[I'm doing weekly videos on CineSport. Today we talked about moving the draft back, trading Nick Foles, and Michael Sam.]
Michael Sam, the SEC defensive player of the year who announced in February that he was gay, was supposed to be one of the biggest stories of the 2014 NFL draft. Sam registered 11.5 sacks and 19 tackles for loss while helping lead Missouri to the SEC Championship game. Though Sam’s sack numbers were clustered – three sacks against Arkansas State, Florida and Vanderbilt; 2.5 in the other 11 games – and he doesn’t possess ideal size (6-2, 261) and he didn’t perform well at the Combine, Sam still figured to have a future in the NFL.
But here we are, four days before the draft and there’s … crickets about Michael Sam. Not that visits matter that much, but how many visits has he taken? Good luck finding that information online. (The answer could be zero, but it probably isn’t.) Was his slow 40 time for a player at his position – 4.79, 4.84 – so bad that he completely fell off the map? Upon further inspection of his game tape, did teams decide he just wasn’t very good? Or maybe his rookie agents are struggling to navigate the rumor-filled months leading up to the draft? Maybe Sam has a mid/late-round promise of sorts from a team, and they’re keeping it all very quiet?
Nobody’s come close to answering any of this. Oh, wait – from the Journal-Sentinel:
The Journal Sentinel polled 21 scouts with national responsibilities asking what round, if any, they would be comfortable selecting Sam.
Three said fifth round. Three said sixth round. Three said seventh round. Five said they would sign him as a free agent. Seven said they wouldn’t sign him as a free agent.
Three scouts from clubs using the 4-3 defense said emphatically that Sam didn’t fit their scheme. Conversely, two scouts from teams using the 3-4 defense said emphatically that Sam didn’t fit their scheme.
It’ll be a shocker if Sam is even mentioned on Thursday’s NFL draft telecast; Friday seems highly unlikely, too. Maybe CBS Sports and Sports Illustrated were right?
Related: Thayer Evans and Sports Illustrated Are Doing Great Satire on the Michael Sam Story
Related: Michael Sam Needs to Close His Mouth, Be Careful Patting Teammates on the Butt, Says Former Dallas Cowboy
Related: Steve Elkington Tried to Explain His Michael Sam Tweet by Referencing “Orientals”