The 2020 NFL Draft is now less than three weeks away, with the first round scheduled for April 23rd. There are plenty of questions about players deeper down the draft given the lack of Pro Days and individual workouts and visits, but even the first round will potentially see some talent slip for reasons both related and unrelated to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Unrelated to the pandemic is just the fact that the teams overvalue certain positions. We’ll probably see at least three quarterbacks go in the top ten — not entirely because the prospects are definitely top ten options, but in part because the quarterback position is so important people are willing to roll the dice on them.
On the other hand, some positions are viewed as worth waiting on if a player does not immediately strike people as a potential Hall of Famer. One player who could slip a bit is Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons.
SB Nation’s mock draft database has him slotted to the New York Giants in just under 30 percent of mock drafts. However, there is not much consistency, with him showing up to a host of teams. For example, SB Nation’s Dan Kadar has him going 11th to the Jacksonville Jaguars in his 2020 NFL mock draft, while USA Today Draft Wire’s Luke Easterling has him going seventh to the Carolina Panthers in his mock draft.
A top 15 or top 10 spot is solid, but this is a guy who many view as one of the premier prospects of the draft. Gil Brandt discussed his top 16 rated players with Peter King, and rates Simmons as the third overall prospect. Brandt’s colleague at NFL.com, Daniel Jeremiah, also ranks him as the third overall prospect.
Simmons is arguably the most versatile prospect in the 2020 NFL Draft. He is listed at linebacker, but also played as a slot corner and safety at Clemson. He stands 6’4, 238 pounds and his length and 4.39 speed make him a perfect candidate for a do-everything kind of role. There are concerns about his work against the run, but as NFL analyst Lance Zierlein noted, he has a “unique potential to spy and shrink the field against dual-threat quarterbacks.”
Opinions are not always consistent, but if Simmons slips because teams are enamored by a quarterback or another position viewed as a little more premium, someone is going to get considerable value.