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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

NFL Draft Prospectus: DE Michael Sam

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NFL Draft Prospectus: DE Michael Sam
By Wild on Sports Analyst Jennifer Jefrey

Michael Sam has become a household name within the past few days and it’s not because of his football talent. It is because he has decided to tell the world that he is a proud gay man.

He has my respect and my support. If anyone has an issue with this….grow up and get over it, there’s no crying in football. Now, let’s focus on why he may be a potential draft pick.

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Upbringing...
Michael Alan Sam, Jr. was born on January 7, 1990. He has 7 siblings. When Sam was a child he had to watch one of his older brothers’ pass away due to a gunshot wound. Another one of his oldest brothers has been missing since 1998 and two more of his brothers are in prison. He also had a sister die in infancy (this was before he was born). It seems Michael has not had an easy childhood and has experienced sadness no child should ever know. But, maybe this has made him stronger,

While attending high school at Hitchcock High School in Texas, Sam traveled with the school’s football team as a water boy. When he joined the team, he was a two-way player, playing defensive end and offensive tackle.

The Player...
Sam earned first-team All-District honors as a defensive lineman in all four years of high school and also as an offensive lineman is his junior and senior year.

From 2009 to 2013, Michael attended the University of Missouri and played college football for the Missouri Tigers (was the first of his family to attend college). He was redshirted in his first year. Redshirt is a delay or suspension of an athlete’s parcipitation in order to lengthen their period of eligibility, for whatever reason. So a student may attend college classes, practice with an athletic team and dress for play, but may not compete in the games.

As a senior, Sam recorded 11 ½ quarterback sacks and 19 tackles for a loss. He led the Southeastern Conference in both categories and also tied Missouri’s single season record for sacks. He was named a semifinalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award and the Lombardi Award.

During his college career, Sam had 123 tackles, 21 sacks, 6 forced fumbles and 2 intercepted passes.

Draft Prospectus...
Before Michael came out, he was already labeled a “tweener”, too short for defensive end and too inexperienced for outside linebacker. A few weeks ago, he did not stand out among the dozens of other major college prospects entering the NFL draft. He is a quick defensive end who moved inside on passing downs and he can beat an offensive tackle to the outside. He seems to find holes and slips through on the offensive line and battles hard until the whistle.

But, at 6 foot 1 and 260 pounds, he is apparently too short for a defensive end…hmmm, ok.

He could move to the outside linebacker but never dropped into coverage when he played for the Tigers, he could be trampled in the NFL doing that.

Sports analyst Russ Lande said:

“Overall, I think he lacks the top end-pass-rush skills to warrant being a high selection by a team that runs a 4-3 defense. Additionally, his stiffness and lack of front-line-pass-rush skills would cause me to not draft him high if I was going to ask him to play outside linebacker in a 3-4.”

Sam projects to be a fourth to seventh round pick.

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No one knows which team will draft him or even if he is talented enough to make the NFL. All we know is its going to be a tough journey trying to get on a NFL roster.

Whether he moves on in football or not, we shall all see. I do wish him good luck.

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