DENVER (CBS4) – April was quite the month for new Denver Bronco Justin Simmons. It started on a high note — getting married to his high school sweetheart on April 1. It ended on a high note as well — with the safety from Boston College getting drafted by the Broncos with the final pick of the third round late Friday night.
CBS4’s Mark Haas in an interview with Simmons just after he was drafted asked him which the bigger day was — April 1 or April 29.
“Oh man, that’s a great question. April 1 was awesome, it was great. Marrying the love of my love of my life was such a great experience,” Simmons said. “But getting that call on Friday night, it was a huge high. I mean I didn’t expect at all to be a part of the Denver Broncos organization, and to get that call — I said it all day, but I was just so elated and I was just hoping I didn’t say anything wrong when I was on the phone because I was just so happy.”
Mock drafts had Simmons all over the place. So when the second day was nearly in the books without a team taking him, Simmons said at least knew he would be taken in the third round.
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“One-hundred percent. When there was like five or four picks left in the third round I was like, ‘I’m getting ready to call it a night.’ It was basically like 11 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. … family can go home, we have a big day tomorrow starting at 12 p.m. … getting ready to see where I’m going to spend my career,” Simmons said. “Once I got that call, completely blindsided. I had no idea I was on Denver’s radar, and I couldn’t be more excited to be here.”
“He’s a big rangy guy who can play centerfield. We’re looking for a centerfield. We can get T.J. (Ward) in the box,” Broncos general manager John Elway said of Simmons. “He’s played some corner also, so he’s got some cover-ability, which we really liked also.”
“I am sure you all have seen this guy’s measurables, they’re off the chart, the way he can run, jump, those types of things,” Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak said. “Obviously he’s going to fill a lot of roles on our football team.”
At the NFL combine Simmons had some of the top times in some of the different events.
“Did you really go to the combine knowing that you can put yourself on the map as one of the best athletes?” Haas asked Simmons.
“I never put up those exact numbers, but I put up numbers close to those while I was training,” Simmons replied. “I knew that I had really good athleticism. It was really just a matter of staying calm and just going out and performing like you would do previously in college every Saturday … I think a little bit of adrenaline and rush and being in the Indianapolis Colts’ stadium and having all eyes on you kind of helped boost those times a little bit, which was great.”
Simmons said he thrives under pressure.
“I love it, that’s where you make your money,” he said. “You go back and you watch your games when you played against the biggest teams; that’s where people really want to see what you’re made of. Even if you make a bad play, how do you respond?”
Simmons may have the best chance of this year’s draft picks to contribute as a rookie. Broncos defensive coordinator Wade Phillips often uses a lot of players in the secondary. Simmons was also a four-year special teams starter at Boston College.
Playing for Boston College it would be likely Simmons is a New England Patriots fan, but he said that’s not the case.
“I’ve never been a Patriots fan,” Simmons said.
“Good answer,” Haas said.