Defensive Tackle, Mississippi State Rebels
40 Time: N/A
Simmons was the No. 1 prospect in Mississippi but almost lost his chance to showcase his talents following an arrest for assault in 2016.
Simmons buckled down and committed himself, developing into the top defensive linemen in the Southeastern Conference. Simmons left a year early for the NFL after recording 163 tackles, including 33 for loss and seven sacks.
Simmons is coming off back-to-back All-SEC seasons, but his path to the NFL was thrown off track by a torn ACL during pre-combine training. He is reportedly on track to be back on the field in October. Team doctors will handle his recovery plan and return once he’s drafted, and the typical 9-12-month schedule applies. A redshirt rookie year shouldn’t be ruled out.
Though obviously unable to compete in the on-field drills at Mississippi State’s March 27 pro day due to the injury, Simmons did meet with teams – all 32 attended the workout – and he showed off his strength, performing 28 repetitions of 225 pounds in the bench press.
He has met or plans to visit with several teams, with the Browns, Colts, Eagles, Jaguars and Seahawks among them. Simmons is expected to be drafted in the second round as long as clubs are satisfied with his recovery, as well as his explanation for his role in a fight involving two women before attending Mississippi State.
Looks the part of a modern-day NFL defensive tackle with broad shoulders, long arms, a trim middle and thick lower half. Physical, powerful player can overwhelm opponents with his strength and explosiveness in various ways, including heavy hands to break the wrists of would-be blockers, the length and strength to lock out or anchor as well as when simply enveloping ballcarriers for abrupt, emphatic stops.
Shows good initial quickness off the snap with a smooth over-arm swim move that Michael Phelps would admire. Good core flexibility to complement his pass rush moves, showing enough agility to squeeze through gaps and re-direct laterally to make plays behind the line of scrimmage. Two-time member of the SEC’s All-Academic team and was among Mississippi State’s most recognized players for their work in the community.
Simmons comes with red flags, including a 2016 arrest following a physical altercation with a woman, as well as a knee injury that likely makes his rookie season a redshirt year.
Projection: First-Second Round
–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)