In the new mock from ESPN’s Mel Kiper, we confronted the idea of the Los Angeles Rams spending their first-round pick at #31, their only selection in the top 93 picks of the 2019 NFL Draft, on a prospect that won’t be at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine in Louisiana Tech EDGE Jaylon Ferguson.
#31.) Mississippi St. Bulldogs DT Jeffery Simmons
Offseason needs: Safety, edge defender, guard, offensive tackle
This is obviously a huge, enormous risk the Rams would take by selecting Simmons. It’s possible Simmons doesn’t play at all in 2019 after tearing his ACL while training. It doesn’t even fill what I perceive as one of their top needs. But his talent and potential is that of a top-10 player in this draft. The Rams have to fill plenty of needs, but Simmons could be special when he’s healthy.
For those who missed out on the news last week, Simmons is going to be one of the most polarizing prospects in the draft. On paper, he might be a top-10 prospect. Now though, he’s likely to miss the entirety of the 2019 season. On top of that, Simmons has a major red flag from an incident in March 2016 before his collegiate football career began in which he was videotaped repeatedly punching a woman while she was on the ground. Due the chargers stemming from the incident, Simmons won’t be at the combine. But unlike Ferguson, Simmons’ flag is raised much higher and with the injury carries much more concern even if his tape shows a more prolific talent.