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Michael Sam | Defensive Lineman

Team: Missouri Tigers
Age / DOB:  (24) / 1/7/1990
Ht / Wt:  6'2' / 255

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Rams DE Michael Sam will be featured in a documentary series on The Oprah Winfrey Network.
The series will revolve around Sam's attempt to make the team as the NFL's first openly gay player. The released statement didn't say whether St. Louis was aware of this news beforehand or not. "We are honored that Michael is trusting us with his private journey in this moment that has not only made history, but will shape it forever," Winfrey said in a prepared statement. "I am proud of the focus on authentic storytelling in our new documentary series format. The next real-life story we follow in 'The Untitled Michael Sam Project' promises to spark valuable, important discussion on life in America today. Acceptance and illumination start here." The Rams selected Sam with the No. 249 overall pick. May 14 - 10:43 PM

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Date:

Rams selected Missouri DE Michael Sam with the No. 249 overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft.

Sam (6-foot-1 5/8, 261) earned 2013 co-SEC Defensive Player of the Year on the strength of 19 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles. Despite a productive college track record, Sam is short on athleticism with a 4.91 forty time and 25 1/2-inch vertical. His low draft position is much more the result of limited attributes than his sexual orientation. Sam's upside is a sub-package pass rusher who plays around 20 snaps per game.
May 10 - 6:54 PM

Fifteen out of 21 scouts polled by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel said they wouldn't take Missouri DE Michael Sam before Round 7.

Of those 15, three said they'd invest a seventh-round selection, five said they'd sign Sam as a free agent and seven wouldn't even sign him. "He's not a linebacker, and he's really not a defensive end," an NFC personnel director said. It's not an invalid criticism, as the SEC co-Defensive POY's measurables scream "tweener." An AFC exec said: "It's a tough fit when you're short and slow and a try-hard overachiever. That's the issue." We expect Sam, who will become the NFL's first openly gay player, to be picked between Rounds 5-7.
May 5 - 9:05 PM

The Ravens, Falcons, Patriots, Colts, Browns and Jets are showing the most interest in Missouri edge rusher Michael Sam, according to the Baltimore Sun's Aaron Wilson.

Sam will likely be a fifth- to seventh-round selection. He produced at a high rate last season, but Sam is a bit of a one trick pony, utilizing an edge rip move to beat heavy footed offensive tackles. He fails to use his hands to jolt opponents to the chest or work inside.
Apr 16 - 11:25 AM

Missouri DE/OLB Michael Sam clocked a 4.72 forty at Missouri's pro day on Thursday after posting a disappointing 4.91 time at the combine.

"He definitely didn't hurt himself by running a faster time," an AFC scout said. "But the thing you keep wondering about is 'fit.' You still don't know whether he can play [as a 3-4 outside linebacker or a 4-3 defensive end]." The 6-foot-1, 260-pound Sam needed a good pro day after a lackluster combine, and, for the most part, he delivered. The openly gay prospect bumped his bench press from 17 to 19 reps and leaped to a 30-inch vertical despite having tweaked his hamstring earlier in the workout. That injury prevented him from running another forty or doing the broad jump, three-cone or shuttle drills. "I was at the Senior Bowl, and that wasn't pretty for him," another AFC scout said. "This was a little better."
Source: ESPN.com
Mar 22 - 6:37 PM

Missouri DE Michael Sam will be nothing more than a role player in the NFL, says Greg Cosell of NFL Films.

Cosell "loves" Sam's motor, or his "playing personality." The analyst went on to praise Sam's effort level, but stresses that Sam is athletically limited. "At this point, he's a straight-line pass rusher," Cosell said. "He either goes inside or outside." The 6-foot-1, 260-pound Sam ran a 4.91 40-yard dash at the combine, disappointing to scouts. Cosell believes he'll have to contribute on special teams immediately to stick around.
Mar 6 - 9:23 PM

Missouri DE Michael Sam must dispel whispers about "his lack of athleticism and explosiveness" at Mizzou's pro day, according to NFL.com writer Bucky Brooks.

Brooks lauds the former Tigers' star's "effort, energy and hustle" but remains skeptical about his athletic ability. "Sam must show scouts that he has enough blue-chip qualities to merit consideration in the later rounds," wrote Brooks. "Sam must show more smoothness and fluidity executing turns/transitions as an outside linebacker or impress scouts with his first-step quickness and burst." The 6-foot-1, 260-pound Sam ran a 4.91 40-yard dash at the combine, only slightly above average for defensive line prospects. Mizzou's pro day on March 20 will be well attended.
Source: NFL.com
Mar 3 - 7:32 PM

Missouri DE Michael Sam could go undrafted, according to NFL.com writer Daniel Jeremiah, a former NFL scout.

Evaluators are spooked by Sam's 25.5 inch vertical, according to the scribe. "That shows you a lack of explosiveness, which is going to scare a lot of people off," said Jeremiah. "He needs to jump better than that at his Pro Day or I think it's a real chance, you're talking about (a) seventh-round pick, possibly even going undrafted." The 6-foot-1, 260-pound Sam ran a 4.91 40-yard dash, only slightly above average for defensive line prospects. "He does have some good tape," Jeremiah said. "I think he's a good football player. But when you don't really have the overall athleticism teams are looking for, and you don't really have a true position, which we've talked about before, it makes it tough."
Source: NFL.com
Feb 27 - 8:59 PM

Missouri edge player Michael Sam criticized Washington D.C.-based lobbyist Jack Burkman's potential legislation that would ban gay athletes from joining the NFL.

In a statement released Monday, Burkman said: "We are losing our decency as a nation. Imagine your son being forced to shower with a gay man. That's a horrifying prospect for every mom in the country. What in the world has this nation come to?" Sam once again took the high road, and did so with stylish use of a retro "Back to the Future" allusion. "Jack Burkman is going to need a Delorian, not some bogus bill, if he wants to prevent gay athletes from being in the locker room," Sam wrote. Burkman, who has a gay brother, is going to find himself on the wrong side of history on this one.
Feb 25 - 6:17 PM

Missouri edge player Michael Sam ran two unofficial forties of 4.79 and 4.84 at the NFL Combine.

Sam's 10 yard splits were 1.72 and 1.75. The Missouri pass rusher is labeled a "tweener," but our own Josh Norris does not think this term fits. Sam is a sub-package edge rusher who wins in one way: working around the corner with a rip move.
Feb 24 - 12:01 PM

NFL Media draft analyst Mike Mayock called Mizzou's edge player Michael Sam "a tweener."

Although Mayock believes Sam is only a third-down pass-rush specialist, he recognizes that the NFL covets such defensive gadget players. The analyst compared Sam to fellow undersized Arkansas DE Chris Smith, who projects to go between Rds. 3-5, similar to Sam, who is about to become the NFL's first openly gay player.
Source: NFL.com
Feb 19 - 4:44 PM

President Barack Obama praised Missouri DE/OLB Michael Sam for announcing he is gay before the NFL draft.

"I really like the fact that Michael did it before the draft because his attitude was, 'You know what, I know who I am. I know I can play great football and judge me on the merits,'" Obama said in an interview during TNT's pregame coverage of Sunday's NBA All-Star Game. First lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden both sent Sam supportive messages over Twitter after his announcement. The 6-foot-2, 255-pound defensive end is expected to be selected on the draft's third day.
Source: ESPN.com
Feb 19 - 1:47 PM

ESPN's Mel Kiper is confident that Missouri edge player Michael Sam will be drafted and compared him as a prospect to Elvis Dumervil and Robert Mathis.

Dumervil went in the fourth round, Mathis in the fifth, and not surprisingly Kiper sees Sam going between Rds. 4-5. "What he can do is pressure the QB, using good quickness to try to beat defenders off the edge (though he doesn't bend terribly well to turn the corner) and a high motor to finish plays and come up with sacks or tackles for loss maybe some others wouldn't get," Kiper wrote. "He is not a refined pass-rusher at this point, but he's a capable one with some upside." Kiper expects Sam to "test pretty well in Indy, running the 40-yard dash in about 4.7 seconds, with good upper body strength."
Feb 16 - 5:30 PM

Cyd Zeigler, co-founder of OutSports.com and an acquaintance of Michael Sam, doesn't believe the Cowboys, Jets or Redskins would be a good fit for the edge rusher.

"He can work on any team with decent leadership," Zeigler said in an interview with a CBS radio affiliate in Washington, D.C. "I pray to God he doesn't end up on the Dallas Cowboys, the New York Jets or the Washington Redskins. I think those three teams -- they have poor leadership, but most of the other teams in the NFL have guys -- the coaching staff, the front office and locker room -- who are equipped to deal with this." We think the discussion over Sam's next destination is already overblown, and we don't think that Sam's "friends" are helping him by criticizing potential employers before the draft. If the reigning SEC Defensive Player of the Year can hack it at the next level, he'll be accepted in his next locker room without question, and we'll all wonder why anyone ever thought it would be any different. If Sam can't keep up, he won't stick around a locker room long enough to find out how accommodating his fellow professionals could have been.
Feb 16 - 4:30 PM

Michael Sam received a standing ovation on Saturday during Missouri's basketball game against Tennessee.

Some fans wore "We Are All CoMo Sexuals" shirts, a play off the nickname of Columbia, Mo., where Sam spent last season terrorizing SEC quarterbacks. "I am hopeful that the NFL won't care about something like this," said student body president Mason Schara, who recently posted on Twitter that he is gay. "It doesn't matter about his sexual orientation. He's a great player and everyone would be lucky to have him." The 6-foot-2, 255-pound defensive end is expected to be selected on the draft's third day.
Source: ESPN.com
Feb 16 - 3:00 PM