Originally written on Optimum Scouting  |  Last updated 11/18/14
The NFL seems to be going "all-in" in the tight end evolution, with most teams taking three or more tight ends in the past 5 drafts. And with that desire for teams to add tight end talent, the position has become more and more coveted on draft day. Adding to this already solid tight end class, Michigan State's Dion Sims, the 6'5, 285 pound physical specimen, has declared early for the 2013 NFL Draft, according to Joe Schad. The question now is: How will NFL teams view him?   Sims is not your average tight end prospect. At 6'5, 285, he's built like a seasoned NFL blocking tight end despite being just a junior. After flashing as a freshman, he redshirted in 2010, and only really caught on in the offense this season, when he finished the year with 30+ catches and two touchdowns. But from an evaluation perspective, Sims hasn't quite impressed as a tight end prospect. As a blocker, seemingly a strength for a tight end with his build, is actually where he's most concerning. His hand placement isn't consistent in the run game, he over-extends at times when attacking wide split defensive ends and reaching for linebackers, and struggles to lock in as a run blocker. His leg drive isn't what it should be for a tight end with his build, and much of that has to do with poor body positioning and understanding of leverage, two things that shouldn't be as under-developed for a four year college tight end. As a pass catcher, he certainly flashes the ability to be effective in the short area, particularly on out routes where he can get in the open field against defensive baacks. But he isn't overly quick off the line, he doesn't adjust his route in the seam to give his quarterback throwing lanes, and struggles to adjust his body to the catch-point in the short area. As a pass blocker, he flashes the ability to sink his hips, slide laterally very well, but still lets rushers get inside of him after he over-steps. While most of those scouting notes are negative, the old adage "you can't teach size" certainly makes him an intriguing option for NFL teams. He can control the seam and dominate the second level with better route and pass catching understanding. He has the length and natural size to pave the way as a run blocker. Both skill developments could make him a premier tight end in this league. Also something to point out, he's only 15 pounds away from being in the left tackle-size discussion. If a team feels he's a project in the 3rd round, they could experiment with him as a tight end or offensive tackle project (thanks for the idea Josh Norris of Rotoworld Draft). It's not the most likely option at this point, but thanks to his size, natural athleticism, and flashes in pass protection already, he may be actually just as ready to develop there as well as at tight end. Because he's such a project, it's clear he shouldn't be a Top 50 pick. But if he can impress at the NFL Combine/in workouts, he could make his way into the mid to late 2nd round area. If not, it'd be surprising for a team NOT to consider him in the 3rd-4th round area.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Charles Barkley: JR Smith should be suspended 10 games

Kelly Olynkyk: I'd probably get killed if I went to Cleveland

Report: Redskins likely to pick up Robert Griffin III's option

Eagles trying to trade Marcus Smith for another duck?

Chris Paul-Blake Griffin no longer a fragile relationship

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Marijuana reportedly found in Jon Jones' car after crash

Adam Wainwright injury leaves innings void for Cardinals

Report: Cowboys not in running for Adrian Peterson

Kevin Love injury a powerful argument for playoff reform

Jon Jones wanted for questioning in hit and run

Pitcher throws perfect game with 23 strikeouts, still loses

Wizards made Raptors look bad while remaking themselves

Previewing Game 7 showdown between Islanders and Capitals

WATCH: Rick Carlisle tapes mouth shut so he can't rip refs

NFL Draft 2015: Ranking the quarterbacks

Greg Hardy faces teammate, Cowboys locker room leak

Top 10 storylines for the 2015 NFL Draft

Paul Pierce burns Raptors fans with epic troll job

Yes, ESPN2 is airing video games

WATCH: Former NBA’er Darko Milicic is enjoying life

WATCH: Alex Gordon leaps into stands for incredible catch

WATCH: JR Smith ejected for hitting Jae Crowder in face

WATCH: Kevin Love leaves Game 4 with shoulder injury

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
OPTIMUM SCOUTING

Worst picks ever by every NFL franchise

Report: Marijuana found in Jones' car

Report: Cowboys not in on Peterson

NFL Draft 2015: Ranking the QBs

Top 10 storylines for the 2015 NFL Draft

Paul Pierce trolls Raptors fans

Yes, ESPN2 is airing video games

Darko Milicic is enjoying life

Pitcher throws perfect game, still loses

Will Aldridge leave the Blazers?

Alex Gordon leaps into stands for catch

Dana White: No more WWE for Rousey

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.