April 27, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State junior tight end Dion Sims, who set career highs for catches (36) and receiving yards (475) in 2012, has been selected by the Miami Dolphins in the fourth round (No. 106 overall) of the 2013 National Football League Draft Saturday, April 27. Sims announced his decision to forgo his senior season on Jan. 3.
Sims tied for third on the team with 36 receptions for 475 yards (13.2 avg.) and two scores. His 36 receptions are tied for the third-highest single-season total by a Spartan tight end, trailing only Chris Baker who had 40 catches in 2001 and 38 in 1999.
Twenty-nine of his 36 receptions (81 percent) resulted in either a first down or a touchdown.
"Dion Sims is a big target with great hands," MSU head coach Mark Dantonio said. "With his combination of size and power, Dion gains a lot of yards after the catch because he's so difficult to tackle. He can serve as both a stationary and motion tight end. Dion also can be flexed out where he adds yet another dimension to the offense. In addition, he has worked hard to improve as a run-blocker."
"I'm excited," Sims said. "On the call, I had a chance to visit with Coach (Joe) Philbin, the General Manager Jeff Ireland and tight ends coach Dan Campbell. It feels good to be a Dolphin.
"The Dolphins liked my blocking skills, and with my size and weight, they believe I can make things happen in the passing game too.
"There have been a lot of anxious moments, sitting by the phone. I'm excited about my selection and I'm looking forward to getting to work and learning the playbook."
He had three catches for 24 yards against TCU in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, including his 14-yard reception from Connor Cook on MSU's final scoring drive that helped set up Dan Conroy's 47-yard game-winning field goal.
Sims posted his second 100-yard receiving game of the season (and his career), with five grabs for 102 yards against Northwestern. He had a career-long 44-yard reception from Maxwell on MSU's second offensive series.
Through the first five games of the 2012 season, Sims led the Spartans in catches (24), receiving yards (313) and TD receptions (2). He sat out entire Iowa game and played only nine snaps at Michigan after suffering an ankle injury early in the first quarter of MSU's Oct. 6 game at Indiana.
The 6-foot-5, 285-pound Sims was named a Fourth-Team Midseason All-American by Phil Steele.
Sims was selected John Mackey and College Football Performance Awards' National Tight End of the Week after recording his first career 100-yard receiving game with six receptions for 112 yards and a score against Eastern Michigan. He had three catches for 73 yards in the fourth quarter, including a 10-yard TD grab from Maxwell that gave MSU a 16-7 lead.
The Detroit, Mich., native had a team-high six catches for 52 yards against No. 20 Notre Dame. Sims caught three passes for 48 yards at Central Michigan, including a 20-yard TD reception from Maxwell late in the second quarter. He recorded a career-best seven receptions for 65 yards in the season opener against No. 24 Boise State.
Sims had 59 receptions for 707 yards (12.0 avg.) and eight TDs in 39 career games, including 13 starts.
Below are quotes from Saturday's teleconference with Dion Sims following his draft selection to the Miami Dolphins.
On his reaction to being selected by the Miami Dolphins...
I was just excited to hear my name called and get the phone call. I just jumped out of my seat and my family was here with me, so it was an exciting moment for us.
On his previous relationship with the Miami Dolphins...
I actually met with them at the combine and they brought me in for a visit. I saw a lot of interest there and they had a lot of interest in me.
On if he knows Miami's depth chart at tight end...
I am not really familiar with their depth chart right now, but I know last year they had Michael Egnew and they just signed (Dustin) Keller. I am just ready to go in and compete, and just learn as much as I can over the next few weeks and get ready for mini camp, then get ready for training camp. I am just going in with the mindset to learn as much as I can and prove that I am a player.
On being a blocking tight end vs. an all-around tight end in the NFL...
That's fine with me. If they want me to an in-line blocker, that's cool. I am going to be an all-around tight end. I am going to project my craft, whether that's blocking or being a receiving tight end. I feel like I can do both. I feel like I am an all-around guy.
On his injuries at Michigan State...
As far as the injuries, I feel like it was a lot of bad luck. I was 280 pounds, now I am down a lot of weight. I am in the best shape of my life. I am working to get into even better shape.
On going to Miami...
I was actually down there training for the combine, so I am familiar with the area. (Tight Ends) Coach Dan Campbell is a great guy. We have spent a lot of time together. He actually played in the league; just being able to learn from him, a guy that actually has experience competing in the league. I feel like I learned a lot from him. In talking to Coach Philbin and Jeff Ireland, they are great people. Miami is where it's at. I am ready to take my talents down to South Beach.