When Tampa Bay pulled the trigger on WVU’s Charles Sims in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft, they hoped his skill set would provide an added element to their offense. Through four games of the 2015 season, Sims’ abilities have him fitting in quite well.
While at West Virginia in 2013, Sims became West Virginia’s first 1,000 yard rusher since 2009. In 2014, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted him with the goal of providing relief to Doug Martin who had rushed for 456 yards with 1 touchdown.
This rushing ability would be an asset, but Sims’ all-around game was key in the draft. With his receiving skills and ability to squeeze through tackles, the Bucs organization believed Sims could bring added different dimension to the team. Sims’ running ability added a much-needed one-two punch with Martin.
2014 provided little sample size as Sims would miss half the season with an ankle injury. When Sims returned against the Atlanta Falcons, the rookie would show his all-around game by rushing for 23 yards on eight carries and catching two passes for 17 yards.
Sims would go on to rush for season high 69 yards against the New Orleans Saints and catch a season high four passes for 49 yards against the Cincinnati Bengals. He finished the season with 185 rushing yards and 190 receiving yards.
The Bucs entered 2015 with revamped expectations for offense with the drafting of Jameis Winston. With Winston being a rookie with accuracy worries, the Bucs’ offense has been relatively balanced. In Week 2 against the Saints, the Bucs offense kept mostly on the ground, running 35 rushing plays versus 24 passing.
Sims’ ability to catch balls out of the backfield have given Winston, at times, a much needed safety outlet. In the four games the Bucs have played, Sims has caught at least two passes in each game and is tied for the team lead in receiving touchdowns with two. He has caught touchdown passes two weeks in a row, becoming the first Bucs running back to do so since 1991 per buccaneers.com.
Thus far, he has 108 receiving yards and 84 rushing yards. The Bucs have the luxury of having a balanced player in Sims, who has the running and protection ability of a running back and receiving and route running ability of a receiver.
Not only is Sims proving to be a weapon in the offense, he is also one of the best backs in the league in pass-protection. PFF rates him as the sixth-most efficient pass blocker among running backs thus far this season.
As the season progresses, look for Sims to touch the ball 10-15 times per game as he continues to be a dual-threat.