Tight end Dion Sims was one of very few bright spots in the receiving corps last year for the Michigan State Spartans.
Despite missing three games due to injury, Sims was MSU’s third-leading receiver in 2012. Had Sims played in all 13 games for the Spartans, he would have very likely finished as the team’s leading receiver. His 36 catches and 475 yards were just six catches and 49 yards off the team lead.
Sims has declared for the NFL draft and has already turned some heads at the NFL combine with both his mouth and strength.
It is now well known that the 6-foot-5 tight end is anything but shy, stating that he is both the best blocking and pass-catching tight end in the draft.
While those statements are up for much debate, what is certain is that the Spartans have a big void at the tight end position. Throw out Sims, the running backs, and Le’Veon Bell, and the Spartans’ leading receiver is defensive end Lawrence Thomas.
That’s right; the leading candidate for the starting tight end spot is listed as a defensive end.
Thomas may not end up with the starting spot, but the fact that he is the most experienced pass-catcher with seven catches for 78 yards is worrisome.
There will definitely be a competition for reps at tight end this spring, and Thomas will likely factor in. Also competing for the spot will be sophomore Paul Lang and senior Derek Hoebing, among others.
Lang had only three catches in 2012, and Hoebing had none, but both will factor into the tight end battle with Sims gone. Both are big bodies, but at 6-foot-7, 270 pounds, I like Hoebing’s size as a red zone target.
This positional battle will likely be between many different players, and Rant Sports will keep you updated as spring practice progresses.
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