The Jacksonville Jaguars would help their defense by selecting Clemson’s Isaiah Simmons to solve problems either at linebacker or safety.
I might have a bit of a man-crush on Clemson’s Isaiah Simmons and I am not afraid to admit it. I hope the Jacksonville Jaguars do as well and work hard to make him their first of two first-round draft picks in April. The Tigers star who plays linebacker or safety should improve the Jaguars at the position and help this defensive unit not only get younger but better in 2020.
If the front office wants to make a statement this offseason, the defense should be the focal point while the new director of player personnel Trent Baalke, general manager David Caldwell and head coach Doug Marrone work to find missing parts to the offense without breaking the bank in doing so.
It’s Simmons, however, who should be the focal point of the first part of their draft process. With the Carolina Panthers drafting one spot ahead of them, there may be some maneuvering that must be done to make that happen.
"“Any player on the second and third levels will help this Jaguars defense. Simmons is versatile and could fill a number of roles,” writes Charley Casserly of NFL.com and why the Jaguars must watch him closely at the Combine. “What is his best position? No matter — he will immediately make this unit better.”"
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Jacksonville sure needs to get better despite a pass rush that finished seventh in the NFL in sacks in 2019. It’s the run defense and the middle of the field that needs attention. Myles Jack played out of position last season. Injuries destroyed the linebackers as a whole and not having defensive tackle Marcell Dareus on the field at defensive tackle because of a core injury left an indelible mark that could not be erased.
Per SI.com’s Jaguars beat writer John Shipley, Simmons is as good a fit for the Jaguars in trying to repair their fractured, but not broken, defense.
"“In coverage, Simmons is a special player for his size. He has rare athleticism and length that gives him the range and ability to disrupt plays from centerfield, whether it is making a play on the ball in the air or playing the receiver,” he writes.“He also has the long speed to carry vertical routes from the slot or from a linebacker position, making it hard to target him on explosive plays.”"
The team needs to fix their run defense and pass coverage underneath and over the middle. Simmons would be a big help, but it might not be enough. If they are able to select the 2019 Butkus Award winner, the front office could use their next pick at No. 20 to grab a solid run sopper – possibly Neville Gallimore of Oklahoma to help the interior defensive line.