Missouri Tigers pass rusher Michael Sam is one of the biggest names left in the 2014 NFL Draft, and he’s expected to go in the fifth round due to his lack of a true position. Sam is a classic “tweener” prospect, which unsurprisingly hasn’t helped his draft stock. While Sam put up big numbers last season and was dominant at times, he also had a few quiet games. An explosive player, Sam can get into the backfield in a hurry to disrupt plays, but he could struggle as a 4-3 DE against the run due to his lack of size and doesn’t seem fast enough to be a true 3-4 OLB.
The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that the New England Patriots, Baltimore Ravens, Arizona Cardinals, and New York Giants all of interest in drafting the SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Year. Two of those teams (Pats and Giants) run a 4-3 scheme, whereas the Cardinals and Ravens run a 3-4 and would try him out as an outside linebacker.
It will be interesting to see if Sam ends up slipping further than expected in the draft, because he had an incredibly disappointing combine performance that was picked apart. His pro day was solid, so we’ll see if that’s enough to make up for his slow 40 times at the combine. Sam’s teammate Kony Ealy took a tumble on the second day before being scooped up by the Carolina Panthers at the end of the second round, so we’ll see if Sam has a similar fate on day three.