Why wait until all the big names go on the market to start filling out the roster? If you want better players battling for spots in training camp, you start early. Including reserve-futures contracts, Indianapolis has signed nine players since the end of the season (yes, at least two of them had been on the active roster at some point in 2013), and they aren’t finished yet.
Today, Ryan Grigson brought former Iowa State safety David Sims on board. Sims began his college career at Butte Community College in Oroville, California. After a standout freshman season, he signed with the Oklahoma Sooners, but academic problems kept him off the field all season, according to CBS Sports.
Finally, he landed at Iowa State. Sims enjoyed some notable success on the field, but off the field problems continued. From to CBS Sports:
That's when he headed to Iowa State, where he was named by the Big 12 coaches as the 2009 Defensive Newcomer of the Year by making 88 tackles, picking off five passes and forcing three fumbles. But Sims was arrested in July 2010 on charges of unauthorized use of a credit card before. He was suspended for the first game of his senior season and stripped of his co-captaincy.
That's a lot of baggage for an NFL team to take on, especially for a safety who spent his FBS days in a five-defensive-back system that limited his responsibilities. Still, he has a knack for finding the football and offers some versatility as a return man. That may be enough to get him a late-round look, but he'll have to stay out of trouble if he wants to make an NFL roster.
Scouts viewed Sims as being a bit undersized for an NFL safety. He’s a guy who likes to come up in run support, but he didn’t have the bulk for it as a rookie. He has put on ten pounds since then while bouncing around different NFL rosters. From Colts.com:
Sims, 5-10, 210 pounds, appeared in 15 games (one start) with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2012 and totaled eight solo tackles, one tackle for loss and one pass defensed. He was waived by the Eagles on August 31, 2013. Sims was originally signed by the New York Giants as an undrafted free agent on July 28, 2011 and was waived on September 3. He then spent time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Cleveland Browns before joining the Eagles.
Sims ran a respectable 4.5-second 40-yard dash at the 2011 Scouting Combine. He also had 24 bench press reps (which is very good for a defensive back) and a 37.5-inch vertical leap, which can help make up for what he lacks in height.
Sims’s NFL.com draft profile says he plays smart against play action and is good at anticipating routes and reading the quarterback’s eyes, but he may have trouble in jump ball situations and his lack of top end speed could limit his range in coverage. In all, that doesn’t sound too bad for a potential backup.
There weren't any scouting videos floating around, but we do have this highlight reel, which appears to have been filmed on a 2004 Nokia flip phone. It's better than nothing, even if only marginally so: