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Jeffery Simmons, likely 1st-round pick in 2019, tears ACL in pre-draft workout

The former Mississippi State defensive lineman now has a knee injury, as well as a past assault charge.

NCAA Football: Outback Bowl-Mississippi State vs Iowa Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Mississippi State defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons is a projected first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. That could change after the news that Simmons tore his ACL during a pre-draft workout, as first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen.

Simmons confirmed that he tore his left ACL while going through drills during his training.

Before Simmons arrived to Mississippi State, he was charged with simple assault that immediately got him suspended before he took a snap as a college football player. Simmons was seen on camera punching a woman while she was on the ground. That assault charge barred him from the 2019 NFL Combine due to a rule created in 2016 that prevents violent offenders from attending the scouting event.

Even with his background, Simmons was still considered one of the top talents in the draft by experts across the industry.

SB Nation’s most recent mock draft from Dan Kadar had Simmons going 17th to the Browns. Bucky Brooks’ latest mock draft had Simmons going 27th to the Raiders. Daniel Jeremiah’s mock draft has the Jaguars taking Simmons with the seventh pick in the draft. Todd McShay and Mel Kiper had Simmons going in the first round to the Jaguars and Browns, respectively.

With his knee injury and past assault charge, Simmons is in unique territory.

There have been players in recent history who have suffered a major injury while preparing for the draft. Eagles cornerback Sidney Jones was drafted in the second round after tearing his Achilles during his pro day workout in March 2017. 49ers defensive lineman Kentavius Street was drafted in the fourth round after tearing his ACL during a private workout with the Giants last April.

Broncos tight end Jake Butt and Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith both suffered knee injuries in bowl games during their final collegiate seasons. Butt was drafted in the fifth round of the 2017 draft while Smith was drafted with the 34th pick in 2016.

Jones was projected to be a first-round pick before tearing his Achilles. The Eagles selected him with the 43rd pick in the 2017 NFL Draft — just 10 picks after the end of the first round.

Simmons will now be a case study for how high NFL teams will take a player with immediate injury concerns and violent offenses in his past.