Arizona Cardinals first-round pick, Isaiah Simmons, already chose the number he’s going to wear as a pro: 48.
It’s a somewhat odd choice, considering the negative connotation that usually comes along with linebackers (or safeties) who don numbers in the 40s. It’s a set usually reserved for preseason roster hopefuls; not first-round picks.
Simmons, however, doesn’t think so. In fact, he has a pretty unique reason why he picked 48.
“48, something I learned just the more and more I learned about Arizona day by day is it was the 48th state, so there is some significance right there,” Simmons said. “Personal significance, there isn’t much there. I’ve always been a really low number. I felt like I was going to look good in it. That’s really what it is.”
Simmons, who wore No. 11 at Clemson, will be classified as a linebacker by the Cardinals in 2020, but some draft analysts were of the opinion he’d be better served as more of a hybrid safety role.
Cardinals GM Steve Keim did a nice job explaining the role they envision Simmons playing after he made the pick.
“We call that kind of a player an eraser in this league.
“When you watch him on tape and you see him play the deep middle, the deep half,” he said. “You see him play in the box, you see him blitz and rush the passer. He’s sort of a Swiss Army Knife and does it all.”