DT Ryan Sims, acquired Tuesday in a trade with the Chiefs, was the sixth player drafted overall in 2002
Apparently, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers enjoyed the 2007 NFL Draft so much that they've already taken a head start on one of their future drafts. They've even continued with the big theme of this past weekend: Defense.
On Tuesday, the Bucs announced the acquisition of former Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Ryan Sims, a first-round pick in the 2002 draft. Tampa Bay sent an undisclosed future draft pick to the Chiefs in order to acquire the powerful and versatile lineman and add yet another potential piece to a totally revamped pass rush.
Three days after using the fourth overall pick in this year's draft to obtain explosive pass-rusher Gaines Adams, the Bucs acquired the player taken sixth overall in the 2002 draft. Adams was the first defensive lineman (and defensive player overall) selected in 2007; Sims was the second defensive lineman drafted in '02, after Carolina took end Julius Peppers second overall. Kansas City actually traded up two spots in the draft to acquire the pick to get the North Carolina star.
The 6-5, 314-pound Sims is strong enough to anchor the line at either tackle position, and he is adept at shedding blocks to get to the ballcarrier. As a pass-rusher, he anticipates the snap well and can collapse the pocket with a variety of power moves, showing burst to the ballcarrier once in the open.
Sims' NFL career got off to a slow start when he dislocated an elbow six games into his rookie season, landing on injured reserve after starting two contests and making 14 tackles. He returned from that injury to earn a starting spot at nose tackle in 2003 and turn in his finest pro season. Sims started all 16 games in his sophomore campaign and posted career highs in tackles (83) and sacks (3), while also recording an interception, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and seven quarterback pressures.
In 2004, Sims played left defensive tackle on the Chiefs' line and contributed 30 tackles and two sacks in 13 starts. He was a significant force in Kansas City's pass-rush, as he was credited with a career-best 16 quarterback pressures.
The Chiefs believed Sims was primed for a breakout season in 2005 after he performed superbly in training camp. However, a foot sprain cost him all but six games of that campaign, and he finished with 11 tackles in five starts. Last year, Sims filled a reserve DT role and pitched in with 11 more stops.
At North Carolina, Sims teamed with Peppers to create one of the nation's most dominant defensive lines. A first-team All-ACC and second-team All-America choice as a senior, Sims racked up 51 tackles and five sacks that season. He hails from Spartanburg, South Carolina.