Leading up to the NFL Draft, one of the most intriguing prospects was Clemson do-it-all defender Isaiah Simmons. 

Simmons played all over the field in college -- safety, inside linebacker, outside linebacker, slot corner and outside corner -- and scouts were reportedly split on his position going forward. Finding a comparison for players like that can be difficult.

But former Redskins cornerback Fred Smoot compared Simmons to his former teammate Sean Taylor. 

"Then [the Cardinals] go get a best like Isaiah Simmons," Smoot said during an appearance with former linebacker London Fletcher on the Redskins Schedule Release show Thursday night. "Before the draft, London, I said he's the closest thing to Sean Taylor I have ever seen."



Smoot played alongside Taylor in the Redskins secondary during Taylor's rookie season in 2004. When Smoot signed with the Vikings after the 2004 rookie season, Taylor took the No. 21 jersey he vacated. 

Smoot returned to Washington two years when Taylor looked to be emerging into one of the best safeties of all time. He was beginning to show the rare ability to cover and be an enforcer against the run -- as he was coming off a 114-tackle season in 2006 and nabbed five interceptions in the first nine games of 2007.

But tragedy struck when Taylor was shot in his Florida home and died later at a hospital in November of that year.


Since then, it's been difficult to find somebody that had the unique combination of size, speed and toughness that Taylor possessed. Simmons seems to have those physical anomalies that allow him to play almost anywhere on the defensive side of the ball. 

"I'm glad you mention Sean Taylor when you mention Isaiah Simmons," Fletcher said. "And the reason I say that is because I look at him more as a safety, but Arizona's talking about playing him at linebacker."

No matter where Simmons lines up, there will be a lot to prove to live up to the lofty comparison to a player of Taylor's ability.

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