Justin Simmons a top 50 draft-steal from the past decade

Denver Broncos star safety Justin Simmons was named as one of the top 50 NFL Draft steals from the past decade by ESPN analysts Matt Miller and Jordan Reid

Justin Simmons
Justin Simmons / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages

The Denver Broncos drafted safety Justin Simmons with the 98th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. To be specific, the last pick of the third round in that Draft. Simmons was a backup safety during his rookie season, but still appeared in 13 games and had two interceptions.

Heading into the 2017 training camp, Simmons was listed as the backup safety, but coach Vance Joseph named him the starting safety after the team released veteran TJ Ward in the final roster cuts before announcing the 53-man roster. Since then, he has been the team's top starting safety, and has been a 3x Second-Team All-Pro (2019, 2021, 2022), a 1x Pro Bowler (2020), and a 1x NFL interceptions co-leader (2022). In 2021, Simmons signed a four-year, $61 million extension with the Broncos.

Justin Simmons has the following career stats ...

  • 103 games (93 starts)
  • 534 tackles (390 solo)
  • 5 QB hits
  • 3.5 sacks
  • 3 forced fumbles
  • 2 fumble recoveries
  • 56 pass breakups
  • 27 interceptions
  • 1 pick-six

Simmons was the 7th drafted safety in 2016. The six safeties drafted before him were Karl Joseph and Keanu Neal (round one), TJ Green and Vonn Bell (round two), and Kevin Byard and Darian Thompson (round three).

ESPN Draft analysts Matt Miller and Jordan Reid, recently on June 28th, published an article titled "Ranking the 50 biggest NFL Draft steals of the past decade". Broncos safety Justin Simmons was mentioned in the article. To be specific, he was the 33rd-ranked player on their list.

Miller and Reid mentioned in the article that first-round draft picks were not included, and also that for a player to be considered, this player "must have been drafted at least 15 spots later", which means at least 15 picks after their projected pick. In this article, Miller picked the first player, Reid the second, Miller the third, Reid the fourth, and so on.

Regarding Simmons, Miller said the following in the article ...

""A 4.53-second run in the 40-yard dash dropped the sudden, explosive Simmons to the end of Round 3, where the Broncos made the wise decision to end his wait. Simmons was the seventh safety drafted in 2016 but has been a seven-year starter with three second-team All-Pro selections to his credit. Finding him at No. 98 overall -- and keeping him in town -- has been a brilliant move for the Broncos. He has at least five interceptions in each of the past three seasons.""

Matt Miller - NFL Draft Analyst - ESPN

Simmons has been a very valuable player for the Denver Broncos, a team captain, an anchor in the secondary, and most importantly, a leader. He has become one of the best players in the NFL at the safety position since he entered the league.

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