NFL Draft Scouting Profiles: Michael Sam
Missouri defensive end, Michael Sam made waves recently by admitting to the world that he is gay. While this made waves off the field, I’m more interested in what Sam does on the field. His personal life shouldn’t affect his draft stock, so long as the talent is there. With that said, ladies and gentlemen, here is the scouting report on Michael Sam.
Sam is an excellent pass-rusher, with the ability to take down the quarterback on any given play. As far as speed goes, Sam is exceptional, as he has fantastic sideline-to-sideline speed, and can track down most any offensive player. He’s a good run defender, who can bring down backs in the backfield with ease when given a clear lane. Perhaps most importantly, Sam is a very versatile defensive player. He can line up at either defensive end or linebacker, and simply wreak havoc on an opposing offense.
It’s been said that Sam is a bit of a “tweener,” meaning he’s too small to play defensive end, yet too big to play linebacker. Although his strength is acceptable, he can be knocked down by the bigger linemen in the game. Sam sometimes tends to take running plays off, letting the lineman push him away from the play. More of a shoulder tackler than a wrap up tackler, Sam’s technique is going to need additional refinement once he reaches the NFL game.
The Bottom Line
As my fellow ForTheChamps writer, Drew Troutman, put it,
It’s completely ridiculous that a coach, manager, or owner of a team would avoid drafting a player because he or she is gay. Especially in the NFL, a league full of so many criminals, a player’s private life should be totally acceptable.
Sam’s personal life is just that; his personal life. It shouldn’t affect how he is viewed as an NFL player. With that said, as far as the on the field side of things goes, Sam has potential as a Von Miller-type player, that is, somebody that can rush the passer while also providing adequate run defense when he is on the field. He might not be an every-down type of player, but chances are, Michael Sam is going to do just fine in the NFL.
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