In the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos selected former Boston College safety Justin Simmons. He is a 6'2", 202lb safety who figures to take over the role held by former Broncos safety David Bruton Jr. last season. Simmons is ranked as the 89th overall prospect according to CBS Sports, and is considered the fourth best free safety in this year's draft class.
During Simmons four seasons at Boston College, he totaled 229 total tackles, 4 tackles for a loss, 1 sack, 8 interceptions, 9 pass deflections, 4 fumble recoveries and 2 forced fumbles. This past season he totaled 67 tackles, 1 tackle for a loss, 5 interceptions, 1 pass deflection, 3 fumble recoveries, and 1 forced fumble.
Safety, Senior, Boston College
Height: 6'2" Weight: 202lbs 40 time: 4.61
Arm Length: 32 5/8" Hands: 9 5/8"
Bench Press: 16 reps Vertical Jump: 40 inches(Top performing safety at the NFL Combine)
Broad Jump: 126.0 inches(Top performing safety at the NFL Combine) 3 Cone Drill: 6.58 seconds
20 Yard Shuttle: 3.85 seconds 60 Yard Shuttle: 10.84 seconds
- Good size, broad shoulders, long arms, and lanky frame
- Covers a lot of space
- Quick read and reacting skills
- Quick feet
- Keeps the WR in front of him
- A ballhawk
- Plays center field
- Willing tackler and a good tackler
- Has soft hands and great body control
- Covers like a corner
- Has the size to cover larger tight ends
- A Leader
- A tough and confident player on the field
- Has some "swagger" to him
- Experienced special teams player
- Thin frame, could add some more bulk
- Solid and effective tackler but struggles against bigger players
- Some stiffness in the hips
- Plays tall
- Bites on pump fakes
How does Justin Simmons fit with the Denver Broncos?
I love this pick.
Simmons is a great athlete, a ballhawk, a willing tackler, and will replace David Bruton on the defense and special teams. His coverage ability will allow T.J. Ward play closer to the line of scrimmage and let Stewart and Simmons play deep. Also, look for Simmons to help out against bigger tight ends. While he doesn't have the size to bring them down consistently, he does have the size to blanket them and the athleticism to keep up with them.
Also, the safety Darian Stewart is a free agent at year's end and Simmons could be viewed as his potential replacement next year. Elway always keeps an eye towards the future.
Elway: "We’re excited about Justin [Simmons] … big, rangy guy that can play center field." Think he can pair well with Ward.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) April 30, 2016
He also has experience on kick and punt cover teams so that will also help him replace Bruton's role on the team.
Simmons is a solid pick that adds depth, potential, youth and another ballhawk to the Broncos "No Fly Zone" secondary pick.