Could Isaiah Simmons end up as the Arizona Cardinals slot corner in 2023?
By Sion Fawkes
Corner is an obvious weak spot for the Arizona Cardinals in 2023, but they may only need one more puzzle piece for the position group to click.
As it stands, the Arizona Cardinals have Marco Wilson, Christian Matthew, and Antono Hamilton as the top three corners on the depth chart. Hamilton and Matthew fit better as depth pieces, while Wilson fits best as a CB2. That said, look for the Cards to take a corner somewhere in the first two (or three) rounds, with the intention of them developing into a legitimate CB1.
But that would still leave Arizona thin at corner, with only four chess pieces heading into the 2023 season. However, the Cards also hit hard on the linebacker position in free agency, signing Kyzir White, Krys Barnes, and Josh Woods to line up alongside Zaven Collins and perhaps, Isaiah Simmons.
Why is this important? It may lead to a massive clue of where the Cards could plan on playing Simmons: There are way too many linebackers for two (or three) available slots. The odd man out, ironically, is Simmons, and I say ironically because he’s not the odd man out because of his lack of skills, but for his unique skills.
Isaiah Simmons could be Arizona Cardinals slot corner in 2023
Listed as a star backer under the old regime, Simmons spent more time in the secondary, specifically at corner, than he did at his listed position of inside linebacker. Now that the Cards have a logjam at linebacker, but look rather thin at corner, don’t be surprised if Simmons spends most of his time playing the latter position.
If this is indeed the case, however, Simmons must get better in coverage, having allowed a completion percentage of 77.1% in 2022, 7.4 yards per target, and a passer rating of 104.3. He did, however, post 2 interceptions, including a pick six, and 7 pass deflections, so the potential is there.
Perhaps playing under head coach Jonathan Gannon and defensive coordinator Nick Rallis will unlock Simmons’ potential. We shall find out this season.
Source: Isaiah Simmons remains positionless in Cardinals’ new-look defense by Tyler Drake, ArizonaSports.com.