NASHVILLE – The Titans chose the Mississippi State defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons with the 19th overall election of the NFL Draft.
Simmons, who racked up 157 tackles, seven sacks, four forced fumbles and six passes defensed in three seasons in the Mississippi state, began the offseason as a potential top 10 election.
But Simmons (6-3, 301) suffered a rotten ACL who did a routine drilling during a training session in February and had surgery.
Leading up to the draft, a couple of draft analysts believed that the titans would have to consider picking him in the first round of the NFL draft.
“I think there is a good chance that he is there at 1
9,” says NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah of Simmons. “And I think if you can be patient, the story would look pretty friendly on that pick because he’s a top five talents.”
NFL Network draft analyst Charles Davis said what happens to the defensive lines early in the draft would affect how Simmons comes out of the board quickly.
“Simmons makes sense to me for almost everyone, because I think he’s so good,” Davis said. “But the questions: How long do you have to wait? When will he be ready? Can you afford to do that? Every team will have to decide.”
NFL’s Bucky Brooks have Simmons listed on No. 5 on their list over the best defensive tackles in the draft.
“The ACL demolition Simmons suffered in February clearly reduces its draft stock,” Brooks wrote. “But quick trainers will keep their distracting game in mind and focus on how he can influence a unit when he returns from his injury.”
Jeremiah said he heard some relatively positive news about Simmons and his future.
“Of all I have been told about medical issues, it sounds like you choose him, maybe you can get him to six or seven matches (in 2019),” Jeremiah says. “So it may not be a total wash. If your doctors are comfortable with it and you thought you would get six, seven matches with him in 2019 and make him rock and roll in the future, I think the story would look pretty kindly on that pick because he is so talented. “
Titans are scheduled to make five more picks in rounds 2-7 in the next two days, including picks in the second (51) and third round (82) on Friday night .
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