Eagles grab veteran linebacker in pre-Draft trade

Senior Writer — pandrews@highhopesblog.com

Heading into Thursday night’s Prime-time NFL draft coverage on ESPN, there is much talk about how the Philadelphia Eagles need to select a Linebacker with one of their 11 picks.

Well, you can now make that 10 picks, because today Philadelphia announced that they have traded their 5th round pick in this week’s draft (137th overall, acquired from Cleveland) to the Denver Broncos.

The Denver Broncos in return have traded TE Tony Scheffler and a 7th round pick (220th overall) to the Detroit Lions.

End result, Detroit trades LB Ernie Sims to the Eagles.

Sims (6’0″, 230) was originally a first-round choice (ninth overall selection) of the Lions in 2006 and has since played in 59 games (56 starts) for Detroit, totaling 505 tackles, 2.5 sacks, five forced fumbles and one interception. The 25-year-old linebacker played in 11 games (eight starts) in 2009, and compiled 49 tackles and one forced fumble.

Now in his fifth season out of Florida State, Sims was immediately plugged into the Lions starting lineup and earned Pro Football Weekly all-rookie honors in 2006 after starting all 16 games and leading the team with 144 tackles. He was named the team’s defensive captain for the 2007 and 2008 seasons, starting all 32 games in that span, pacing the team with 312 tackles.

“Ernie Sims is an impact player at the linebacker position,” said Head Coach Andy Reid. “He brings a lot of energy to our already energized defense. We are looking forward to adding him to our team.”

“We are excited to acquire Ernie Sims,” said General Manager Howie Roseman. “He plays fast, he’s aggressive and his style is a great fit for our defensive scheme. He is a leader who was a team captain for the Lions and we are eager to see what he can do in our defense.”

A native of Tallahassee, FL, Sims’ father, Ernie Jr., played running back at Florida State from 1977-81, and his mother, Alice Bennett, was an All-American sprinter on the Seminole track team from 1980-83.

This marks the fifth trade of the 2010 offseason for the Eagles and the third for a veteran defensive player (DE Darryl Tapp, LB Alex Hall). The Eagles now own 10 picks in the upcoming draft: 1st round (24th overall), 2nd round (37, 55), 3rd round (70, 87), 4th round (105, 121), 6th round (200), 7th round (243, 244).

Andy Reid and Howie Roseman quotes courtesy of Philadelphia Eagles Media Services.

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