The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made their third-round selection Friday night, taking Charles Sims out of West Virginia University. In the coming month, there will be plenty of coverage of the newest member of the Buccaneers. But in the meantime, here are five things to know about the Running Back:
1. Sims is very quick: As a Houston Cougar for the first three years of his college career, and then as West Virginia Mountaineer for his final season, Sims has always been known for his speed. His 4.48 40 yard dash time at the combine ranked him as the No.8 fastest running back in the draft.
2. Excels as a pass catcher: In 2013, Sims found himself in a new uniform, for a new school, in a new conference. This change of scenario did not derail his production however, as Sims racked up more than 401 receiving yards to go along with his 1000+ yard season on the ground. The 2013 Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, is a perfect fit for a Jeff Tedford offense which highly values RB’s who can catch the ball out of the backfield. Sims is also very comfortable lining up in the slot ala Darren Sproles.
3. He will be a great complement to Doug Martin: Sims comes in to a great position with the Buccaneers. He is not expected to be the feature back right away, but does have a good shot at making a noticeable impact, given his skill set. He is bigger and faster than Doug Martin, and now he gets to learn how to be a NFL running back from Martin. Expect to see Sims used in a complimentary role in 2014 – lots of third down opportunities and potentially in the return game at first. Sims will have to fight for carries with a full depth chart of proven commodities in Tampa Bay’s backfield, but don’t sleep on the 6’0, 214 lb Texas native. Bucs fans will hear his name called more than one this year, hopefully followed by cannon fire.
4. Lovie Smith has already compared him to Matt Forte: In an interview with buccaneers.com directly after the Sims was drafted, Lovie Smith gushed about his third round pick. Lovie expressed his immense appreciation for Sims’ ability as a pass catcher, and was almost giddy about how well Sims will fit in to Tedford’s offense. Smith claimed that Sims was a guy the Bucs simply couldn’t pass up, and went so far as to liken Sims’ to Matt Forte, who Lovie drafted and coached in Chicago. Awful high praise, but the aforementioned interview had Lovie looking like the cat that ate the canary, so good things are expected.
5. Did we mention he very fast? So there is straight line speed and then there is Charles Sims. The former University of Houston Cougars MVP is extremely quick footed and possesses an astonishing short area burst. Despite his astounding quickness, Sims is a very fluid runner who changes speed and directions exceptionally well. His one cut ability has broken an ankle or two, and once he gets to the open field, Sims has the extra gear to out run defensive backs. Like we said, he is very fast.
For more draft coverage, be sure to check cover32.com throughout the weekend.