PROSPECT SUMMARY – ANTJUAN SIMMONS
Michigan State linebacker Antjuan Simmons enters the 2021 NFL Draft process hoping to sell a team on the complementary roles he can fill on an active roster. Simmons is a slasher-style backer who makes most of his splash plays triggering into the line of scrimmage and attempting to shoot gaps. He’s not a high-impact player in pass coverage, but his ability to navigate traffic and subsequently shuck blockers in close combat offers a glimpse into a special teams role that could serve him well in the pros. Simmons has adequate extension skills and some nice pop through his hands and pads, allowing him to jolt bigger, heavier blockers and create a crease for him to attack. Some of his thud fills (Northwestern 2020) offer enough leverage to completely clear out the gap. Simmons will need to clean up his tackling skills in order to commandeer such a role, however—there were too many poor angles in pursuit to the football that left him attacking the inside hip but ultimately either scraping too flat over the top to allow for cutbacks or attacking too direct to fall behind his landmarks as a tackler. If Simmons can become more consistent in one-on-one opportunities here, he’ll have a role to play at the next level. But while his raw tackle production was near the top in the Big Ten last season, there’s needed improvement from a consistency standpoint.
Ideal Role: Special teamer.
Scheme Fit: 4-3 WILL LB.
Written by Kyle Crabbs