Justin Simmons didn’t miss a tackle during his rookie year

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 27:Travis Kelce
DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 27:Travis Kelce /

Denver Broncos safety Justin Simmons didn’t miss a single tackle during his rookie season. He was the only safety to do so with 200 or more snaps…

The Denver Broncos have a stud on their hands in young safety Justin Simmons. According to Pro Football Focus, he was the only safety in the league that didn’t miss a single tackle in 2016.

"“As a rookie in 2016, Justin Simmons was the only safety in the NFL without a single missed tackle and at least 200 snaps played.”– PFF"

I found this to be a very interesting nugget considering two things.

1. I had no idea Simmons played more than 200 snaps last year, but he in fact played 296 defensive snaps. That number will dramatically increase in 2017.

2. Simmons isn’t a big hitter, but it doesn’t mean he’s not a great tackler.

Coming out of Boston College, we were all impressed by Simmons’ SPARQ athleticism score, his measurables, and his interception numbers. Lost in the scouting report somewhere was this little nugget:

"“(Simmons) Allowed no broken tackles and just four missed tackles (in 2015).”– NFL.com scouting report"

So, Simmons has been doing this for a good while.

This trait of his as a sure tackler is not only a reason why he’ll be trusted with significantly more snaps in 2017 defensively, it’s also part of what makes him such a great special teams player.

Simmons was picked as one of our top breakout player candidates for the 2017 season and appears to be on track to become a starter in this league sooner than later. If he’s not penciled in to the starting lineup, he may very well be given extensive on-field work anyway.

This is the type of player you love to have on your defense. Simmons is a very hard worker, a naturally gifted player, and is extremely smart and reliable. The Broncos stole him at the bottom of the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft, and his presence is already paying significant dividends.

Next: 10 Reasons the Broncos will win Super Bowl 52

In addition to not missing any tackles last season, Simmons picked off a pair of passes and was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance against the New Orleans Saints, where he famously blocked an extra point that was returned for a score.

This kid is for real.