Better Fit: Simmons or Brown?

John Maakaron

With the Lions holding the third overall pick in this year's NFL Draft, the selection will be widely debated.

For starters, should Detroit address offense or defense?

The odds-on-favorite to be drafted at No. 3 is cornerback Jeff Okudah from Ohio State.

Many Detroit fans and pundits have also talked about the organization taking former Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown or ex-Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons with the pick.

Let's take a closer look now at who is the better fit: Simmons or Brown.

LB Isaiah Simmons, Clemson

Patricia's base defense is a 3-3-5, with the third safety essentially a starter.

Simmons checks all the boxes for the strong safety role, or hang defender, in Patricia's hybrid scheme.

Simmons, who is listed at 230 pounds, isn't an exact scheme fit as a middle linebacker -- solely because of his weight.

Maybe the Lions feel that Simmons could bulk up a bit and be a more prototypical linebacker in their gap-control defense.

Then again, why would they want to pigeonhole such a versatile player?

For comparison's sake, Lions safety Tavon Wilson spent the majority of his time around the line of scrimmage this past season.

In all likelihood, Simmons would be utilized in a similar role with blitz packages that are designed specifically for him.

Most importantly, though, he would be able to help cover today's ultra-athletic tight ends.

© Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

DT Derrick Brown, Auburn

Listed at 6-foot-5 and 318 pounds, Brown is far more athletic than many men his size.

Physically, the senior holds up very well with double teams, doesn't lose gap control and shows max effort every play.

All those attributes are highly desirable by both Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia.

One thing that Brown can do that the Lions struggle with is rushing the passer.

Da'Shawn Hand is the Lions' best interior pass rusher, but has been injured a majority of the year.

Without him, Detroit has produced one of the most anemic pass rushes in the NFL.

Brown could instantly provide interior pressure.

He has a variety of pass-rush moves, including a devastating bull rush.

Playing in the SEC, Brown has lined up against plenty of future NFL linemen, and still has managed to stand out from both a power and quickness perspective.

Let us know who you think is the better fit in the comments section below. 

© Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports


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Comments (3)

I kind of want Simmons because he is such a great player, but based on team needs and what his game could help us with I almost have to say Brown might be more of an immediate impact. But I'll be super happy with either!

No. 1-3

Simmons imo


Either one would be great for the Lions but I feel Brown would make an impact quicker, and the Lions' D needs all the help it can get now.