Scouting Report: Charles Sims, RB, West Virginia

Scouting Report: Charles Sims, RB, West Virginia

Serious PPR potential
By: Pete Davidson : March 23, 2014 5:47pm

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Charles Sims is a tricky back to evaluate. From a talent perspective, there is a lot to get excited about and there’s little doubt in our minds that Sims is an NFL talent. The question I have is, where does Sims fit? Can he be an effective early down runner in the NFL? That’s a very tough question to answer because while Sims possesses a lot of the traits that lead to success, he also has a few areas he must improve in.

Sims’ best attributes are his speed and his elusiveness. The thing is, he’s not quite as fast as the top speed backs that make it in the NFL and he’s not quite as elusive as Jamaal Charles, CJ Spiller or LeSean McCoy. Another key issue for Sims is that he’s a little soft as a ball carrier. He doesn’t do enough to defend his body from would-be tacklers. You’ll rarely see him employ an effective stiff-arm. The net effect is that he often gets wrapped up too easily. There are times when he’ll use a nice spin move to disengage after contact, but it’s too infrequently applied.

As I said, this is a player with all the talent you need to play at the next level. Having said that, if he’s going to make it in his current form, he needs a pass-first offense to play in because catching the ball is Sims’ best skill by a country mile. He’s a truly gifted receiver for a running back and he can make big plays if you can get him into space. A team that likes to run the draw would be a good fit. Of course this leads us to another potential weakness ... pass protection. Sims is only adequate in this area. On the plus side, he shows decent effort for the most part, but employs inconsistent technique as a lot of college backs do.  This a the key area for him to become proficient in.

Sims needed a good showing at the Combine and he flashed just enough speed to make him a pretty interesting prospect.

  • Height - 6’0”
  • Weight - 214
  • Hands - 8 1/4’ (tiny)
  • 40 - 4.48
  • Bench - 17
  • Vertical Jump - 37.5”
  • Broad Jump - 126”
  • Three Cone - 7.16
  • 20 Yard Shuttle - 4.30

You see that he has some size to him and he ran well enough. His agility was neither impressive nor problematic.

Let’s take a look at some of Sims positive attributes.

  • Receiving ability - I’m leading wiith this because Sims shows traits that you don’t normally see from a tailback. He’s got better hands than most of this draft class at the receiver position. He’s definitely a player that could function as a hybrid in the right offense.
  • Size - At 214 pounds, Sims has the size to handle a decent workload.
  • Elusiveness in space - Sims is a bit frustrating and inconsistent when he’s running in tight areas, but he can be devastating in space and is a threat to make the big play any time you can get him freed up. 
  • Cutting ability - Sims displays quick feet when he's fresh, and he can sequence quality cuts together.  He's not just a one-cut back.
  • Speed - Backs that weigh 214 and run under 4.50 are in short supply. Sims is about 20 pounds bigger than backs like Spiller and Jamaal Charles or Chris Johnson. If he actually starts to play bigger than those backs, he could have some legit fantasy value.
  • Vision - When Sims is at his best, he has a nice feel for cutback lanes and he runs to daylight well.
  • Production - Sims had three solid seasons at Houston before playing at West Virginia last season. He’s been productive all four years, which does bring up the issue of wear and tear. Sims is a back where less could be more when it comes to touches. He doesn’t need to be a bell cow to produce decent numbers.

Here’s a look at Sims vs. Oklahoma State in 2013.

Here’s a look at Sims from his days in Houston where he and Case Keenum hooked up often.

You can see the talent on film, but you can also see the weaknesses we spoke of. Right now, Sims projects as a committee back and would fit in very well with teams looking to complement an early down banger like Chris Ivory, Alfred Morris, Trent Richardson or Shonn Greene. He could also fit with a throw-first team like the Falcons, Bears or Broncos. In either case, pass protection will be huge for Sims in terms of earning playing time.  He'll need to master the craft to be a fantasy force.

Sims is definitely a player to know about for fantasy footballers and especially those who play in PPR formats, because if Sims hits, he will hit huge in PPR. We’ll update his value after the draft and that will be particularly helpful in Sims’ case. 



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