NFL informs teams that Simmons, Ferguson will attend NFL Draft combine for medicals, but not interviews

Three draft-eligible prospects who had previously lost the chance to impress teams at the NFL's annual scouting combine in Indianapolis will apparently not be shut out of the process completely.

On Friday, the NFL informed teams that Mississippi State defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons, Louisiana Tech edge rusher Jaylon Ferguson and Colorado State wide receiver Preston Williams will be allowed to attend the combine in order to undergo the same comprehensive medical exams that other prospects have, which will give NFL teams a better idea of the health of each player entering the league.

The news is particularly relevant for Simmons, a potential top-15 pick who suffered a torn ACL while training for the combine. Both he and Williams were not invited to the combine due to the NFL's policy barring players from the event if a background check turns up a felony or misdemeanor conviction due to domestic violence, sexual assault or weapons charges. Simmons was arrested as a high school senior after a video surfaced of him hitting a woman. Williams pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault in 2017.

Ferguson actually did initially get invited to the combine, but his background check returned a conviction for simple battery in his freshman year, causing the league to pull his invite. His agents released a statement blasting the decision this week, calling the incident in question "a disagreement between two teenagers."

Teams will want to speak to these potential draft picks about those incidents, but they will have to arrange individual meetings with each prospect away from the combine. Contrary to a report on Friday that was cited in this article, teams will not be able to schedule meetings with the three prospects in question.

With Simmons, Ferguson and Williams limited to only medical checks at the combine, they'll need to rely on those individual meetings with teams if scheduled following the combine, as well as how they test at their pro days, for those healthy enough to post results.

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