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Clemson LB Isaiah Simmons' versatility makes him a fit with any team

Isaiah Simmons was asked Thursday at the NFL Combine what position he plays.

It's a fair question — Simmons played safety, all linebacker positions and cornerback at Clemson. He's one of the most versatile players available in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Simmons' reply didn't do much to answer the question, though. 

"Defense," he said. 

For the Browns, who have the No. 10 pick in the draft, Simmons' answer actually might be perfect. He's projected in most mock drafts to be off the board within a pick or two of where Cleveland will make its first selection. If he's available, he might be too good to pass up.

The Browns have until March 18 to extend the contract for veteran linebacker Joe Schobert before he becomes a free agent. If Cleveland opts to look elsewhere at the position, it might not find as promising of a talent as Simmons, who won the 2019 Dick Butkus Award — given to the best linebacker in the nation.

Check out photos of players interviewing at the 2020 NFL Combine

Besides Schobert, Mack Wilson and Christian Kirksey are the two top options the Browns have at linebacker. Wilson performed well in his rookie season and was second on the Browns with 82 tackles. Kirksey played only two games last season after suffering a torn pectoral tendon.

Defensive coordinator Joe Woods could use another top talent to fortify his 4-3 scheme, where Simmons' defensive versatility would come in handy. 

Woods could shuffle Simmons from any linebacker position. He could even use him as a defensive back — another area of need for the Browns — to maximize his tremendous hybrid abilities.

NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah believes Simmons' role could change each week in the NFL depending on the opponent. He ranked him No. 6 in his most recent version of his Top 50 Draft Prospects.

"Simmons is an extremely versatile, athletic defensive chess piece," Jeremiah wrote. "He is a long, rangy athlete who lined up at linebacker, over the slot and in the deep middle for Clemson, thanks to his diverse and unique skill set. Against the pass, he has terrific range and instincts from the deep middle. He has the speed and agility to match up with top-flight tight ends and backs underneath. He is an explosive blitzer off the edge and in through the middle. Simmons overpowers running backs in protection. Against the run, he takes good angles and his speed allows him to make plays from the back side."

That's a big package, and any NFL team could use it.

The Browns have been mostly linked to offensive linemen in first-round mock drafts thus far. That's perhaps the biggest area for improvement Cleveland could address in the draft, but Simmons has unquestionable potential that could change the look of an NFL defense. 

And if he's there for general manager Andrew Berry when the Browns are on the clock, he could be a tough pass.

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