After the big names are off the board in the NFL Draft, the biggest question may not be when Michael Sam will be picked, it may be whether Michael Sam will be picked at all.
Despite being named the Defensive Player of the Year in the SEC, Sam’s underwhelming physical measurables and his lack of a defined role in defenses could prevent him from being the first openly gay player selected in the draft.
In a Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel poll of 21 scouts, 12 said they wouldn’t draft Sam, while three said he should be taken in the fifth round, three said sixth round and three said seventh round. Seven of the scouts said they wouldn’t even sign Sam as an undrafted free agent.
The piece characterized Sam as “a non-entity” in addressing the absence of draft chatter. Sam’s shaky draft status is based on the belief he is too small to play linebacker and too slow to play defensive end, a poor fit in either a 4-3 or 3-4 defense.
“It’s a tough fit when you’re short and slow and a try-hard overachiever,” one AFC executive said. “That’s the issue.”