Browns General Manager John Dorsey has made no secret that he’s a fan of Mississippi State defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons, talking Simmons up at the Senior Bowl, the league meeting and again at his pre-draft press conference. Whether Dorsey will get a chance to draft Simmons remains to be seen.
Based purely on talent, Simmons would easily be a first-round draft pick, and the Browns don’t have a first-round pick after the Odell Beckham trade. But Simmons suffered a torn ACL while working out in February, and he also was convicted of assault in high school for punching a woman. Those two issues could make Simmons available when the Browns pick, at No. 49.
Dorsey sounded like he thinks he’d likely have to trade up to get Simmons, whom he calls “a phenomenal football player.”
“I had a chance to sit down with him, talk about the past and talk about the steps he has taken at Mississippi State over the course of his career at the school,’’ Dorsey said, via Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com. “If there’s a possibility that he’s there, we’re going to sit and talk about it as an organization and make the best decision moving forward and make sure that everybody is comfortable with that decisions moving forward, if it happens.”
It remains to be seen whether Simmons will even be able to play as a rookie because of his knee injury. When he is able to play, he’s expected to be an impact player on the defensive line, the kind of player Dorsey would love in Cleveland.