The Duel

Cardinals Finally Unleashing Isaiah Simmons

Max Staley
Isaiah Simmons is finally getting a real role on the Arizona Cardinals.
Isaiah Simmons is finally getting a real role on the Arizona Cardinals. / Christian Petersen/Getty Images
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When Isaiah Simmons fell to the Arizona Cardinals at No. 8 in the 2020 NFL Draft, fans were understandably ecstatic. A freak athlete whose insane skillset made him one of the most unique defenders to come into the league in a while, Simmons was supposed to be a game-changer from day one. But that didn't happen.

Simmons barely cracked the lineup over the first half of the year, playing less than 30 percent of the snaps in each of the team's first seven games. But Cardinals fans can breathe a sigh of relief, as the club is finally ready to unleash its new defensive cornerstone, according to the team's DC Vance Joseph.

It doesn't look like this is just lip service, either. After recording the game-winning interception against Russell Wilson in Week 7, the Clemson standout has now played at least 44 perent of the snaps in back-to-back games (Weeks 9-10).

And he has looked really good in that increased role. Pro Football Focus has given Simmons grades of 64.6 and 78.1 in Week 9 and 10, respectively. Across the 147 snaps he's played on the year, PFF has given the Cardinals' jack-of-all-trades a grade of 70.2 in coverage, putting him inside the top 25 among LBs.

Capable of excelling in coverage, the run game and while rushing the passer, Simmons is going to be one of the most exciting defenders in the league once Arizona inevitably makes him a full-time starter.

Thankfully, it looks like Cardinals fans won't have to wait much longer.


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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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