Seven of the first 10 players selected in the 2006 NFL Draft are still in the league. Linebacker Ernie Sims, the No. 9 overall pick eight years ago, is one of those of seven players. He has played with five clubs, first the Lions, then the Eagles, Colts and Cowboys, and now the Cardinals, who signed him in June.
The 29-year-old Sims has never made a Pro Bowl, but he’s always had a job, and he’s always contributed. Though he’s been a reserve in recent years, he’s recorded at least 40 tackles in every one of his pro seasons, and he’s never played less than 10 regular season games.
In a story published Friday, Sims told the Tallahassee Democrat he would like to reach 10 years in the NFL.
“I just want to keep working hard, working hard and staying committed,” he told the paper. “That’s what it is going to take to get to that 10 years, keeping working hard.”
The other top 10 picks from 2006 currently employed are Bills defensive end Mario Williams, Lions tailback Reggie Bush, Jets offensive tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk, 49ers tight end Vernon Davis and Browns safety Donte Whitner. Yes, it’s been eight years since they were rookies, and all are oh-so-close to reaching 10 seasons in the league.
Sims is close, too. He doesn’t turn 30 until December. If he reaches his goal, it won’t be a surprise, for he’s already made it this far, and players who have a knack for getting and keeping jobs generally find a way to stick around.