Allen Park, Mich. â€“ The Detroit Lions announced today that they have signed first-round draft choice LB Ernie Sims to a five-year deal. Additional terms of Simsâ€™ contract were not disclosed. He will be on the field during the teamâ€™s Sunday morning practice session.
Sims, 6-0, 221, was drafted as the ninth overall pick of the 2006 NFL Draft. At Florida State he played in 38 games and started in the last 24. Sims finished his collegiate career with 200 tackles (95 solo), seven sacks for 61 yards, and 21 tackles-for-loss. He was regarded as the Seminoles best linebacker since Buccaneersâ€™ linebacker Derrick Brooks who played from 1991-94.
In 2005, Sims started at strong-side outside linebacker finishing fourth on the team with an impressive 72 tackles (22 solo). He totaled 2.5 sacks for 23 yards, 10 tackles for losses of 36 yards, recovered a fumble, deflected four passes and had two interceptions for the season. Sims also earned an All-Atlantic Coast Conference honorable mention, and helped lead the defensive unit to rank 14th in the nation in total defense (309.2 ypg) and 18th in rush defense (108.3 ypg).
Sims had a breakthrough season in 2004, while playing in all 12 contests and starting the final 11 at strong-side linebacker. He finished second on the team with a career-high 86 tackles (41 solo) and 4.5 sacks for 38 yards and amassed nine tackles for losses of 43 yards, five pass defenses and a blocked kick. Sims helped the Seminole defense rank third in the nation in rush defense (83.0 ypg), fourth in scoring defense (14.1 ppg), and seventh in total defense (283.8 ypg).
His notable sophomore season also brought Sims several honors including, ACC Defensive back of the Week in back-to-back games (vs. Virginia and Wake Forest), ESPN All-American first-team choice, and All-Atlantic Cost Conference second-team pick.
As a true freshman in 2003, Sims played in every contest as a reserve linebacker, recording 42 tackles (32 solos) with two tackles for losses of 5 yards, and three pressures. He also deflected two passes and caused a fumble.
Sims spent his high school career at All North Florida Chirstian where he lettered in five varsity sports and was rated the nationâ€™s best prep football prospect in 2003. He excelled as a two-way player; as a linebacker he totaled 133 tackles (73 solos), 15 stops for lost yardage, six forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries and one blocked field goal attempt; and as a running back ran for 1,081 yards on 115 carries for 23 touchdowns during his senior year. Simsâ€™ also earned All-American honors by Parade as the top prep linebacker in the nation and USA Today All-USA second-team accolades.
Courtesy of the Detroit Lions