Fletch Lives

Posted: April 3rd, 2019 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 1 Comment »

Fletcher Cox has been an amazing player for the Eagles. He was drafted 12th overall back in 2012 and has been a star for the Eagles. He will likely go down as the best DT in team history, unless Derek Landri decides to come out of retirement.

What if I told you the Eagles could draft the next Fletcher Cox? There could be a sequel to Fletch, so to speak.

That doesn’t seem likely down at pick 25, but it is. How? DT Jeffery Simmons had a great year for Mississippi State and was going to be a Top 10 pick, but he tore his ACL while working out to get ready for the Combine. Simmons could slide to pick 20. Or even to 25. Heck, it isn’t a lock that he goes in the first round, but he’s so talented that it feels like someone will take a chance on him.

There are good DTs.

And then there is Simmons.


He’s quick. He’s fast. He’s powerful. He’s explosive. He’s agile. He’s mean. Are you in love yet?

You can’t help but think of Fletcher Cox when you see Simmons toss aside blockers. Cox does it at the NFL level, Simmons in college. But Simmons has the potential to be every bit as good as Cox is, maybe even better.

That’s all the good stuff.

Now let’s talk about the issues. We’ll start with the ACL since that is current. Most guys come back from ACL injuries. Simmons tore his in February so chances are he would miss half of his rookie season, at the very least. He might miss the whole year. I’ve seen some guys come back in six months and others take almost a full year. He is young so that helps him quite a bit.

The Eagles took a chance on Sidney Jones in 2017 and that hasn’t come close to panning out at this point. He has been up and down, but it is discouraging that he’s not shown the Top 20 talent that we saw in college. He’s good moments in the NFL have been solid, but nothing where you say “That’s the guy we hoped for!”.

Simmons could be Jones, part two.

He also could come back from that injury and have a great career. There aren’t guys like Simmons in every draft. And teams picking down at 25 rarely have a chance to add an impact DT like him.

Aside from the ACL, character is a concern. Simmons hit a young woman multiple times back in March of 2016. He was in high school at the time. Mississippi State still let him come to school and it sounds like this is one of those cases where things actually worked out. Here is a detailed article on the situation. Some of you will not want anything to do with Simmons because of this and that’s fine. Each team has to make up its mind on the individual situation and figure out how to proceed.

The Eagles had dinner with Simmons the night before his Pro Day. They are interested in him. Now, they could have had a terrible experience at dinner and subsequently taken Simmons off the board. Or the coaches could decide this is a young man who has changed significantly since the high school incident and is worth taking a chance on.

I would not be upset with the Eagles for taking a chance on Simmons.

From a football perspective, he is a rare talent and there is always a case to be made for picking those players. The ACL means there is risk, but if the doctors check out the knee and think it will heal, then the reward could easily be worth the risk. Some of you will point out the issues with the Eagles medical staff here. That’s a fair point.

As to character, the fact that Simmons screwed up prior to college and then had a completely clean record for three years makes me more at ease with him. You may disagree, but to me a kid doing something is different than an adult doing it.

About a decade ago, I was talking to a guy at work and made a joke about him going to prison. He made some odd comment about not doing that again. I gave him a puzzled look. He then said he thought he had told me about his past. I was dumbfounded. This was one of the nicest, most clean-cut guys you could ever want to meet. Apparently he got busted on a drug charge at 18 and did a couple of years in prison. You would never know that by being around him now. I always try to keep that in mind when judging draft prospects. Did the mistake define them? Were they able to grow up and move on?

The Eagles security staff and scouts would check Simmons out very thoroughly to make sure nothing else happened and just stayed in the shadows. You must make sure he’s someone you can trust.

I don’t know if Simmons will even make it to pick 25, but if he does, the Eagles have a very interesting decision to make.


The Eagles continue to show serious interest in Jacobs.

Either they really like him or this is one heck of a smokescreen.


One Comment on “Fletch Lives”

  1. 1 What they’re saying: Eagles’ first-round draft targets, the best TEs in the NFL and more – SportsHeadlines.News said at 8:36 PM on April 4th, 2019:

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