Ernie Sims   LB   Florida St

Strengths

Ernie is a kid that loves to play the game.  He loves the physical nature of the game.  He has excellent athletic talent to go along with noticeable speed and quickness.  Ernie is a playmaker with good change of direction skills, which make him a solid defender in the passing game.  He has an excellent burst to the ball and takes good angles.  This makes him the type of player that gets a lot of tackles behind the line of scrimmage. 

 

Needs to Improve

Ernie has to learn to play smarter.  He takes penalties at the most inopportune times of a game.  He's hurt his team on a number of occasions.  He is also a bit on the light side and can be handled in the running game.  In fact, when this happens, it causes him to commit those penalties I just mentioned. 

 

Talent Board Round   2

Maturity and learning the techniques Ernie needs so that he's not so easily handled in the running game is all this kid needs to accomplish to be an impact player at the next level.  Ernie has to learn that he doesn't need to make every single tackle to be effective and to do his job correctly.  Ernie has to learn to play in position more and not do so much freelancing.  This causes a burden on his other teammates to do more than their jobs to cover for him.  He wants to be a playmaker and this is a good thing, but to maximize his potential, he needs to play within the scheme, let the game come to him and then be ready to impact.  Ernie has to learn that taking on a block so that others can make the tackle is just as important as making the tackle.  All of this will come with good coaching and maturity.  I like this kid because he's a player, but he is young and I do see a lot of growing pains before he fully understands his job.  Some people are suggesting that he be moved to one of the safety positions, but to me, the lack of on-field maturity makes that thought process not attractive to me.  If he's not taken too high, this kid will be a steal.  However, the concern for me is that he has the talent to be taken too high, will be forced onto the field before he's ready and that would be a shame because Ernie has big time written all over him.  If you're patient and let him grow at his own pace, he'll be a hell of a player at OLB or SS.

by Drew Boylhart

THR

January 2006