Lachavious Simmons selected by Chicago in NFL Draft; Rowland signs free agent deal with Atlanta

Lachavious Simmons

Former Tennessee State offensive linemen Lachavious Simmons was selected in the 2020 NFL Draft on Saturday. Simmons was drafted by the Chicago Bears with the 13th pick of the seventh round, 227th overall.

“I’m so excited to get to Chicago,” Simmons said. “My time at TSU was amazing. The friendships I built and the relationship with the coaching staff was amazing. I would like to give a special thanks to Russ Ehrenfeld. If it wasn’t for him, I would not be the player I am.”

Simmons (6’ 5,” 230) started all 12 games for the Tigers in 2019 and anchored an offensive line that averaged 400.1 yards per game. The unit finished third in the Ohio Valley Conference in total offense and second in passing with 260.7 yards per game. The TSU graduate started games at both left guard and left tackle.

A Simmons led line allowed the second least amount of sacks in the OVC at 1.75 per game and protected quarterback Cameron Rosendahl who set a TSU record with 241 completions. Rosendahl also posted the second most passing yards in a season at TSU with 3,023 yards and the second best completion percentage at 61.2.

Simmons is the first Tiger to be selected in the NFL draft since 2015 when Robert Morris (176, Baltimore) and Robert Morris (218, Oakland) were picked.

Chris Rowland

Tennessee State has now had 24 offensive linemen taken in the draft.

The Selma, Ala. native becomes the 122nd player selected in school history, which is second-most all-time among FCS schools.

After the completion of the draft, former wide receiver and return specialist Chris Rowland signed a free agent contract with the Atlanta Falcons. The Nolensville, Tenn. product capped off one of the greatest seasons in program history by being named the Black College Hall of Fame Player of the Year, OVC Offensive Player of the Year and honored on 12 All-American teams.