6. Jeffery Simmons, Mississippi State 6-4, 300 (1)
Career Statistics: 163 tackles, 7 sacks, 33 tackles for loss, 5 forced fumbles, 7 broken up passes
Why Jeffery Simmons Is Here On The List: He’d be a sure-thing top 15 overall pick – more likely top ten – if he didn’t suffer a torn ACL in an offseason workout.
As is, some team is going to take him early knowing he’ll need a redshirt season, because he’s a special talent. At 6-4 and 300 pounds, he’s got decent size, the perfect frame, and the quickness to live in the backfield with 30 tackles for loss over the last two seasons.
The issues from a 2016 arrest and guilty plea on a simple assault charge are going to be part of the puzzle, but he grew past that and became an SEC Academic Honor Roll student to go along with his play on the field.
What The NFL Types Want To See: He’s not invited to the Combine, but the medical evaluation will be everything. The interview process will matter considering his past legal issues, but his draft stock is totally dependent on just how bad his knee injury really is.
Bottom Line: Even in a special class of defensive tackles, it’s not crazy to suggest that he might be the best of the bunch – when healthy. He’s got the strength to be an anchor, the quickness to be a dominant force behind the line, and the upside to be a difference-maker and star of a D line.