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Charles Sims' background as receiver draws links to Matt Forte

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
West Virginia running back Charles Sims was used at wide receiver for a time during his prep days.

It takes a very special skill set to lead an NFL team in both rushing and receiving. Only Jamaal Charles of the Kansas City Chiefs did it this season, but West Virginia running back Charles Sims would certainly be a candidate to do so down the road.

Sims (6-foot-0, 213 pounds) had 1,095 rushing yards and 45 receptions -- tied for the team-lead -- for 401 yards with 14 total touchdowns in his one season with the Mountaineers. Those all-purpose skills are showing up at the Reese's Senior Bowl, where NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks broke out a familiar comparison.

Sims also piled up big numbers during his time at Houston, with 2,367 rushing yards and 29 touchdowns and 158 receptions for 1,707 yards and eight touchdowns in three seasons. He credits a stint at wide receiver in high school for allowing Sims to refine his pass-catching skills.

"I'm just an all-around back," Sims told the Washington Post. "I can make plays on the field at any time, whether it's receiver or running back."

Because he has the size to be a feature back -- Sims had 24 carries in three of four games in November -- Sims projects as more than a passing-down specialist like Danny Woodhead or Darren Sproles. Sims could be a three-down back in the mold of Charles, Forte or Arian Foster, name-checking the latter two this week in Mobile, Ala.

That versatility should give Sims an edge to be the first senior running back off the board, with a chance to be used more often than the more touted underclassmen.

Follow Dan Greenspan on Twitter @DanGreenspan.



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