For those that study the tape, it’s clear just how dominant Jeffery Simmons has been as the anchor of Mississippi State’s defensive line in recent seasons. In fact, several draft analysts are coming out and stating that Simmons could be the steal of the draft for one lucky NFL franchise.

The latest analyst to come out and express praise of the former Hail State lineman is ESPN’s Todd McShay. During his Wednesday appearance on the SEC Network’s 2019 NFL Draft preview show, McShay stated his opinion that Simmons ranks only behind Quinnen Williams and Nick Bosa when it comes to the elite prospects heading into Thursday’s draft.

Despite having a few red flags in his history, including the viral video of Simmons punching a woman prior to his enrollment at Mississippi State and his recent offseason ACL tear which occurred during his training for the draft, McShay believes the team that selects Simmons could be landing one of the best players in the draft.

“He has the past off-the-field issue from high school but he’s been nothing but a model citizen and has really been a leader for that team the past three years,” McShay said on the show. “The injury is going to affect him, it may cost him the entire season. I still… I don’t care. I think he’s one of the best three football players in this draft class. I put him right behind (Quinnen) Williams and (Nick) Bosa. I really do. When you study his tape, he’s dominant, he is a difference maker.”

While there may be some hesitancy from some teams to select Simmons, based either on the viral video or the fact they may not get much from him as he continues to rehab back from his recent injury, McShay believes that will be one of the more interesting aspects of Thursday’s draft.

“Some teams have to take him off the board,” McShay continued, “other teams are having big-time battles with Simmons because they are trying to figure out where do we take him? If we know we don’t get him for the first year, where do we take him? I think you are going to see somewhere in the 20s, a team is going to get one of the three, five best players in this draft and it may take until 2020 for him to pay dividends but I would gamble on him. I think he’s worth it.”

McShay isn’t alone in that thought, as Daniel Jeremiah of NFL Media recently expressed his belief that Simmons very well could prove to be the best player to come out of the draft a few years from now.