The Tennessee Titans hit a home run with defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons in the first round of the 2019 NFL draft. Selected 19th overall, the Mississippi State produced has blossomed into a budding superstar along the Titans’ defensive front.

In 2021, he enjoyed a breakout campaign, one that saw him rack up 8.5 sacks, 54 combined tackles (including 12 tackles for loss) and 16 quarterback hits. For his efforts, Simmons earned second-team All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors.

The LaSalle Parish, Louisiana native had standout games against the Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints in back-to-back weeks, collecting a combined five sacks, ten tackles, and seven quarterback hits.

He also helped the Titans hold off the Buffalo Bills in Week 6 with an incredible fourth-down stop on Josh Allen’s sneak attempt late in the game.

Simmons also collected three sacks in the Titans’ playoff loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

PFF’s Ben Linsey recently published his interior defenders rankings and tiers. Simmons is in the ‘very good’ tier and is ranked No. 9 overall.

Any list of the best young interior defensive linemen in the NFL is going to have Simmons’ name near the top. The soon-to-be 25-year-old ranks 12th in PFF’s Wins Above Replacement (WAR) metric among interior defensive linemen since 2020, and he’s coming off a 2021 season where his 62 quarterback pressures ranked fifth at the position. Simmons is the centerpiece of a defensive front that the Titans have invested heavily in over the past few seasons. 

The Titans exercised Simmons’ fifth-year option at the end of April, and he will be set to make $10.75 million in 2023.

He’s been absent from voluntary Organized Team Activities (OTAs), but Simmons has been putting in the work outside of Nashville, while also recently attending Von Miller’s pass rush summit.

The Titans will soon have to open their wallet for Simmons’ next contract. The 24-year-old is projected to fetch a four-year, $84.13 million deal ($21 million AAV) in free agency, per Spotrac.

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