New York Jets 2019 NFL Draft Profile: DL Jeffery Simmons
By Jason Rodriguez
In this 2019 NFL Draft profile, we look at the strengths, weaknesses, and New York Jets draft projection for defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons out of Mississippi State.
Jeffery Simmons is considered to be one of the top defensive linemen in the 2019 NFL Draft. Simmons has an NFL-ready skill set and should be a successful pass rusher and run stopper in this league for a long time. Many teams will want to get him as there are many voids at the position he plays across the NFL and this looks to be one of the deepest defensive lineman classes we have seen in a very long time.
Simmons height and build remind many scouts of Kansas City Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones as he enters the draft standing 6-foot-4 and weighing in at 300 pounds. He can fit in many schemes and his versatility of being a productive pass rusher making him an enforcer in disrupting the quarterbacks timing with his receivers and forcing the quarterback to make mental mistakes.
Simmons was a productive player in a tough conference in the SEC throughout his college career. If he is able to replicate the same impact as Jones in the NFL, Simmons could be an up and coming game changer in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Simmons has incredible speed and first step movement that creates major havoc for any opposing quarterback. He has incredible speed at the point of attack and possesses impressive football instincts. When he is used in pass rush schemes he is able to use his hands well and has excellent instincts when batting passes down at the line of scrimmage.
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He has very good first-step footwork in attacking the backfield or when runners are in his area. He has very good footwork against double teams and is able to find a way to get to the quarterback. The Mississippi State product is a very versatile player that is very coach friendly meaning coaches will be able to teach him new techniques and moves to add to his arsenal.
Simmons ranked among one of the best run stoppers in the SEC which helped him limit opposing running games. With his explosive first step, Simmons was able to wreak havoc on opposing offensive lines. He is excellent at filling his gaps and creates many negative plays in the process. The different schemes Mississippi State used allowed Simmons to be all over the field.
Simmons will have issues racking up double-digit quarterback sacks and he will be unable to reach his true potential until he figures it out. Once he is going up against bigger offensive lineman he could struggle. He needs to learn to change his motions in order to win the battle against offensive lineman. He only recorded seven sacks in the three years at Mississippi State as he isn’t the most accomplished pass rusher.
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Simmons can learn more once he is drafted by his new team’s coaches that he will be surrounded with. Some feel that he could get lazy at times which teams will not like. Simmons has a major tendency to make mental mistakes and receive significant penalties. He continues to struggle with moving from side-to-side which is a red flag. He needs to play with more of a chip on his shoulder.
There is also a concern regarding a domestic assault issue in his past prior to him attending Mississippi State which will need to be addressed. His draft stock will definitely be affected by a torn ACL he recently suffered.
Those type of injuries are tough to overcome and handle and it might affect his game when he finally returns. It is truly important to be able to push off that leg and be able to move around on the field. It will take a while for him to get back so teams would have to be patient with his rehabilitation and hope for the best as his recovery goes on.
NEW YORK JETS PREDICTION
Considering his size, speed, and traits, he will catch the eye of multiple NFL general managers. Once he is drafted into the right organization he will need the guidance from the correct coaches to bring the best out of him and teach him more techniques than what he already knows.
Simmons will likely be a successful player in the NFL, but he needs to be a student of the game and become observant from what the veterans are doing, picking up on certain moves or techniques they have. He has to be open to new suggestions that will be tossed his way.
He is definitely a late Day 1 or early Day 2 player in the 2019 NFL Draft and could find a potential home with the Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, or Green Bay Packers. However, don’t expect him to be a target of the New York Jets.