Miami Dolphins could consider Jeffery Simmons on Day 2

STARKVILLE, MS - NOVEMBER 23: head coach Dan Mullen of the Mississippi State Bulldogs talks with Jeffery Simmons #94 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs during the second half of an NCAA football game at Davis Wade Stadium on November 23, 2017 in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images)
STARKVILLE, MS - NOVEMBER 23: head coach Dan Mullen of the Mississippi State Bulldogs talks with Jeffery Simmons #94 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs during the second half of an NCAA football game at Davis Wade Stadium on November 23, 2017 in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images) /

Mississippi State DT Jeffery Simmons tore his ACL last week in a workout, his draft stock now falling Miami may consider taking him with a Day 2 selection.

The 2019 NFL Draft class is filled with a ton of defensive talent. Among that talent is defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons out of Mississippi State. In three seasons at Mississippi State, Simmons amassed 162 total tackles, seven sacks, four forced fumbles, and six pass deflections. Even in a crowded defensive class, Simmons had the potential to be a top 10 selection this coming April.

That all changed, however, last week when Simmons tore his ACL in a routine workout. The injury will, obviously, prevent him from playing in 2019, and will drive his stock in the draft way down. Many NFL executives believe that he will fall out of the first round, but that he could still be picked up in round two, and not expected to fall later than the third round.

The Miami Dolphins clearly need help in a number of areas, and defensive tackle is just one of them. Davon Godchaux and Vincent Taylor were terrific finds in the fifth and sixth rounds, respectively, in 2017, but the Dolphins are going to need more at that position in the near future. As it stands now, those are the only two players that we can say for certain will be on the team at that position come the start of the regular season. Over the weekend, Miami signed veteran Tank Carradine, but he will be viewed simply as a camp body unless he can show in training camp and off-season workouts that he deserves to make the team.

The Dolphins need a lot of help on their defensive line, and depending on how free agency and roster cuts shape out, Miami could be left with just a handful of guys across their front line. Even though they are in rebuilding mode, the Dolphins will first look to free agency to add some defensive pressure. Trey Flowers from New England has been a popular name among Dolphins fans as a potential signing.

Flowers had a terrific tenure in his four years with the Patriots, and his obvious connection with new head coach Brian Flores makes perfect sense for the Dolphins. Flowers is primarily a defensive end, but can line up in the middle too when asked to do so. In addition, Flowers will only be 26 years old when the regular season starts so it’s reasonable to think that he could be a part of the Dolphins future. Malcom Brown and Danny Shelton are a couple of other unrestricted free agents from New England that Flores could persuade to come to Miami.

There are a number of directions that the Dolphins could go in free agency to help build their defensive line, but it will not refrain them from attacking the position head-on in the upcoming draft. Unless a quarterback of their liking falls to them at 13, Miami is expected to take a defensive standout with their first selection. If Simmons remains on the board for them at pick 48, the Dolphins could potentially have two first-round talents with their first two selections, and a pair of players that may help revitalize their defense for the next few years.

Miami is not in win-mode for 2019 so they can afford to take Simmons early knowing he’ll be out for the entire season. Despite the injury, there will still be a number of teams high on Simmons so waiting to see if he falls to them in the third round may be too much of a risk. Knowing that Simmons is a stellar player, the Dolphins may not be too concerned with his return following a torn ACL. Simmons does have an off-the-field issue, however, that may be more concerning.

Still in high school in March of 2016, Simmons was caught on video repeatedly striking a female. The incident was started when the woman and Simmons’ sister got into a fight in front of a crowd. At one point, Simmons got involved and started punching the other woman while she was on the ground. Simmons was found guilty of malicious mischief, and forced to pay fines with no jail time. In addition, Mississippi State gave Simmons a slap on the wrist as well with a measly one-game suspension against a meaningless South Alabama team.

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Simmons has not been involved in any other altercations since then, but abuse has been a trending topic surrounding NFL players. The NFL continuously claims to have a no tolerance policy against the matter, but the lack of discipline against suspected players says differently. Just a couple of months ago, many believed that Kareem Hunt would never play in the NFL again after TMZ released a video of Hunt kicking and shoving a woman in February of 2018. The Kansas City Chiefs immediately released Hunt after the video’s release, but just last week the Cleveland Browns signed Hunt to a one-year deal.

Hunt is still expected to be suspended for a multiple number of games, but how many remains to be seen. As for Simmons, teams do not appear to be holding the incident against him, probably because it occurred three years ago, and was prior to him entering college. It may be the only red flag that Simmons has against him, but it’s a huge one regardless of when it was. It’s actually why I titled this article “Dolphins could consider…” instead of “Dolphins should consider…”

Flores, and his well-rounded staff, have given off the impression that they demand respect. Since the incident, Simmons has said and done all of the right things, but it is up to the Dolphins’ organization as to whether or not they believe he’s truly learned from his mistake. If they believe he has, then Simmons could be a real option for Miami in round two if he is still on the board by then.