Tight end Dion Sims, a fourth-round pick out of Michigan State, signed with the Miami Dolphins. Terms were not disclosed.
Sims, the No. 7-rated tight end in the 2013 class according to NFLDraftScout.com ratings, caught 59 passes for 707 yards and two touchdowns in 39 career games for the Spartans.
The Dolphins need a tight end to replace the blocking production of Anthony Fasano, who departed for Kansas City, and drafted one of the best blocking tight ends in the draft in Sims, who played at 285 pounds at Michigan State. Dustin Keller will be the main pass-catching tight end, and Sims, who had 475 receiving yards and two touchdowns in 2012, will likely be ahead of Michael Egnew and Charles Clay as the No. 2 tight end.
Sims appeared on his way to an outstanding college career with 11 receptions for 133 yards as a freshman, being named to the Big Ten All-Freshman team by The Sporting News and Rivals.com.
However, Sims' path to stardom hit a major speed bump when he pleaded guilty to a felony receiving and concealing stolen property charge. He sat out the 2010 season, although he did have the charge expunged under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act.
Sims returned to the Spartans in 2011, but was limited to just 12 catches as he played through a broken wrist. He didn't have a single reception over the Spartans' final seven games.
"A lot of adversity, a lot of setbacks," Sims said during fall practice last August. "But I think it's time to just forget about everything that's made me stronger and just come out ready to go."
The coaching staff lauded Sims' work over the 2012 offseason, including reducing his body fat from 18 percent down to around 12-13 and improving his focus and technique on the field.
Sims went on to catch a team-high 24 passes through the first five games of his junior season. Unfortunately, he would suffer an ankle injury that sidelined Sims for almost three full games. He still finished with 36 catches for 475 yards and two touchdowns.
At 6-feet-5 and 285 pounds, Sims looks almost more like an offensive lineman, but he moves like a tight end with the foot quickness and body control to be an effective pass-catcher. He finished 2012 with just 36 catches, but he was left home at the line of scrimmage to block a lot in the Spartans' offense, and the ankle injury and inconsistent quarterback play didn't help.