Arizona Cardinals: 4 individual award candidates
Isaiah Simmons: Defensive Rookie of the Year
Isaiah Simmons fell right into the Arizona Cardinals’ lap during the NFL Draft. In a previous piece, it was illustrated how he can positively impact Arizona’s defense. Simmons is a safety/linebacker hybrid. It is rare to find a defensive back trapped inside of a linebacker’s body.
If defensive coordinator Vance Joseph uses Clemson’s blueprint on how to deploy Simmons, the impact could be game-changing. Proper usage will be pivotal for Simmons to replicate the versatile performance he displayed in Death Valley.
Simmons could face more targets than the average linebacker, with more opportunities to finish with statistics similar to a defensive back. If Simmons can rack up the tackles, sacks, pass break-ups, and interceptions, his case for defensive rookie of the year will be as strong as anyone. Chase Young poses the biggest threat to Simmons for the Defensive Rookie of the Year award, but Simmons should be a leading candidate.