Mississippi State DL Jeffery Simmons, a potential first-round pick, declares for NFL Draft
Simmons had 14.5 tackles for loss in 2018
Mississippi State boasted the nation's third-best defense and was a force in 2018, but is losing one of its key pieces. Jeffery Simmons, a 6-foot-4, 301-pound true junior announced on Twitter on Thursday that he is forgoing his senior season and will enter the 2019 NFL Draft. He will play in the Bulldogs' Outback Bowl matchup vs. Iowa.
Simmons was the centerpiece of the stellar Bulldogs' defense and consistently found a way to bring pressure up the middle. He notched 59 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss (tied for fourth in the SEC) and had six quarterback hurries. His presence up front forced offensive lines to consistently double team him, and allowed his teammates -- including end Montez Sweat -- to tee off on opposing quarterbacks.
He was a member of the All-SEC team in each of the last two seasons, and won the 2018 Conerly Trophy given to the best college football player in the state of Mississippi.
Simmons is ranked No. 7 overall in CBSSports.com's prospect rankings, and is No. 3 among defensive tackles.
Mississippi State and Iowa will kick off at noon on Jan. 1, 2019 in the Outback Bowl in Tampa.
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