Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State
We all know the Raiders need help in the pass-rushing department. Just about every mock draft you’ll find out there has them taking an edge rusher such as Allen, Rashan Gary or Clelin Ferrell. A few go as far as having them target an interior rusher, à la Quinnen Williams.
However, there’s one guy who continues to be overlooked as a potential impact player on the defensive line. Now he comes with one glaring red flag, but there’s no denying Jeffery Simmons has the overall talent to warrant the No. 4 overall selection.
The Mississippi State product will have a lot of explaining to do ahead of the 2019 NFL Draft. Simmons came under heavy fire when a video was released showing him assaulting a woman while he was still in high school. He has since apologized and the consensus is he was a stand-up citizen during his college days, but questions will linger.
With that said, the kid’s potential is through the roof. Arguably the 2019 draft class’ top interior pass rushing prospect, Simmons spent last season terrorizing opposing quarterbacks. He’s an explosive athlete for his size, and has a natural feel for collapsing the pocket with plenty of moves in his repertoire.
Although the circumstances were obviously different, the Raiders weren’t afraid to roll the dice last season when they drafted Maurice Hurst. If the edge defender they want isn’t there at No. 4, maybe Gruden decides to take another gamble with a high-risk, high-reward talent like Simmons.