NASHVILLE, Tenn. – It’s not easy to smooth over a case like that of Jeffery Simmons, who was captured on video repeatedly hitting a woman in 2016, was found guilty of malicious mischief and plead no contest to simple assault.Simmons2

(Photo courtesy of Mississippi State athletics.)

Thursday night, Jon Robinson and Mike Vrabel were ready to do so as they spoke of the defensive lineman from Mississippi State they chose for the Titans with the 19th pick in the draft and the edges were already softened for me – probably too easily. [Unlocked]

What more we could have expected was that they would have, like several other teams around the league reportedly did, scratched him off their board.TitansCircleLogoDraft

But I’m not above the idea that he could, in fact, be a great guy who made a terrible mistake, as Mike Vrabel said. Jon Robinson said the team has not brought in bad guys since he’s been here and that they have not broken with that with Simmons.

“I’ve gone around with it in my head and talked with him and talked with Amy (Adams Strunk) and we had to get comfortable with it,” Robinson said. “We had to spend a lot of time talking to Jeff about it, we had to spend a lot of time talking to people in his life at Mississippi State who went on and on about what he’s done for the university there, the philanthropic stuff he’s done there and back home….

“He knows he made a mistake and he's gone on record and said that. He’s done everything he can in his time at Mississippi State to make up for that mistake and he knows it’s something he’s got to live with. He told me on the phone when I told him he was going to be a Titan, he goes, ‘I will not let you down, I won’t let you down.’”

Time will show us that.  

He said on a conference call it means a great deal that the Titans are taking him in given the incident.

“I’m here to say that I am not perfect, I made that mistake,” he said. “I own up to that incident. I own up to striking a woman. I wasn’t raised like that. I grew from that a lot. It’s one of those things. I have a son myself. I wouldn’t want my son hitting on a woman. I regret it, true enough. I’m just grateful to get this opportunity.”

I don’t doubt the Titans are getting a very good football player. I thought DaQuan Jones and especially Austin Johnson were insufficient last year.

But the Titans will have to wait on him. He had surgery to repair a torn left ACL on Feb 19. He said he’s due to start running in two or three weeks and his full recovery should total seven or eight months. Eight would take him to October, but working back in from there, without a training camp would certainly take a while.apple icon 114x114 precomposed

Put Simmons, once healthy, next to Jurrell Casey and the Titans can really have some disruption on the inside. It could be a recipe for Andrew Luck discomfort, something the Titans need as much as anything.

This first-round move will help dig the Titans out of a bad second-round one, as Johnson was taken with a pick received from the Rams in the giant deal for the Tennessee’s No. 1 choice in 2016.

Former Titans’ scout Blake Bedingfield offered this quick hit scouting report in the newest Titan: “Simmons is a top 10 talent in the draft. Two sacks his junior year is a red flag but he had 18 tackles for a loss and showed the ability to rush. His ability to rush the passer and play the run makes him a three-down player. A very good talent for 2020. Will be a late November or early December contributor. Off-field issue is a concern unless checked out properly.”

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