DT Jeffery Simmons
Final rookie grade: A-
If you had told me to make a preseason projection on how I expected Titans defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons to perform during his rookie year, I would have projected an incomplete grade with the expectation that he missed most, if not all of 2019.
That projection couldn’t have been more wrong, as Simmons was a force to be reckoned with in 2019 from the second he stepped on the field for the first time back in October. The pre-draft knee injury caused Simmons to start the year on the PUP list, which by rule forced him to miss a minimum of six games to start the year.
Throughout that period when he was sidelined, rumors began to swirl that the former Mississippi State standout was recovering faster than the average athlete and had a chance to see the field sooner rather than later.
Those rumors got ramped up even more once the PUP deadline passed and the team activated Simmons to the active roster. Following a full week of practice, the Titans’ first-round pick finally took the field in Week 7 when they took on the Chargers.
In his rookie debut, the monstrous defensive lineman recorded four tackles, two tackles for a loss and a quarterback sack in the team’s 23-20 win over the Chargers.
As impressive as his numbers were, Simmons wrecked havoc in his debut far beyond the stat sheet, which ultimately helped his team win, something that he did consistently throughout the 2019 season.
Simmons used his massive size and brute strength to plug running lanes, while also taking on double teams in order to allow his teammates to excel.
Although it’s early in his career, Simmons has displayed the potential to possibly develop into one of the games more dominant defensive lineman that makes a living off making opposing offensive linemen’s lives miserable for 60 minutes.
The thought of how good Simmons can be with a full offseason of actually preparing and practicing with his teammates as opposed to rehabbing is a scary thought for opponents, yet an exciting one for the Titans and their fans.
Simmons finished his strong rookie year with 35 total tackles, two sacks, four tackles for loss, and one fumble recovery.