There is one word that describes Jeffery Simmon’s game: a disruptor. He is an absolute force on the interior line, and one of the finest linemen Mississippi State has ever produced with the potential to be a perennial pro bowler. But like most draft prospects, he does not come without risk.
Multiple circumstances have led to him falling down draft boards. After the 2018 season, Simmons tore his ACL and will have to sit out his rookie year. On top of that, an incident involving him hitting a woman before his college days has gone viral, and he will have to answer many questions surrounding that. Those red flags will likely knock him off the board for several teams, though there are no documented incidents surrounding him during his days in Starkville. He did not get to perform at the Combine for these reasons, but here’s a look at how he was looking in drills prior to the injury:
Once viewed as a potential top 10 pick, Simmons will inevitably fall on Draft Day. The question is how far?
His pass rushing moves have room for improvement, but his power and athleticism make him active up front and a force behind the line of scrimmage. Despite having just two sacks last season, Simmons did have 18 tackles for loss, four pass deflections, and a forced fumble. His burst is comparable to the best defensive tackles in this year’s draft and will make him an elite run-stopper in the league once he returns from injury.
Simmons is a freak athlete that would be a crazy pairing with Grady Jarrett up front for the Falcons, but they would have to wait a year, which is not ideal. However, if Simmons falls further than expected, the Falcons may overlook the red flags to add a potential game-changing piece to the defense, especially since he is a perfect fit in a 4-3 next to Jarrett. If he’s available in the second round, the Falcons should not hesitate taking him with the 45th pick.