong safety,” Jeremiah said. “I've talked to a bunch of defensive coordinators in the offseason and posed this question to them about: Are we going to start heading towards a positionless game, where you see guys on offense like Deebo Samuel who are playing in the slot but can almost function as running backs. You see guys like Derwin James, who could just darned near play every single position on the defense.
“But when you have offenses trying to manipulate personnel and get certain groups on the field like the Ravens have done a masterful job where they have the tight ends that they can put you in certain sets and then split the tight ends out, you better have more versatile players that can do multiple things. So with a guy like Isaiah Simmons, whether you want to list him as a linebacker or safety, I know you plug him into that defensive scheme and week by week you can deploy him in different ways depending on what the strength of your opponent is. That's why he has so much value. And putting these guys in little position boxes I think that's going to go away eventually. You're just going to see getting your athletes on the field and deploying them in different ways on a week-by-week basis.”