7. Ryan Sims
The Chiefs selected defensive lineman Ryan Sims out of North Carolina with the sixth overall pick in the 2002 NFL Draft. Some of the most notable players selected after him in the first round were Roy Williams by the Dallas Cowboys, Dwight Freeney by the Indianapolis Colts, Albert Haynesworth by the Tennessee Titans, and Ed Reed by the Baltimore Ravens. It was a pretty loaded first round, making the expected impact of pick number six even higher.
Ryan Sims played in the shadow of Julius Peppers during his time at North Carolina. In fact, Peppers was just four selections before Sims in the 2002 NFL Draft. However, in Sims final year at North Carolina he began to make a name for himself tallying 51 tackles and five sacks.
These aren’t jaw dropping numbers, but it’s likely teams believed he’d have more statistical production if he weren’t lined up next to the best defensive player in the draft. Most fans will remember, Peppers went on to have a spectacular career in the NFL.
On top of this decent production, Sims showed good athleticism. At the 2002 NFL Combine, at 6’4″ and 311 pounds, Sims ran a 5.09 second 40-yard dash and hit 27 reps on the bench press. Before the advent of advanced analytics in sports, the forty-yard dash was the primary barometer for athleticism from the combine, and this helped Sims’ case.
Sims’ time was enough to impress scouts across the league and it’s likely why he moved up draft boards. This never translated to much during his time in the league. During his five years with the Chiefs, his numbers were abysmal. He averaged only 15 total tackles, one sack, and three tackles for loss. These numbers are not only not sufficient for a top first-round pick, they aren’t even really sufficient for a player that’s drafted.
Based on these factors, here’s how Sims scored according to my criteria:
Ryan Sims checks in at number seven on this list of draft busts. He had almost no positives during his five year career with the Chiefs to justify how highly he was picked. That’s not to say he didn’t have a successful football career, relative to the average person. However, this was easily one of the worst draft picks of the Carl Peterson era.
CRITERIA SCORE: 20