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MSU Pro Day: Sweat Continues to Compete, Simmons Talks His Injury, Fitzgerald Shows His Receiving Skills

Mississippi State’s pro day definitely lost some sizzle in the past few weeks, as star defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons’ injury kept him from competing, and likely first round pick Montez Sweat blew up the combine, cementing him among the top picks in April’s NFL Draft. That said, there were still some things to glean from Wednesday’s showcase for the Bulldogs.


Sweat skipped the 40 yard dash, standing pat on his incredible 4.41 from Indianapolis, but did participate in position drills. From my perspective, Sweat looked every bit of the first round pick he’s projected to be. He is surprisingly powerful for somehow as lean as he is, and his wingspan makes every pass near him a potential deflection. Sweat cited his desire to compete when we spoke to him after drills, saying he’s not the type of guy to sit out any potential competition.


Obviously the absence of Simmons was a big storyline, as he continues to rehab from the ACL tear he suffered in training back in February. Simmons was able to do the bench press, putting up 28 reps at 225 pounds, a number his teammates said would have been higher were he fully healthy. Talking to him afterwards, the frustration at being unable to compete was evident, especially since he was focused on this date after being denied entry to the NFL Combine. Simmons also discussed the off the field incident that preceded his arrival at Mississippi State, stating that he had been open and honest about it since it happened, and that he planned to tell teams the truth, as he has since day one in Starkville.


Nick Fitzgerald started his pro day off a quarterback, firing passes to his receivers Jesse Jackson, Justin Johnson, and former Bulldog Donald Gray. He finished the workout coming out of a three point stance and finding himself catching those passes. Fitzgerald’s versatility was on full display Wednesday, as teams want to know if he can fill a similar role for them as Taysom Hill filled for New Orleans this past season. I thought Fitzgerald looked very comfortable catching the ball, getting in and out of his breaks, and powerful enough as a blocker. The NFL is such a copycat league, everybody will be looking for the own version of Hill, and Fitzgerald can be a person that fits that order.

Photo courtesy of Mississippi State athletics

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