Sims Could Stick With Position Switch

Blake Sims, who had a tremendous senior season for Alabama, offers an intriguing package of tools.

Blake Sims is a good football player.

But what position, if any, will he play in the NFL?

In his only season as Alabama’s starting quarterback, Sims led the Crimson Tide to an SEC Championship and the inaugural College Football Players. After beating out hyped Florida State transfer Jacob Coker, Sims’ 3,487 passing yards and 3,837 total yards ranked second in the SEC and set school records. And his 28 touchdown passes rank second in school history.

However, the Packers are loaded at quarterback, where Sims worked as a tryout prospect at the two-day rookie orientation camp that concluded on Saturday. They signed Matt Blanchard, who has spent preseasons with the Bears and Panthers, and drafted UCLA’s incredibly talented Brett Hundley. Those two join two-time MVP Aaron Rodgers and Scott Tolzien to provide a four-man platoon. It’s hard to imagine the Packers taking five quarterbacks into the offseason and training camp. Moreover, at 5-foot-11 ½, Sims is too short to play quarterback in the NFL.

“Blake did some nice things today,” coach Mike McCarthy said after Saturday’s practice. “He made some throws. Definitely an understanding from day one to day two, he increased there. He’s instinctive. Has a bounce in his step. I thought he did some nice things today.”

It’s worth noting that Sims was moved from quarterback to running back in 2011. At 218 pounds and with a 4.57 clocking in the 40-yard dash at the Scouting Combine, he certainly has the traits to consider in the backfield. And for as much as the Packers are stacked at quarterback, they don’t have a running back on the roster who has taken an NFL snap beyond veterans Eddie Lacy and James Starks.

Scouts, while liking Sims’ arm strength, have viewed Sims as a candidate to play running back or slot receiver.

"Most will agree that he has below-average size for a quarterback, but adequate-to-good size for a skill position player," reads a portion of his scouting report provided by the NFL's head scout, Dave-Te' Thomas. "He is a very productive player in the Alabama offense. He displays solid accuracy in the short-to-intermediate passing game and fundamentally is very consistent with his mechanics."

Asked if Sims is a candidate to be moved to another position based on numbers on the depth chart and his physical skills, McCarthy said: “Yeah, definitely, I see what you’re saying. That’s something that’s been thrown around. The evaluation process doesn’t end today. But it’s nice to have video. We did some post-practice work with guys we may want to look at different positions. We did a lot more open-space drill work and tried to put these guys in football drills to make sure the personnel department is getting everything they needed.”

Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.


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