Yesterday during the 5th round of the NFL Draft, I told a friend of mine I thought the Raiders would pick Michael Sam with pick 32 of the 7th round yesterday.
They did not. Shortly afterwards, the St. Louis Rams selected Sam with the 249th pick. The reaction to the selection from various blogs and websites was mixed. About half the people were disappointed their team didn’t select Sam; others thought the Rams were putting themselves in a precarious position by drafting him. Those are the nicer and more even-handed reactions. Here’s a brief sample I dug up on espn.com’s article:
Here’s what BSP considers several bottom lines:
– We keep hearing about Sam being 2013 SEC Defensive Player of the Year. It means NOTHING at the professional level. Rolando McClain was SEC Defensive Player of the Year, a 1st round pick (8th overall), but now he’s out of football.
– Most of Sam’s downward trajectory as a prospect began after the Senior Bowl. He didn’t play well in drills or in the game, but in fairness, Sam was moved to an unfamiliar position (outside linebacker).
– If you look carefully at the NFL’s 7th round, you’ll clearly see Sam has better credentials than most of the players drafted ahead of him. A lot of teams likely avoided him due to the distraction.
– By the way, distraction seems to mean anything off-field. Sam, to my knowledge doesn’t have any off-field issues. I’m seeing guys with decent measurables but with records. As in, criminal records.
– The Rams plan to have him play DE but they are really deep there
– What happens if the Rams cut him? Are they going to get protests? Seriously, in our post “Unrealistic Expectations” Sam was getting publicity like he was a Top-10 pick. A segment of the population believes Sam is a better player than he is, and won’t ever accept he’s a marginal prospect:
Second round? That’s laughable; that person isn’t nearly being objective. The poster Garret Bauer is spot on. If Clowney were gay, he would have been the first overall pick; second at worst. As we noted in our “Unrealistic” post, Kony Ealy was going against Greg Robinson. And at the Senior Bowl, Taylor Lewan dominated Sam (of note, Taylor Lewan dominated every player he faced at the Senior Bowl).