A talented run-stuffer who can also rush the passer and collapse the pocket is a huge plus for any defense and NFL teams are always looking to find someone with those traits. Auburn DT Pat Sims is just such a player and he talked recently about his love of basketball, the reason he left Auburn back in 2005 and what he does best on the field.
Sims is ranked as the 45th best available player in the Draft, and the fourth best defensive tackle by Scout.com. At 6-foot-4, 315-pounds, Sims is bigger than the three prospects in front of him (Glenn Dorsey, Sedrick Ellis and Kentwan Balmer) and has a similar makup of another Patriot player -- Ty Warren.
When asked if he could be a good fit in the 3-4 defense, Sims responded that he could fit in nearly any scheme.
I play everything, Sims told the assembled media at the NFL Combine. 3-4 or 4-3 ... I played it in college. I played the nose, the four-technique, the five-technique. I can do it all.
I'm that kind of guy I do everything. I'm a pass rusher. I'm a penetrator and I do everything in the backfield. I'm a run stuffer, a pass rusher, and can pretty much can penetrate, I take up blocks and whatever the defense is for me that's what I do.
Sims left Auburn with a year of eligibility remaining after redshirting his in 2004. The follow season, Sims left the team toward the end of the season, but was allowed to return by head coach Tommy Tuberville in the spring of 2006.
I had a family problem, Sims admitted. My sister (Vonda) passed away and that was pretty much a problem. I talked to the coaches at the end of the year and they let me come back on the team.
I wasn't mentally into it. I went through things with some coaches and dealing with my sister at the same time, Auburn just wasn't the right place for me at the time.
My sister passed away she had a heart attack (at the age of 32), so it was awfully sudden I think she had some complications from the surgery she had.
But after returning for the 2006 season, Sims was a different player, posting 16 tackles, three sacks and five tackles for a loss and followed that up with a standout junior campaign in 2007 wracking up 37 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss and also posted 4.5 sacks from his defensive tackle position.
What sets Sims apart from other players his size?
It could be his skills with a basketball in his hands.
I miss basketball, Sims said. I loved it. That was my first love.
I played in an intramural league after the season. I think the first year we won everything. I could play anywhere from the one to the five youd be surprised. Don't let my size fool you. I can shoot it, I can handle it and do whatever you want me to do.
What NFL teams will be looking for him to do is holding strong in the middle of their defensive line and to get some pass rush on occasion.
Sims talked to Atlanta, Seattle, St. Louis, Carolina and Tampa Bay among others while he went through the interview process at the Combine.
(Scout.com writer Jon Scott contributed to this report)