Titans’ Jeffery Simmons ranked as No. 2 IDL by Touchdown Wire

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As far as getting respect as one of the best interior defensive lineman in the NFL ahead of his fourth season goes, it has been a good offseason for Tennessee Titans defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons.

First, he was ranked as the No. 2 interior defensive lineman in the NFL by ESPN in a poll consisting of votes from players, coaches, scouts and executives from around the league.

Now, Simmons is being ranked as the second-best player at his position in the NFL by Touchdown Wire’s Doug Farrar, landing behind only the Los Angeles Rams’ Aaron Donald, of course.

Here’s some of what Farrar had to say about Simmons (make sure to check out the entire article at the link above, as it contains film breakdown of Simmons, via Farrar).

Simmons missed our top 11 list last season, but he really crashed the party this time around after a season in which he totaled 14 sacks, five quarterback hits, 47 quarterback hurries, and 49 stops. The additions to Tennessee’s defensive line of Bud Dupree and (especially) Denico Autry helped, but there were more than enough instances in which Simmons simply took games over on his own.

Perhaps the most obvious example was his Week 9 performance against the eventual Super Bowl champion Rams. Simmons had three sacks, one quarterback hit, five quarterback hurries, and five stops. Nobody on the Rams’ offensive line had an answer for him.

The recognition for Simmons, who goes from unranked in Touchdown Wire’s 2021 rankings to elite in 2022, is well-deserved.

Not only did he finish with a career-high 8.5 sacks in 2021, but he was also the heart and soul of a Titans defense that saw a revival and played a huge role in Tennessee’s 12-5 record and No. 1 seed in the AFC.

When he wasn’t abusing opposing quarterbacks, the pressure Simmons created and the attention he drew opened things up for his teammates, helping lead Tennessee to the ninth-most sacks in the NFL with 43.

Adding to that, Simmons was also a major part of Tennessee’s No. 2 run defense thanks to the disruption he caused upfront.

Part of the reason Simmons is getting more attention is because he really showed his stuff on the national stage on multiple occasions last season.

In Week 9 on “Monday Night Football” versus the Rams, Simmons had three sacks, and then he tallied three more sacks in the divisional round loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

Simmons is entering the fourth year of his rookie deal, and while he has one more year left on his current contract thanks to the fifth-year option, the Titans should lock him up to a long-term extension as soon as possible.

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