Justin Simmons is one of the most athletic players on the Denver Broncos and is primed for a big year under Vic Fangio.
When the Denver Broncos drafted Justin Simmons in 2016 from Boston College, the team had to be impressed with the potential of the safety to roam the backend of their already dominant defense.
In his 2016 season he played in 13 games, only starting three, but the release of veteran safety TJ Ward opened the door for larger responsibility. Simmons responded with a very impressive 2017 season. He did not disappoint.
It became clear that season Simmons was a budding superstar at the safety position.
The field goal block heard around Broncos Country in the team’s win over Drew Brees and the Saints is one that set the stage for Simmons to be a focal point of the defense.
While the play happened on special teams it changed the course of the game in favor of Denver over New Orleans. This play was also a glimpse of the raw talent Simmons possesses. It does not stop there. When Amari Cooper was with the Oakland Raiders, Simmons made one of the most impressive interceptions I’ve seen.
EJ Manuel and Raiders had one final chance to make a play. Manuel tossed a prayer to Cooper, but Simmons high-pointed the football better than the wide receiver. Remember that. Simmons also had enough time to recognize the play and make an impact in the process.
All throughout the 2017 season, he showcased an impressive array of skills. Whether it was ball hawking, reading the quarterback’s eyes and tackling, he did it all.
Unfortunately, in 2018, it seemed like a great deal of these qualities left Simmons. That was the case with other players too, but the Denver Broncos were undisciplined in many areas on offense and defense.
However, there is a new head coach in town. Vic Fangio is a defensive mastermind that is capable of getting the most out of his players. Not to mention the emergence of two young safeties (Eddie Jackson, Adrian Amos) with the Chicago Bears is a huge reason to believe Simmons can become a star.
Fangio can make Simmons a true safety capable of free roaming on the backend. Simmons intelligence is often unnoticed at times, but he is very smart to diagnose plays in the secondary.
Adding this trait to his ball skills and athleticism makes for a prototypical star at safety. The biggest advantage Simmons has is the height differential to translate his defensive prowess to any matchup. While it is not ideal for Simmons to play multiple positions, he can do it.
I’m here to tell you that Simmons will become that safety superstar in Denver and hopefully the foreseeable future. Maybe the largest reason a player performs at a high level is a contract year. Simmons is smart enough to shut out those distractions and he will put forth the best tape for Denver to sign him long-term.
2019 will be a rebirth for Justin Simmons from 2017 and he will make his first Pro Bowl. I can feel it in my bones.