April 21, 2008

Sims looking forward to big draft day

There was a time Pat Sims wondered if he had a future in football.

For three years he languished on Auburn's bench as a seldom used backup, totaling just 19 career tackles.

But that all changed last year.

Sims busted onto the scene in a big way as a redshirt junior, earning a starting position in the spring and then putting together a huge season that culminated in an MVP performance in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Sims finished the season with 37 tackles, 11.5 tackles-for-loss and 4.5 sacks.

While he wasn't a big name going into the season, Sims finished the year as a first-team All-SEC defensive tackle and found himself among the nation's top junior NFL prospects.

Sims faced a tough decision: Make a run at the NFL Draft after his breakout year or return to Auburn for one more season and try to establish himself as a first-round pick.

Sims weighed his options and decided to follow his heart to the NFL. He said playing in the NFL had been a life-long goal and he didn't want to pass up the opportunity.

Three months later, after the NFL Combine, Auburn's Pro Day and numerous meetings and visits with NFL teams, Sims still feels good about his decision.

"I feel like I made the right decision," said Sims. "You only get a chance for this once in your life and you have to make the best of it."

While Sims doesn't project as a first-rounder in most mock drafts, he is getting a lot of mentions as a second-round pick.

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