NFL Draft Buyer Beware: Jeffery Simmons
Why should NFL teams be wary of spending an early draft pick on Jeffery Simmons?
Jeffery Simmons is a 6’3” 301 lbs interior defensive lineman from Mississippi St. that was projected to a top ten pick in the 2019 NFL draft due to his ability to not only defend the run but also be a solid pass rusher. Unfortunately, he suffered a torn ACL in February of 2019 while preparing for the combine. The question now is “how much will this injury affect his draft stock?”
One study identified that players that have had an ACL tear and undergone a reconstruction (ACLR) played in significantly fewer NFL games compared to healthy athletes. Furthermore, they specifically identified that defensive linemen with this injury had an overall decreased participation in the NFL. Another study got even more specific and determined that athletes with an ACLR had significantly lower early-career NFL player metrics, including fewer games started, fewer games played, and a lower snap percentage, compared to uninjured players. Again, this study identified defensive linemen as one of the most affected position in addition to defensive backs and linebackers.
The timing of this injury could not have been worse for Simmons. Based on this research, his injury is a big red flag that will most likely affect his draft position in April and potentially his career.
Featured Image By: Sports Illustrated