Chargers Draft

LA Chargers: Isaiah Simmons needs to be the sixth pick

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 01: Isaiah Simmons #11 of the Clemson Tigers reacts against the Pittsburgh Panthers in the first quarter during their game at Bank of America Stadium on December 1, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 01: Isaiah Simmons #11 of the Clemson Tigers reacts against the Pittsburgh Panthers in the first quarter during their game at Bank of America Stadium on December 1, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
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CLEMSON, SC – SEPTEMBER 07: Isaiah Simmons #11 of the Clemson Tigers runs on defense during a game against the Texas A&M Aggies at Memorial Stadium on September 7, 2019, in Clemson, South Carolina. Clemson defeated Texas A&M 24-10. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CLEMSON, SC – SEPTEMBER 07: Isaiah Simmons #11 of the Clemson Tigers runs on defense during a game against the Texas A&M Aggies at Memorial Stadium on September 7, 2019, in Clemson, South Carolina. Clemson defeated Texas A&M 24-10. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

The Athleticism of Isaiah Simmons

Fans that need to be reminded of Simmons’ outstanding athleticism don’t need to look too much further than the combine. At 6’4″ and 238 pounds, he’s much taller than the average player, but also much heavier and powerful than most linebackers.

With that type of height and weight, some may expect a 4.5 or 4.6 type 40-yard dash. Au contraire:

FOUR. THREE. NINE!

Isaiah Simmons is not normal.pic.twitter.com/TUdXYM5ulr

— PFF (@PFF) March 1, 2020

A 39-inch vertical jump was far from shabby and his broad jump was the third highest in the class. Simmons, like some other top talents, didn’t do position drills. But his 4.39 was more than enough to show you why he’s at the very least a top-three athlete in this class. Simmons ran the fastest 40 time in 14 years for a linebacker.

Some may be skeptical of what exactly the athletic feats and statistics really mean when translating Simmons’ game to the next level. There have been plenty of combine darlings who’ve been drafted high and flamed out.

A 40 time or a bench press shouldn’t be what makes the pick. However, athleticism is what makes Simmons so dynamic on defense.

He has the ability to dominate anywhere on the field. As a linebacker, he isn’t a run-stopper or solely a pass rusher. In 2019, he played 106 snaps on the defensive line, 239 in the box, 263 at cornerback, and 130 at deep safety. It’s almost as if PFF built a linebacker in a lab.

Speaking of PFF, his pass coverage grade in his career is a 92.5.

It’s one thing to be an athletic freak, but it’s entirely different to be versatile on top of it. With the ability to blitz, play coverage, and play most spots on defense, he’s one of the most elite talents in the draft.

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