Simmons brings more than just pass catching to NFL teams
T.J. Simmons understands that if he makes it to the next level it will be due to some of his more unnoticed talents on the football field.
The former West Virginia pass catcher moved well at the Mountaineers pro-day trimming his 40-time down to 4.55 which was one of his focuses in preparation of the event. He was coming off one of the best games of the season in the Liberty Bowl where he helped lead the Mountaineers to a 24-21 win over Army by catching a pair of touchdowns but opted to not use an additional year and move on.
“I’ve really focused on the 40-yard dash and a lot of route stuff,” he said. “A lot of top of the route.”
Simmons spent time alone working on where he needed to make improvements with his craft and the experience gave him insight into what it will be like if he does indeed make that jump to the next level.
The Alabama native was able to showcase the improvements he made with his route running at the event with his former quarterback Jarret Doege throwing him the ball. It’s something that caught the eye of his former head coach Neal Brown who was impressed with the work Simmons displayed.
“I thought T.J. Simmons moved better than he did in the fall which that’s credit to him and his preparation leading up to this event,” he said.
Simmons has played both the slot and outside during his time at West Virginia which makes him an intriguing fit at the professional level due to that versatility. He was able to showcase that during the course of the pro-day to give teams some insight into what he can do there.
But it’s not necessarily primarily his ability as a pass catcher that has drawn the most attention to date.
That’s because teams have been impressed with his ability to block not only on the perimeter but his willingness to do it over the course of his career.
“That makes me a good team player and also my special teams play,” he said. “Being on the front line and doing those things that people usually don’t like to do.”
Simmons compares his playing style to bigger bodied wide receivers that aren’t afraid to use their body and be physical. But it’s his willingness to do many of the things that others don’t want to that have put him on the radar of several NFL teams as a receiver and on special teams.
Scouts have pointed out that he brings a boost of energy with his morale in both practice and game settings which makes him an asset to the team on that front as well.
“I’m willing to get down and dirty and do the things that nobody likes to do,” he said. “Special teams guy and I’m really just a good team player.”
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