Jeffery Simmons – DT (Mississippi State)
- Height: 6-foot-3
- Weight: 301 pounds
- TDN Ranking: 11th
While the Vikings need help on the offensive line, the Minnesota Vikings would be wise to add some weapons on the defensive side of the ball as well. That need is particularly true on the interior where Linval Joseph will be 31-years-old in October and Shamar Stephen hasn’t shown game-changing ability despite the Vikings signing him to a three-year deal in free agency.
Some believe that Ed Oliver would be a run to the podium moment for the first round, but this class is also deep and could leave a top talent such as Simmons waiting for them in the second round. Simmons was one of the nation’s leaders in tackles for loss in his two years as a starter, but had just one sack. Still, he shows the tools that make him an intriguing prospect.
The bigger risk with the 21-year-old is his off the field concerns. In 2016, Simmons was involved in an incident where he repeatedly punched a woman he thought was threatening his family. After that incident, he reportedly became a model citizen at MSU, but tore his ACL during his preparations for the scouting combine.
If the Vikings are thinking about drafting Simmons in case of a fall in the second round, they’ll have to do their homework both in his rehab and his off the field concerns. If he checks clean, Minnesota can let him learn under defensive line coach Andre Patterson and pick up the steal of the draft.