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Tyler Simmons is living proof that you should never give up, no matter how difficult the journey. A former wide receiver at the University of Georgia, Simmons was part of the 2020 NFL draft class — the class that teams didn’t have access to in-person. Simmons went undrafted and spent the season on the Houston Texans practice squad.
The Steelers, namely general manager Kevin Colbert, was on site for Georgia’s Pro Day last week. Simmons was also on-site — Georgia allowed Simmons to return and participate since last year later-round rookies didn’t have the opportunity.
Colbert liked enough of what he saw to offer the street free agent a deal right on the spot. Pittsburgh signed Simmons to a one-year, $660,000 contract on Monday.
In watching Simmons’ tape, Steelers Wire Curt Popejoy wrote that the 6-foot-0 receiver gets better speed and agility than his body type might indicate, and he’s very physical. Curt also noted that Simmons is a willing blocker which would mesh well with the Steelers scheme (the Steelers need all the willing blockers they can get if they intend to up their run game).
At Georgia, Simmons appeared in 48 games (18 starts), including six as a true freshman receiver and special-teamer. He started 12 of 14 games in his final collegiate season and caught 21 passes for 255 yards. Simmons also contributed as a runner and punt returner in 2019.
Time will tell his destiny. Pittsburgh’s wide receiver stable is deep, so it’ll be difficult for a new guy to make the 53-man roster. But given his gumption, attitude, and, of course, talent Simmons could land himself a practice squad spot.