FSU LB visits Ravens

OWINGS MILLS -- Ernie Sims delivered a string of concussion-inducing tackles in practice last fall, so many that Florida State coaches removed the linebacker from contact drills.

Although undersized and considered slightly overaggressive, Sims' stock is climbing because of his speed, strength and a pronounced nasty streak.

The junior recently visited the Baltimore Ravens' training complex, and could be a possibility when they are on the clock with the 13th overall pick of the NFL draft.

Sims has been linked in mock drafts everywhere from the Philadelphia Eagles' 14th pick to the Minnesota Vikings' No. 17 selection. He has visited a dozen teams, spending Wednesday with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

"Ernie had a good visit with Baltimore," said Sims' agent, Todd France. "Things are going very well for him based on what he did at Florida State, the scouting combine and his Pro Day."

At 5-foot-11, 235 pounds, Sims is regarded as a three-down linebacker because of his pass coverage skills. The record-setting high school tailback from Tallahassee, Fla., ran the 40-yard dash in 4.48 and 4.50 seconds and has drawn comparisons to Denver Broncos linebacker Ian Gold.

Sims is known for holding up well at the point of attack and his open-field pursuit. Occasionally, he demonstrates a bad habit of running around blocks or allowing blockers to get to his pads.

An honorable mention Atlantic Coast Conference pick, Sims acknowledged that his college career wasn't what he had hoped for.
"I didn't leave a statement like I really wanted to," Sims told reporters at the scouting combine.

Considered one of the top blitzers outside of Ohio State star A.J. Hawk, Sims missed the Duke game last season because of a concussion.

A character concern was raised after Sims' arrest last year on domestic battery and resisting arrest without violence after an argument with his girlfriend in a dormitory parking lot. A Tallahassee Police report stated that Sims picked his girlfriend up and prevented her from leaving.

"He grabbed her, held onto her and wouldn't let her get away," the report said. "He did not hit or beat or slap her. She had a scrape or something. She wouldn't let us photograph her. He had some defensive wounds."

Sims was suspended from the team, but was sentenced to probation and ultimately reinstated. He had a clean record prior to the misdemeanor arrest and hasn't been in trouble since.

Sims slumped slightly from his sophomore year when he recorded a career-high 86 tackles. As a junior, Sims had 72 tackles, 2 ½ sacks and two interceptions.

"It's a dream come true," Sims told reporters at his personal workout at Florida State, which was attended by Ravens linebackers coach Jeff FitzGerald. "This is something that I've wanted to do ever since high school. I think I helped myself a lot. They had me projected early second round and it just switched around real quick. A lot of teams are high on me."

NOTES: The Ravens have demonstrated interest lately in Syracuse safety Anthony Smith, an All-Big East conference selection and a three-year starter. Smith visited the Atlanta Falcons on Wednesday. … In ESPN analyst Mel Kiper's latest mock draft, he has the Ravens selecting Oregon defensive tackle Haloti Ngata at No. 13, Alabama quarterback Brodie Croyle in the second round and Ohio University cornerback Dion Bynum and Ohio State guard Rob Sims with their pair of fourth-round picks.

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