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- Position: Quarterback (QB)
- Class: Senior (redshirt)
- College: Alabama
- Ht/Wt: 6'0", 223 pounds
If you follow college football, you've heard of Blake Sims. A one-year starter at Alabama, he put himself on the map after winning the starting job over talented transfer Jake Coker, throwing for 28 touchdowns to 10 interceptions and leading the team to the national semifinal this year. A small quarterback who used to play running back, his best traits are the ones that exploit his movement. Sims is very elusive in the pocket; when he feels pressure, he spins away from it effortlessly, and he processes what's happening in front of him quickly.
I don't think Sims has much arm strength. He's capable of zipping the ball downfield, but he needs a windup or a full stride to achieve that. Sims' accuracy is inconsistent in all phases, and his receivers often have to adjust to a bunch of passes. Goes across the field on progressions, but he often hesitates and only moves on to the next option if he's sure his first read isn't open. As a result, Sims is often inattentive to blind-side pressure while scanning the field. That being said, he has a rare ability to dip away from blind side pressure and reset his feet for a pass. Sims doesn't panic when pressured; he calmly delivers the ball or rolls out and resets. He has effective fake moves and runs the zone read well. The combination of pocket poise, pocket mobility, and enough raw arm talent to succeed makes him an appealing project option.
I could get into a long discussion about the "project QB" label and when it is appropriate for describing a player. I do think the description is apt for Sims. In many ways, he feels like an illogical choice for a draftable quarterback, as a one-year starter who was throwing to a top-tier receiver and is somehow even shorter than Johnny Manziel. But to be an ideal project quarterback, I think what's most important is to see flashes of maturity and the ability to do something others can't.
Sims can read the field faster with more experience, and I wouldn't be surprised if adjusting his drop and throwing motion added a few ticks to his velocity while tightening the accuracy. He already brings a passer's mentality and great mobility to the table, and for a guy you stick on the bench for three years, that's something you can dream on.