I can't say this is a surprise.
Michigan State tight end Dion Sims will enter the NFL draft, according to a source— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) January 2, 2013
Dion Sims, 6-feet-5, 285 pounds,rated as the No. 4 tight end by ESPN's Scouts Inc. and 77th overall— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) January 2, 2013
I want to thank #SpartanNation for 4 of the best years of my life! I'll always bleed green & white!!!— Dion Sims(@D_Sims80) January 3, 2013
By most accounts, Sims was projected somewhere between a second- and fourth-round pick. However, that was mostly based on potential. There isn't a ton of film to show the NFL due to injuries, but the tools are all there.
Can never fault a guy for leaving early when the money is there, but it would have been nice for Sims to return and help out an offense in transition, while likely boosting his stock a bit more, or at least cementing it. Then again, he's had a problem with injuries. Good luck to Dion.
Looking at next year, the most likely replacements for the top tight end spot are Andrew Gleichert, Paul Lang and Josiah Price. Juwan Caesar moved to tight end during bowl practices and would certainly be a receiving threat. The position should be open. The days of Charlie Gantt, Brian Linthicum, Dion Sims and Garrett Celek (who is in the NFL) all on the roster certainly feel like a long time ago.
Le'Veon Bell and Will Gholston still haven't announced their decisions, but I would peg both as being very likely to also enter the draft.