As the NFL draft draws closer and closer here are some questions that are circulating that pertain to prospects and their draft stock as well as their potential and projected impacts at the next level.
Will Mississippi State defensive end Jeffery Simmons still go in the first round despite his injury?
The former Bulldog was being projected to go in the early teens to the mid part of the first round of the draft during the early on in the pre-draft process before he suffered a torn ACL while working out in early February.
Initially, when the news broke that an MRI confirmed the knee injury, he rapidly fell out of the first round entirely in the eyes of several draft pundits as a potential day two steal that following what they anticipated to be a lengthy recovery. While he likely won’t be able to see the field much or at all in his rookie season depending on how quickly he recovers and returns to form, he is starting to generate some buzz as a possible late first round pick and even as high as the early 20s.
He was a powerful force on the interior of that loaded Bulldogs defense as he practically lived in the backfield of opposing offenses in what seemed like every play. He is extremely strong at the point of attack and sheds blockers with ease as he wraps up ball carriers for a loss or drops quarterbacks for sacks.
While he didn’t put up huge sack numbers, he was still a disruptive force up the middle as he finished with 18 tackles for loss in his final season and he also has the awareness to get his hands up in the passing lanes of opposing quarterback when he can’t get home for a sack.
Wherever he ends up being drafted and whoever he ends up playing for won’t make a difference because once he gets healthy, he can be a dominant player in the interior of any defense. Measuring in at 6”4” and just over 300 pounds, he also possesses the skill set, physical dimensions and athleticism to line up at other positions along the defensive line.