NASHVILLE, TN (WLBT) - It was a historic night for Mississippi State.
For the first time in school history, three Bulldogs were selected in the first round of the NFL Draft as the All-American defensive trio of Jeffery Simmons, Montez Sweat and Johnathan Abram all heard their names called Thursday night. State’s three first-round selections tied with Clemson and Alabama for the most in the nation this year (click here to view MSU’s complete draft history).
Tennessee selected Simmons with the 19th overall pick in the draft, Sweat was next as the 26th pick to Washington and Abram immediately followed at 27th overall to Oakland. “I am so proud of Jeff, Montez and Johnathan for achieving their lifelong dreams,” MSU head coach Joe Moorhead said. “With a school-record and nation-tying three first round picks, tonight is a validation that Mississippi State is a place where you can develop as a player and as a person to reach the ultimate level in our game. Those three men are going to be terrific teammates and leaders in the locker room. They are well prepared for lengthy NFL careers, and they are winners.”
MSU elevated its first-round picks total to 14 all-time. MSU’s all-time first-round draft picks (14):
Simmons became the first MSU defender selected in the first round in the common-draft era since Fletcher Cox (No. 12, Philadelphia) in 2012. State defensive players selected in the first round since 1967 (7):
This was the first time in school history that MSU had multiple defensive linemen selected in the first round. In fact, the Bulldogs and Clemson (also in 2019) are the only schools nationally to accomplish that feat in the last 11 drafts. Abram became the first MSU defensive back chosen in the first round since Walt Harris in 1996.