NFL Draft


Scouting Report
Sam revealed his sexuality to his teammates in August before coming out to the public in February, and is looking to become the first openly gay player in NFL history. A skilled pass-rusher who was named the SEC's co-Defensive Player of the Year in 2013 after recording 19 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks, Sam is essentially a one-trick pony who will rush the quarterback and not do much else. For a speed rusher, his workouts at the combine were not great, running the 40-yard dash in 4.91 seconds. That time is fine for a big defensive tackle, but far less impressive for someone whose chance to make an impact relies on his getting to the quarterback. He's also not very good versus the run, and may have to be taken off the field in short-yardage situations. Scouts felt that much of his production at Missouri was because of pressure on the other side of the field funneling the play towards Sam, and not because of his own elite skills. However, Sam is quite strong and can overpower running backs who will try to chip him in his surge to the quarterback. Put into a 3-4 defense as an outside linebacker, where his only task will be to charge into the backfield, he could have some success. Sam is an intriguing prospect who clearly has talent, but it will take the right defensive system for him to thrive. He is not a sure thing despite his collegiate accomplishments, but the spotlight - at least initially - will follow him wherever he ends up.
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