Clemson LB Isaiah Simmons runs a 4.38 40-yard time at NFL Combine

Feb 29, 2020, 7:01 PM | Updated: Mar 2, 2020, 7:46 am
Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons runs the 40-yard dash at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
(AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

If the Arizona Cardinals are hoping Isaiah Simmons lasts until the No. 8 pick in the draft, his performance at the NFL Combine on Saturday night might leave them pressing a bit.

The former Clemson linebacker ran a 4.39-second 40-yard dash, which was tied for the fifth-fastest time of any player at any position through Saturday, according to Sporting News.

That time is the second-fastest a linebacker has achieved since 2006. He was just .01 seconds behind the fastest in that time frame, a 4.38 by Shaquem Griffin in 2018.

Simmons is listed at 6-foot-4 and 238 pounds.

His 40-yard time, along with his 39-inch vertical jump and 11-foot broad jump, adds to the allure of a linebacker already projected by many experts to be a top-10 pick.

According to Trevor Sikkema of Draft Network LLC, all three of those numbers are above the 90th percentile.

The broad jump was in the 98th percentile and 40-yard dash in the 99th.

Simmons didn’t run it a second time. There was good rationale for Simmons taking the first number and opting against running the 40 again.

Apparently, Simmons has done it even faster. Los Angeles Chargers safety Derwin James Jr. said he has seen Simmons run a 4.35.


ESPN NFL reporter Louis Riddick, a former NFL safety, went as far as saying Simmons should be one of the first four players selected in the draft.

The Cardinals have the No. 8 pick in the draft and are in need of help on defense. Simmons is one of the most versatile players in the draft, having lined up at outside, middle and inside linebacker, cornerback, safety and even defensive end while at Clemson.

This year, Simmons had 104 tackles, seven sacks and three interceptions.

If Riddick’s sentiment is shared by NFL executives drafting above the Cardinals, Arizona would have to trade up to be in position to take Simmons.

Simmons himself tweeted a GIF after his performance with a message: The GIF is of North Carolina A&T head coach Sam Washington, after a win, saying “Tell ’em to bring me my money.”

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