Word broke from NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero that both Mississippi State defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons and Colorado State receiver Preston Williams will not get an invite to the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine. The NFL did implement a rule in 2016 where a prospect will not be allowed to participate if a background check shows misdemeanor or felony convictions involving violence or use of a weapon, domestic violence, sexual offense and/or sexual assault. A video of Jeffery Simmons is out there assaulting a women as she lie on the ground while Williams was also arrested for domestic assault. A similar situation accrued when Joe Mixon and Ishmael Zamora were not invited to the 2017 NFL Draft.
The significance of both not being invited to combine is huge. Despite the video of Simmons assaulting the women there was still several Draft Analysis saying he could be a top 10 overall pick. Simmons shows elite power at the point of attack and the burst to disrupt and talent wise is in the discussion with Quinnen Williams and Ed Oliver as the top defensive tackle in the draft. If invited Simmons could have easily put on a show at the Combine and had the chance to meet with teams and discuss what happened and how he has changed since.
The same goes for Williams who at 6’4 209lbs has the size teams crave out of receivers and his athletic ability would also allow him to put up eye popping numbers. In his first year on the field at Colorado State Williams caught 96 passes for 1,345 yards and 14 touchdowns. Those who have broken down Williams’ game tape come away impressed ranking him high and feel he may be one of the best receivers in this draft talent wise.
Both players will still get to work out at their respective college pro days, however they do miss out on the ability to compete against others at their position with a chance to outshine. Not to mention the biggest disadvantage is not having the ability to meet with every teams entire front office during meetings.
With all that said, the players made very bad decisions that have affected not only their lives but also the victims lives too. Other players such as Joe Mixon, Dorial Green-Beckham and Frank Clark have done horrendous acts and still found their way to be drafted in the second round.
It will be interesting to see where Jeffery Simmons ends up going as all indications is that he’s been a model citizen while at Mississippi State and according to Lance Zierlein teams feel that Simmons has rehabilitated his image. What we don’t know is what that means. Does that mean that teams are going to evaluate him as if the incident didn’t happen? Does this mean Simmons is still going to slide in the draft, but it isn’t going to be much? I’ve long thought that Simmons will go in the second half of the first round because of this as some teams may not feel comfortable with the video out there and other talented prospects also worthy of a top 10 pick. We’ll find out closer to the NFL Draft.
As for Williams, according to Zierlein he has been taken off of several teams boards and that his issues go behind the domestic violence arrest. Williams was suspended while at Colorado State at one point too. While Williams has all the talent in the world, it may be a situation where his baggage is just too much to overcome.