Cardinals predict ex-Clemson star Isaiah Simmons to focus on role

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TEMPE, Arizona – The Arizona Cardinals were impressed by Isaiah Simmons’ ability to learn and play five positions at Clemson. But now Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury wants to see how his first round pick goes at one position.

Kingsbury doubled by limiting Simmons, whom Arizona finished eighth in the NFL draft last month, to a single role in a video conference with reporters on Monday.

“Our thinking process is whether it is really able to focus on one position, have the flexibility to move, but focus on one, what does it look like?” Said Kingsbury. “And the sky can really be the limit.

“That’s why we were so excited about it. Athletics is through the roof. But his ability to play different positions and not really have the ability to focus on one, we just think the sky can be the limit of what it could be if we really lock it in a position most time. “

Last season, Simmons, the 2019 ACC defensive player and Butkus Award winner, played 303 cornerback snaps, 218 safety, 160 outside linebacker and 121 inside linebacker.

On April 28, Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph said Simmons would be a linebacker in Arizona, but will be used in a variety of other roles, particularly to defend tight ends, on a snap-by-snap basis.

After the Cardinals took Simmons, general manager Steve Keim called Simmons an “eraser” because of its ability to be a “Swiss army knife” and to correct defense mistakes.

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