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2016 NFL Draft: LeShaun Sims Scouting Report

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Will the Titans strike gold yet again with another FCS cornerback?

LeShaun Sims
LeShaun Sims
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Player Name: LeShaun Sims

H/W: 6'0 203

Position: Cornerback

School / Class: Southern Utah / RS Senior

Measureables: 4.53 40, 37" vertical jump, 10'7" broad jump, 6.84 3 cone drill, 11 bench press reps

The Tape:

2015 vs Northern Arizona

2014 vs Eastern Washington

2014 vs Fresno State

Pros:

- Frame - Sims has an ideal frame for a cornerback, measuring in at 6'0 even and 203 pounds. His frame allows for a possible move to safety should there be a need to do so. He has shown the ability to put on needed weight as he was a 180 pound freshman and left as a 200 pound senior. The bigger frame that he has allows him to play more press coverage at the line of scrimmage than other corners.

- Versatility - He has a lot of experience playing both inside as a nickel corner and outside. Also scheme versatile in that he can play both press and off coverage with very little drop off. Dick LeBeau will love his versatility to fit anywhere in the secondary.

- Pressing the issue - Sims was best utilized as a press corner who loves to jam the receiver at the line by leaning into them. Also has a knack of "riding" the receiver through the entirety of the route and doesn't let up until the whistle. Consistently runs the route for the receiver and has enough ball skills to quickly locate and break up the pass.

- Athleticism - The biggest thing that I noticed was that Sims has enough skills and athleticism to know when to flip his hips in order to keep up with the receiver. He possesses enough athleticism to cover both the big body receiver and smaller, quicker slot receiver types. Very effective in covering short quick burst routes like slants, posts, and curls.

- Character / Work Ethic - Excellent on both fronts. Sims worked very hard to get himself drafted after being a 0 star recruit coming out of high school like many of the Titans draft picks this past year. Limited technically as a corner but is willing to learn and compete for a roster spot. No known character issues as well.

Cons:

Technique - Sims isn't the most technically refined corner prospect out there. While he has the athleticism to cover every receiver, he has a tendency to forget footwork when he gets beat by a receiver. Tackling could be compared to Michael Griffin. Needs some work in the fundamentals of being a corner instead of relying on athleticism to get by.

Instincts - While he is a standout press corner, he's often times too aggressive in contacting the receiver. Hand usage goes out the window when he is beaten, leading to pass interference calls. Is more reactive than proactive in both run and pass defense at times. It seemed to me that he is content to let the route / running lane develop before finally attacking the ball. By that point, it's far too late to react as the offensive player is already gone.

- Level of competition - Can he successfully graduate to the NFL level after toiling in the lower levels of FBS and FCS competition? He could get away with the negatives to his game against the lesser receivers that he faced but can he improve his game enough to stick on the roster?

Additional notes

Sims stood out in my studies of fellow SUU Thunderbird defensive back Miles Killebrew. He knows his job and executes the role without going for the glory stats. Also shares a common bond with Jack Conklin as both were 0 star lightly recruited prospects out of high school that made names for themselves in college.

Final Summary

I'm mostly ambivalent about this pick but can see why the Titans selected Sims. He has all the physical tools in the world but is definitely a project in terms of technique. Fortunately for him, however, is that he has one of the best DCs coaching him. The selection just screams typical Dick LeBeau pick as he has a penchant for developing unknown defensive backs into world beaters in short order. This coaching ability married to the Titans' uncanny knack for finding and developing late round DBs bodes well for Mr. Sims. 2016 will likely be a "redshirt" year for him as he gets adjusted to the playbook, NFL speed, and among other things that go into NFL life. He should compete for a nickel role in 2017. He could also be converted to free safety due to his size. Best case scenario: he turns into Cortland Finnegan 2.0.

Previous Reports

Michigan State OT Jack Conklin

Clemson DE Kevin Dodd

Penn State DL Austin Johnson

Alabama RB Derrick Henry

MTSU DB Kevin Byard

UMASS WR Tajae Sharpe