Isaiah Simmons was not an every-down force as a rookie, but he did enough in limited playing time to earn end-of-season accolades.
The No. 8 overall pick in the draft was named to the Pro Football Writers of America’s All-Rookie team on Tuesday, joining Baltimore's Patrick Queen and Los Angeles' Kenneth Murray as the picks at linebacker.
Simmons was previously named to Pro Football Focus’ All-Rookie team after finishing the season with a PFF grade of 59.9, including an excellent mark for his coverage ability.
Simmons had 47 tackles, two sacks, an interception, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in 2020. His biggest play was the overtime interception of Russell Wilson in Week 7. In the season finale against the Rams, he smacked the ball out of Cam Akers' hand at the Arizona 1 to force a turnover.
Simmons' playing time increased about halfway through the season, and down the stretch he showed off his much-lauded versatility, seeing time at inside linebacker, outside linebacker, safety and slot cornerback.
The PFWA named Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert its Rookie of the Year. Washington defensive end Chase Young captured the Defensive Rookie of the Year honors.
Simmons is projected to be a full-time starter on defense in 2021.