NASHVILLE – The Titans selected Mississippi State defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons with the 19th selection of the NFL Draft.
Simmons, who accumulated 157 tackles, seven sacks, four forced fumbles and six pbades defended in three seasons in the state of Mississippi, began the offseason as a possible top 10 pick.
But Simmons (6-3, 301) suffered a torn ACL when doing a routine exercise during a training in February and underwent surgery.
Before the draft, a pair of draft badysts thought the Titans would have to consider choosing him in the first round of the NFL Draft.
"I think there's a good chance he's there at 19," NFL Network draft badyst Daniel Jeremiah said of Simmons. "And I think if you can be patient, the story will look great with that selection because he's one of the top five talents."
NFL Network draft badyst Charles Davis said that what happens with the defensive linemen at the start of the draft would affect how quickly Simmons gets off the board.
"Simmons makes sense to me for almost anyone, because I think he's so good," Davis said. "But the questions: How long will you have to wait? When will it be ready? Can you afford to do it? Each team will have to decide. "
Bucky Brooks, of the NFL Network, has Simmons at number 5 on his list of the best defensive tackles in the draft.
"The ACL tear that Simmons suffered in February clearly diminishes his draft actions," Brooks wrote. "But clever coaches will keep their disruptive play in mind and focus on how a unit could impact when it returns from injury."
Jeremiah said he has heard some news of relatively positive injuries about Simmons and his future.
"For all that you have told me about the medical issue, it seems that if you choose, you could get it for six or seven games (in 2019)," said Jeremiah. "So it may not be a total wash, if his doctors feel comfortable with that, and he thought he was going to have six, seven games with him in 2019 and that he would rock and roll in the future, once again, I think that the story would look great with that selection because he's so talented. "
The Titans are scheduled to make five more selections in rounds 2-7 over the next two days, including selections in the second (51) and third round (82) on Friday night.
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