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NFL Draft Scouting Report: Justin Simmons, Boston College

Boston College's ballhawking safety Justin Simmons is profiled and evaluated for the 2016 NFL Draft

Justin Simmons – Boston College Eagles


Position: Safety
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 202
Year: Senior
Hometown: Stuart, FL
Experience: 32 starts



40yd dash: 4.61
Broad jump: 126
Vertical: 40
3-cone: 6.58
20yd. Shuttle: 3.85
Bench Press: 16


Career Notes:

Justin Simmons started seven and appeared in all twelve games as a true freshman in 2012. He played mostly at free safety but started one game as a cornerback. Justin appeared in all 13 games his sophomore year, but he did not have any starts.

Simmons started all 13 games his junior year. Seven games at free safety and six games at corner because of injuries to other players. His 76 tackles (63 solo) led the team and he added two interceptions. Boston College finished the year ranked second in the nation with 94.5 rushing yards per game.

As a senior, Simmons started all 12 games at free safety in 2015. He was name second team all-conference after finishing with 5 interceptions. For his career, Justin made 229 tackles, 8 interceptions, and 2 forced fumbles. He helped Boston College to the #1 total defense (#2 against the run, #6 against the pass), giving up only 254 yards per game.

Justin had a good showing in the East-West Shrine Game. He came up and made a couple of nice tackles near the line of scrimmage.

Injury Report: 

Justin played in every game during his four years at Boston College


Career Stats:


Coverage: 2.4/5.0 Justin has played both corner and safety, but looks better as a free safety sitting back and reading the quarterback. Has the speed and mental processing to close on plays to the side and in front of him. He isn’t as good in man coverage and tends to peek at quarterback and lose his man. Like a lot of taller guys, he struggles turning his hips to run with a receiver. He reacts slowly to receiver moves and there were a few plays where he fell down. He is better playing press man at the line where he can get physical with the receiver instead of playing off.

Against the Run: 3.0/5.0 Justin is very good in run support from the safety position, whether playing near the line or off the ball. He has quick run play recognition and closes fast. He is not a big hitter but a sure tackler and rarely misses the tackle. Simmons limits yardage gained with his closing speed and prevents big runs by taking good angles and breaking down to ensure he makes the tackle. He is on the light side, but that didn’t affect his willingness to come up against the run and his tackling form is solid. He shows a lot of toughness.

Speed/Quickness: 3.2/5.0 Justin ran a 4.61 40-yard dash at the combine but looks faster on the field. He improved his time to 4.5 at his pro day. He has long strides and covers a lot of ground quickly. His mental processing and quickness helps him close the gap and cut off throws that looked open. His 3-cone and 20-yard shuttle times were the fastest among all defensive backs, not just safeties, at the combine.    

Impact Play Ability: 2.8/5.0 Simmons does a good job reading the quarterback and recognizing the play. He is always around the ball and involved in a lot of turnovers (5 Int, 2 FF, and 3 FR in 2015). Justin doesn’t make a lot of wow plays, but he is steady and dependable which helps prevent big plays.   

Summary: Justin is an excellent athlete with experience at all defensive back positions and special teams. He struggles covering man to man, but looks good when left free in the middle of the defense. He is good in space and a dependable tackler that limits explosive gains. He has the length and range that teams are looking for.           

Overall Grade: 2.8/5.0  


If drafted by the Packers:

Safety is far down the list of needs for the Packers, but they may look to add some developmental talent in the later rounds. Justin Simmons has good size and can play all of the secondary positions including nickel safety. He was also a standout on Boston College’s punt and kick coverage teams, so he is a good candidate to bring in for secondary depth with the potential to provide an immediate impact on special teams. Burnett has missed time in each of the past three seasons, so it never hurts to have more quality back-ups.


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Comments (4)

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March 26, 2020 at 04:52 am


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