I’ll be honest; if Simmons is available at 12, it will be an indictment on the many of the teams picking in front of the Raiders. However, Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock should sprint their card to the commissioner if Simmons falls into their hands.
With the way the game is played today, versatility is everything for defenses, and Simmons provides elite versatility. At 6’4 and 230lbs, he is an unreal athlete that would bring immediate speed and physicality in the middle of the Raiders defense. Their struggles to cover in the middle of the field have been an issue for years, and Simmons could quickly make it a strength of the team.
He is also capable of playing in the slot, and if you watched his college playoff game against Ohio State, he can even drop back and play deep safety at times.
A lot of times, versatility can be a crutch for a player that really doesn’t have a go-to position. However, with Simmons, it’s more like he so good everywhere; it’s hard to know exactly where you’ll maximize him best. He also plays for the Raiders college pipeline at the University of Clemson, so it seems like a match based on Mayock and Gruden draft philosophy. Defensive coordinator Paul Guenther has never been one to encourage high draft capital on linebackers, but I doubt even he would let someone like Simmons go by.