Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons was one of the most highly touted prospects going into the 2019 NFL Draft out of Mississippi State, and even a torn ACL suffered just two months prior to the draft didn’t stop the Titans from picking him 19th overall in the first round. Simmons played his first pro game in October of 2019 against the Los Angeles Chargers, and he recorded four tackles and a sack of Philip Rivers in that game. Since then, Simmons has blossomed into one of the best defensive linemen in football, and Las Vegas Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels pointed to him as someone the Raiders will have to watch out for on Sunday.
Raiders News: Can the interior O-line hold up against Jeffery Simmons?
“Simmons is a load. [The Patriots] played against him last year. He’s a three-down player for sure. Does a great job of being disruptive in a running game, he can penetrate and create negative plays. And then he is one of those guys that’s an interior pass rusher that you really have to spend a lot of time talking about because he can disrupt your pocket in a hurry. So, one of the best interior linemen in the National Football League, I’d say no question about it,” said McDaniels at Monday morning’s press conference.
A Pro Bowler in 2021, Simmons has consistently been a force for the Titans. Since the 2020 season, Simmons has recorded a remarkable 32 tackles for a loss in his career. In fact, two of those came in Week 1 recently. Rookie center Dylan Parham is going to be facing quite the test in his young career, assuming he’s starting again in Week 3. According to Pro Football Reference, Simmons has accumulated 51 pressures since 2020. Needless to say, all eyes will be on the Raiders’ interior O-line.
The Raiders’ interior offensive line held up well against the Arizona Cardinals even without the presence of center Andre James. However, Sunday will provide an even taller task to stop the likes of Simmons.
*Top Photo: A To Z Sports