Jeffery Simmons Drafted by Titans; Arrested in High School on Assault Charge

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistApril 26, 2019

Tennessee high school football players join NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell as Goodell announces that the Tennessee Titans selected Mississippi State's Jeffery Simmons during the first round at the NFL football draft, Thursday, April 25, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Steve Helber/Associated Press

The Tennessee Titans took defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons out of Mississippi State with the 19th overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft on Thursday, however, the pick did not come without controversy.

Simmons' play on the field speaks for itself. The 6'4", 301-pound lineman made himself one of the top defensive prospects in this year's draft class by piling up 163 tackles and seven sacks in three seasons with the Bulldogs.

Bleacher Report draft expert Matt Miller wrote in October 2018 that one team viewed Simmons as a top-10 prospect based on his talent.

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However, a previous arrest cannot be ignored.

Simmons, then in high school, was arrested in March 2016 on charges of simple assault and disturbing the peace by fighting stemming from a public altercation. Video of the assault was released and showed Simmons striking a woman who was on the ground several times. He later pleaded no-contest to simple assault and was found guilty of malicious mischief.

Simmons later took full responsibility for his actions in an apology posted to Facebook:

While that arrest kept Simmons from receiving an invitation to the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine, it didn't prevent teams from drafting him. Eighteen picks came and went on Thursday without Simmons' name being called. Ultimately, though, Tennessee opted to take a chance.

That was a pick Miller had anticipated:

There are teams that may have taken Simmons off their draft boards as a result of his previous arrest. After doing their due diligence, the Titans felt comfortable adding Simmons to their organization.

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