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Mississippi St. DT Jeffery Simmons tears ACL in workout; could he be in play for Los Angeles Rams in 2019 NFL Draft?

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Horrible news out of Starkville for the young defensive lineman. Thought of as a top half of the 1st round prospect, how far will he fall because of the injury?

Mississippi State Bulldogs DT Jeffery Simmons talks with HC Dan Mullen against the Ole Miss Rebels, Nov. 23, 2017.
Mississippi State Bulldogs DT Jeffery Simmons talks with HC Dan Mullen against the Ole Miss Rebels, Nov. 23, 2017.
Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images

Mississippi St. Bulldogs DT Jeffery Simmons tore his ACL this weekend during a workout while preparing for the 2019 NFL Draft. It’s horrible news for one of the best prospects in the draft as he’ll have surgery on the knee early next week.

While there’s no definitive timetable on his return, he won’t even be at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine for a medical check due to an offense from before he even got to Starkville, Mississippi. In March 2016, Simmons was involved in an altercation with a woman in which he was shown on video repeatedly punching her while she was on the ground. Though he was charged with assault, he was suspended for just a single game at MSU. That assault charge meant he would not be eligible to attend the combine which instituted a rule in 2016 that denies violent offenders from attending.

Now, his knee injury makes his stock fall even further:

And that makes things interesting for the Los Angeles Rams. Sitting at #31, the Rams are going to have to let the draft come to them even if General Manager Les Snead opts to trade up a couple of spots. Simmons could well drop to 31 or even beyond if a trade down is Snead’s preference. With DL Ndamukong Suh likely to exit via free agency and DT Michael Brockers a potential cap casualty, Simmons’ on-field talents would certainly make him a strong candidate. His off-field exploits however along with an injury will make him a risky pick regardless of his football prowess.

Now though, a player who was 12th on ESPN’s Mel Kiper’s big board (ESPN+ subscription required) and went 17th in Mocking the Draft’s Dan Kadar’s most recent mock is likely to be in play for the Rams at 31.