Hand Technique/Length –Has very good length and is effective in hand usage when pressing forward and looking to play into his gap. Is more a shed defender than a stun defender, can give up his pads against double teams due to lack of powerful stun counter. Love his ability to wall off a blocker with lateral hand hook.
Competitive Toughness –Hot motor. Will string plays along out to the boundary and turn and hustle up the field in pursuit of the football. Makes a lot of second effort plays to pinball off a body and redirect. Anchor and ability to hold the LOS is erratic, however, play strength is compromised by power sets.
Two Gap Ability –Lack of consistent anchor and lack of stun punch to negate forward push will result in letting his pads rise up. Is not going to be a player tasked with stacking up blocks and engaging in late disengagement to make a play, is often late on these reps and lets back pass through the gap.
Gap Penetration Skills –Momentum helps him to play through lateral contact and play forcibly into the backfield. Leverage is most effective in linear situations, so his pads are down and his balance is difficult to derail. Next step is adding an earlier focus on coming to balance to allow him to redirect effectively.
Tackling –Violent finisher when bearing down on ball carriers and illustrates a powerful grasp to rip down opponents. Can get frozen by a quick footed ball carrier and be late to shift his weight to mirror and finish, putting the tackle into his wingspan and challenge his own tackle radius.
Flexibility –Does well to play low through his gap when firing through in short yardage or in pass rush situations. Would like to see some more focus on leveraging in head up situations. Lateral mobility and lean are only modest and can be restrictive when looking to finish.
Pass Rush Counters –Potent pass rusher with several rush counters at his disposal. High caliber lift technique, as well as rip/club to shoot across the face of blockers in the pocket. Provides good interior push and is capable of collapsing the pocket with power. Active hands never stop moving.
First Step Quickness –Very sudden and can create a high amount of momentum in little to no time at all. Will explode out of stance and can beat back blocks and even favorable angles for OL when looking to drive out of his stance and into the mesh point. Helps him in short yardage as well as passing downs.
Feet/Change Of Direction –Momentum can be his best friend or his worst enemy at times, will overrun penetration plays and let the ball carrier slip away late. Is light footed and nimble but loses his explosiveness when trying to play side to side. Can improve coming to balance in an effort to increase finishes.
Versatility –Three down defender, but won't be a fit for everyone without improvement in some areas. Currently projects best as a 3T penetration player tasked with getting into the gap and causing chaos. Length and thick frame suggest room for growth but development there will have unknown time table.
BEST TRAIT – Gap Penetration Skills
WORST TRAIT – Two Gap Ability
BEST FILM – Kentucky (2018)
WORST FILM – Florida (2018)
RED FLAGS – 2016 assault incident (hit a woman)
Jeffery Simmons is a disruptive interior defender who will make a muck of the pocket on passing situations and be an effective penetration tackle in the NFL. Simmons' ceiling will be defined by how much better he can be at finishing plays and/or by how effective his teammates are and playing the same style of football. Simmons has high end explosiveness/length, which will come in handy in efforts to disrupt play between the tackles.
Round Grade - Early Second Round