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2016 NFL Draft: Justin Simmons scouting report

Niners Nation's Jake Narayan is back with a scouting report on Boston College free safety, Justin Simmons.

As a freshman, Justin Simmons saw action in all 12 games, starting six at safety and one at cornerback. He totaled 52 tackles and five passes deflected. He appeared in all 13 games as a sophomore, recording 34 tackles, one for loss and three pass break ups. In 2014 (junior year), Simmons started all 13 games, the first seven at safety and the final six at corner. He led Boston College with 76 tackles, five PBU's and two interceptions. Simmons had another productive season in 2015 (senior campaign) at safety, garnering 67 tackles, five interceptions, two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.

The Basics

Height: 6'2"
Weight: 202 lbs
40 Yard Dash: 4.61
Bench Press Reps (BPR): 16
Broad Jump: 126"

How He Compares To Other Defensive Backs

Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State: 4.40 40 yard dash, 13 BPR
James Bradberry, CB, Samford, 4.40 40 yard dash, 16 BPR, 124" broad jump
Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida: 4.50 40 yard dash, 15 BPR, 130" broad jump
Kevin Peterson, CB, Oklahoma State: 4.66 40 yard dash, 14 BPR, 121" broad jump
Maurice Canady, CB, Virginia: 4.49 40 yard dash, 16 BPR, 125" broad jump

The Rundown


  • Rangy in center field - possesses elite ball skills and closing speed

  • Has experience at cornerback and safety - can come down and play nickel corner

  • Great diagnosis skills and knows how to bait quarterbacks. Impressive instincts in the back end of the defense

  • Plays exceedingly fast and decisive - comes down hill with tremendous force


  • Lengthy frame may cause durability issues in the NFL

  • Tight hips and change of direction skills not all there

  • Lacks the feet quickness to play inside corner - only a free safety at the next level

  • Will quit on the play if he feels he cannot get to the ball


Simmons doesn't show enough thump to be a strong safety, nor the feet to play cornerback in the NFL. However, he has had plenty of experience at the collegiate level, and shows ideal instincts and ball skills to be an above-par free safety. He has a knack for disrupting passes and is a reliable tackler in the open field, traits that will translate well in the pros.