Wilson on Wes Sims: "Impact player"

The Chargers were very fortunate to find Wes Sims available in the sixth round. A four-year starter who played left tackle for a big-time program such as Oklahoma simply shouldn't be available that late in the draft. But for whatever reason Sims slid, and the Chargers couldn't be happier about it.

Kevin Wilson, Wes Sims' offensive line coach at Oklahoma, took the time to help us gain some insight as to why Sims fell as he did.

"Maybe you can be too consistent," offered Wilson with a chuckle. "He's not a flamboyant guy. Jammal (Brown) was targeted a lot more by the media for whatever reason. Wes kind of just flew under the radar."

Wilson feels that the fact Sims stayed on the board so long is not so much a reflection on his performance as it is on his personality.

"Wes was a guy who would sit in the back of the locker room, and you had to drag him out to do an interview, because he wouldn't volunteer for it," Wilson said. "That was just his personality. So yeah, he was probably overlooked a bit, but obviously not by San Diego."

Although Sims produced consistently at Oklahoma while playing tackle, the Chargers will try him first at guard.

It's a switch that Wilson feels Sims is well prepared to make.

"People have been saying he'd play guard in the NFL for years now," according to Wilson. "They just looked at his body and thought he would make a better fit at guard. The transition for him will be practically nil."

The reason Wilson is so confident that Sims can make the switch smoothly is that Sims has anticipated making this move for years. Therefore, he's now mentally ready to play a new position for his new team.

"He's just put together that way," said Wilson of Sims' ideal build for an interior lineman. "People have always projected him as a guard on the next level. He's been hearing it for years now, so he's probably already used to the idea."

While most observers feel as though Sims will not see much significant playing time this season, Wilson feels as though his former pupil will be ready to play whenever he is called upon.

"He was real consistent for us," recalled Wilson. "He became an impact player very early in his career. He started playing as a freshman and no one was ever able to take that spot away from him."

Now Sims is fighting for a spot instead of defending one, but he seems to be a good fit in new coach Carl Mauck's system.

Mauck places a premium on pass defense, as is illustrated by the fact that during his last two seasons in Detroit his offensive lines allowed the fewest sacks in the league. It just so happens that pass blocking is Sims' specialty.

"He's quite a pass protector," Wilson said.

Early indications are that Wes Sims was an excellent find in the sixth round. If Coach Wilson is right about his former star-student, then he should develop into an excellent player as well.

And really, what more could the Chargers ask for?

Michael Lombardo can be reached at Lombardo@SanDiegoSports.net

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