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Titans select Mississippi State’s Jeffery Simmons with 19th overall pick

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Titans wanted to upgrade their defensive line badly enough that they were willing to take a chance on Mississippi State defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee while preparing for the draft.

Tennessee selected Simmons with the 19th overall pick in the draft.

Simmons recorded 29 tackles for loss over the last two years at Mississippi State and earned third-team Associated Press All-America honors last season.

But the knee injury and a 2016 arrest offer cause for concern.

Simmons tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee while working out in Florida in February, putting his availability for his rookie season in question.

He also was arrested in 2016 following a fight in which he was seen on video punching a woman. He was found guilty of malicious mischief and pleaded no contest to a simple assault charge, and Mississippi State suspended him for one game.

The Titans will use Simmons on a defensive line that already features tackle Jurrell Casey, a perennial Pro Bowl performer.

Tennessee has shown a willingness to move up and down the draft board under general manager Jon Robinson, who has made 15 trades since taking over in 2016. Robinson dealt the No. 1 pick in 2016 and traded up multiple times last year.

This time, Robinson decided to stay put with the No. 19 spot.

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