Photo of Justin Simmons
Drafted By: Broncos
  • Round 3
  • Pick 36
  • Overall 98

Combine Results

Grade
5.59 ?
  • 4.61 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 16 REPS
    Top Performer
  • 40.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 126.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 6.58 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 3.85 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 10.84 SEC
    Top Performer
Blue Star  =  Combine Top Performer

Draft Analysis:

"Justin Simmons is a good football player. To get an idea of his talent, put the Notre Dame tape on." -- Mike Mayock

  • 6'2" Height
  • 32 5/8" Arm Length
  • 202LBS. Weight
  • 9 5/8" Hands

Overview

Not only is Simmons an all-conference performer for the Eagles, but he's already looking forward to a coaching career after his playing days, working with kids in the Pop Warner program. He might have to wait a while before keeping a whistle around his neck, however, because of his length and versatility. Simmons started off his collegiate career strong, starting seven games as a true freshman (six at free safety, one at cornerback), making 52 tackles, one interception, and four pass breakups. He stepped back a bit as a sophomore (no starts, 34 tackles, three pass break-ups), but got back into the groove in 2014, starting all 13 games, the first six at free safety, final six at cornerback due to injuries at the position. Simmons actually led the team that season with 76 tackles and two interceptions, while breaking up five passes. He capped off his career with a second team all-conference effort in 2015, leading the team with five interceptions as a full-time starter at free safety.

Analysis

Strengths

Effective in "robber" role when called on. Able to process layered routes in front of him and find his fit. Consistent in coverage and reads play development quickly. Has cornerback experience and can handle man coverage against move tight ends and bigger slots. Rangy from center field with length and hands for optimal ball skills and makes plays when he gets there. Will sprint from high to low as soon as he reads run and leverages well to the sideline. Showed improved tackle security from 2014 to 2015. Rarely tries to initiate tackle early. Allowed no broken tackles and just four missed tackles this year. Has talent as a gunner and was used on both punt and kick cover teams.

Weaknesses

Possesses thin, lanky frame that doesn't have much room for additional bulk. Can be dragged for a ride against size when tackling. Hip tightness creates some clunkiness when forced to change directions quickly. Will shut down his deep cover responsibilities prematurely. Becomes spectator rather than participant if he feels like he can’t range to deep balls outside the numbers. As single high safety, can be fooled into over-committing to a side by clever quarterbacks who lead him with false glances.

Draft Projection

Rounds 3 or 4

Bottom Line

Simmons has interceptions against Deshaun Watson, Jacoby Brissett and two against Notre Dame, and was one of the standouts at Shrine Game practices showing off his instincts and ball skills. Despite his thin frame, Simmons tackles with urgency and doesn't lack toughness for the position. With range, length, cover skills and special teams ability Simmons should hear his name called on the third day of the draft and could become an eventual starter.
-Lance Zierlein
C
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-9.00 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl to All-Pro Ability
6.50-6.99 Good NFL Starter with Pro Bowl Potential
6.00-6.49 Chance to become good NFL starter
5.70-5.99 Could become early NFL starter
5.30-5.69 Backup or eventual starter
5.15-5.29 Developmental prospect or special teams potential
5.01-5.14 Back end of the roster
5.00 50/50 Chance of making the roster

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