Rookie with biggest upside: Jeffery Simmons
The former Mississippi State star had a lot of questions about what he would be able to provide to the team that drafts him considering he tore his ACL early in February. Prior to the injury, Simmons was a consensus top-10 pick, as his tape and measurables matched up with anyone.
NFL.com had him ranked as their second-highest graded prospect in the entire 2019 draft. With all that said, it’s easy to understand why Titans general manager Jon Robinson decided to take a chance on him with the No. 19 overall pick, even with the possibility that this would be a lost year for their top pick.
That gamble has paid off, as Simmons is not only back on the field much earlier than expected, but he is also producing at an extremely high level. In his NFL debut, he received the highest grade out of any defensive player on the team.
Simmons helped the Titans pull out a dramatic 23-20 victory over the Chargers on a clutch goal line stand. It was the initial push that Simmons created that allowed his teammates to make the game-winning play.
Jeffery Simmons made his presence felt throughout his debut and continued the strong play once again against the Buccaneers a week later. It’s evident that Simmons’ production will be limited as he is on a snap count while he gets back into football shape, but that’s what makes Simmons such an exciting prospect.
This is the time when you would expect him to display some rust and have some growing pains as he gets used to the NFL game. Instead, ‘Big Jeff’ — as Mike Keith likes to call him — looks like one of the best players on the team anytime he is on the field, which is based off a small sample size at this point, having only played 55 snaps in eight quarters of football. But the fact that he is even on the field, let alone dominating, warrants his high grade for the season.
The sky truly is the limit for the star from Starkville, especially once Simmons gets the power back in his legs that he had prior to the injury. Simmons has tallied an impressive seven tackles, two tackles for losses, one sack, and one QB hit in two games.