On Thursday night, in Nashville, the Titans stayed at their number 19 slot. There were many different directions the Titans could have gone. A lot of fans wanted a wide receiver for Mariota; some fans wanted to go with an offensive lineman, some wanted a tight end, while many wanted a defensive lineman. The fans who wished to draft a defensive lineman got their wish, although maybe only half-so. Jeffery Simmons is as talented as they come in this stacked defensive draft. When healthy, Simmons will make a formidable pair with Jurrell Casey on the line. Unfortunately, Simmons is still recovering from a torn ACL he suffered in February.
While the Titans may have picked one of the more promising players in the draft, they will have to wait to see him on the field. They’ll be in no rush to have him return to activities. Investing a first round pick in someone who will miss significant time is a heck of a commitment, and it speaks to the talent of Simmons. Along with his ACL injury, ESPN reminded us that Simmons had pleaded no contest to a simple assault charge in 2016. While ESPN was taking away from Simmons moment, Booger Mcfarland gave us a passionate plea about Simmons. Stating that every SEC contact he trusts speaks glowingly of Simmons, every person he’s talked to at Mississippi State has said he is one of the best guys they’ve ever had. Time will tell if the Titans made the right call here, fingers crossed.
How Does Simmons Fit?
The hope with this pick is that Simmons can come back late in the year and help the Titans fight for an AFC South title. Adding Simmons to this defensive line is a scary sight for other teams. Simmons paired with Jurrell could be a match made in heaven. Double teaming Jurrell will allow Simmons to make a significant impact. While uncertainty remains, one thing is for sure, Simmons will be an impact player when he’s healthy. Worst-case-scenario is that Simmons misses this entire upcoming season, but comes back 100% ready for a new season. Simmons is an ideal long term fit and fits the Titans current identity.
Picking Simmons fortifies the defensive line for the future, look for them to go after a pass rusher now. I’m still an advocate for a wide receiver, but with the number of receivers available, it may make more sense to get the edge rush player sooner rather than later. Regardless, look for JRob to be up to his normal business. #TitanUp