Tennessee Titans rookie report: A.J. Brown has been great, but don’t sleep on Jeffery Simmons
By Will Lomas
We really need to appreciate the two stars from the 2019 NFL Draft.
I think we are all going to look back at the 2019 NFL Draft and come away thinking that it was one of the more talented groups that we have seen in a while. Unlike the great drafts before Jon Robinson took over with the Tennessee Titans, it looks like the team may have actually capitalized on that talent.
Specifically, the two true stars on the Titans roster from that draft are A.J. Brown and Jeffery Simmons.
Make no mistake, that the historic pace that Brown is on is a special thing and it should be getting a lot of your attention and interest. However, Simmons is quietly one of the most dominating rookies on defense in the entire league.
What’s even more impressive is that he is dominating at that level despite the fact that he probably isn’t 100% healthy and he is only playing limited, run-heavy snaps.
Despite playing significantly fewer snaps than other first round DTs like Ed Oliver and Quinnen Williams, Simmons is 2nd among rookie DTs with 2 sacks and 4 TFLs.
Numbers are great and it helps having tangible stats to point to, but even more than that is the fact that when you watch the games he has the ability (or maybe I should say the tendency) to completely overpower opposing offensive linemen.
This post went pretty wide on Twitter, but he makes plays like this every week:
He is simply dominant at the point of attack and when he just decided to go full bulldozer there are very few linemen in the NFL with the anchor to stop his rush.
Do yourself a favor and just search his name on Twitter and watch the clips of him from the last two months and enjoy it.
Jurrell Casey had some excellent seasons with the Tennessee Titans, but this is a different type of player. Casey used quickness, hand use and finesse to knife into the backfield and make plays, he is a surgeon who finds a weakness and attacks it with precision.
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Jeffery Simmons is a jackhammer, jarring offensive linemen with sheer force and relentless leg drive when he is tasked with getting in the backfield. When he is given full permission to rush, the question isn’t will he beat the blocker it is a matter of when.
Even on Sunday when he didn’t initially win his rush and he knew that he wasn’t going to get back there in time as the offensive line bunched together, he got his hands up and tipped a pass for an interception in the endzone.
That stat, like many of his rushes affect the quarterback and change drives even though there isn’t a stat that accurately explains that sort of impact.
It looks like the Titans have two stars on their hands and if Brown and Simmons were starters for a full season, it is scary to think about what they could have done as rookies potentially both winning (or being finalists) for offensive and defensive rookie of the year.
A great draft from Robinson and an outstanding effort by those two have made this season exciting even when it felt like they were doomed at the halfway mark.