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Isaiah Simmons, Tee Higgins Headline Clemson Pro Day Ahead of 2020 NFL Draft

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 12, 2020

Clemson's Isaiah Simmons defends during an NCAA college football game against Boston College Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, in Clemson, S.C. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
Richard Shiro/Associated Press

Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons and wide receiver Tee Higgins took center stage Thursday during the Tigers' pro day at the Allen N. Reeves Football Complex in South Carolina.

Simmons, a hybrid linebacker/safety in the mold of the Kansas City Chiefs' Tyrann Mathieu, has been one of the biggest standouts during the pre-draft process.

Patrick Claybon @PatrickClaybon

Turns out we did get some Isiah Simmons numbers today, 20 reps at 225 https://t.co/iS6SJpQTMB

The 21-year-old Nebraska native put his speed on display by running the 40-yard dash in 4.39 seconds at the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine. He waited for the pro day to showcase his strength and came through with 20 reps on the bench press Thursday.

WBG84 @WBG84

Since 2000, only one player measuring in at least 6-3, 235 pounds benched 20 or more reps at 225 pounds and ran a sub-4.4 40 yard dash at the combine: Vernon Davis (2006). Isaiah Simmons ran a 4.39 40 at the combine, and just benched 20 reps at his Pro Day #GiantsPride #NFLDraft

Simmons' only other on-field activity during the workout was a game of rock-paper-scissors with teammate Sean Pollard, opting otherwise to stand on his strong combine performance.

Hi, I’m David @ADavidHaleJoint

Clemson pro day update: Sean Pollard just beat Isaiah Simmons in a game of Rock Paper Scissors (✂️>📄). Gotta be a real concern for teams looking at Simmons in the top 10.

Todd Summers of 7News reported the linebacker did meet with some team scouts throughout the session.

Bleacher Report's Matt Miller ranked Simmons as the No. 4 overall prospect on his latest big board. He's a strong bet to land somewhere in the top five with the Detroit Lions (third overall pick) and New York Giants (fourth) both in the market for an upgrade at the position.

The outlook is less settled for Higgins, Miller's No. 21 prospect in the 2020 class.

He didn't make a major impact in the team's two College Football Playoff games and declined to participate in the combine, citing the Tigers' long season.

"We had a long season and I only had four or five weeks to prepare for this, and I feel like that's not enough time to compared to all these other guys who had two months," Higgins told NFL Media. "I just feel like I need to be more prepared to run the 40 and all the other drills."

PFF Draft @PFF_College

Tee Higgins runs a 4.43 40-yard dash at Clemson’s Pro Day💨💨💨 (Via @CUTigers_com) https://t.co/d7wrdhaPPM

His physical testing Thursday was a bit of a mixed bag. His unofficial 4.43-second 40 was encouraging (Clemson will provide official times later), but the other numbers were mediocre.

𝐌𝐢𝐠𝐮𝐞𝐥 𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐞𝐭𝐨𝐧 @DynastyGuruFF

Tee Higgins Unofficial Pro Day Results 31" Vert 10'3 Broad 4.43 40 time 4.5 20yd shuttle https://t.co/NiEM7b52uh

Higgins looked far more comfortable in positional drills, though. That's what makes him such a difficult player to pin down heading into the draft. His production over the past two years is terrific and his tape suggests he's a good football player, even without the benefit truly elite athleticism.

Todd Summers @ToddSummers7

At Clemson Pro Day, Tee Higgins now doing what he does best, catch passes. ⁦@WSPA7⁩ https://t.co/8TJyFp4HHM

The receiver has registered 118 catches for 2,103 yards and 25 touchdowns in 30 appearances since the start of the 2018 campaign.

Nick Farabaugh @FarabaughFB

I don’t know if Tee Higgins makes it to 49, but he doesn’t play at a 4.43 game speed if that truly is his time. It’s something to note. He’s notably slower on tape. He’s more a jump ball, go up and get it type of guy. But regardless I have my doubts that he makes it to 49.

Both Simmons and Higgins will be expected to make an immediate impact at the next level. They'll find out their destinations when the NFL draft gets underway April 23 in Las Vegas.  

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