Michael Sam Faces NFL Doubts After An Unfortunate Combine Performance

Effie Magazine News

NFL hopeful Michael Sam performed for NFL Scouts at the Combine, on Feb. 24. His performance in the Combine drills left many doubts.

How does that affect his chances in the draft? It killed him. Considering he was the SEC defensive player of the year that would have made him a first round pick. Unfortunately, the fact that Sam is undersized for the position and the perception  that he is slow, knocked him down to a third round pick even before his performance in the drills. He needed to show well in the Combine to elevate his stock.

His showing affirmed the doubters. I believe he dropped way down, but let’s see. Speculations are that Sam will get drafted, but in the later 5th to 6th rounds, hoping someone would/will take a chance on him. He is projected to be a “situational” type player, and not an “every down” player. What this refers to is a situational type play, when the situation calls for his services or skills, while an “every down” player plays the entire game. Unless he drastically improves his personal workouts.

He has one more chance to prove himself during Missouri’s Pro Day (same as NFL Combine, but only for Missouri players). He needs to improve in at least two areas; the 40 yard dash (speed) and bench press. If he does, some team can at least pencil him in as a Linebacker, because at the moment he is considered too slow for the NFL at that position.

One area that he did excel was in his interviews, and believe it or not, that matters in the NFL. At least they know he is smart.

Can he return to his college football career? The answer is no. Sam made himself eligible for the draft, which means Sam has signed on with an agent. When a player does this, he has to forgo his college eligibility. If he is an underclassman then he can’t play college football again.

Why would someone do that if they were not up to par with NFL standards? Will this be his last year or will he not play at all, this year? Many players are delusional, get bad advice or need money for various reasons and enter the draft as underclassmen. Most don’t make it, but there are the exceptions, of course. Fortunately for Sam, he is a Senior, so it doesn’t really matter. I hope and I bet that he will earn his degree.

The hype surrounding Sam began when he announced that he is gay during two media interviews released on Feb.9. Representatives of the NFL immediately released statements of encouragement for Sam.

In a press conference, Sam told reporters, “I wish you guys would see me as Michael Sam the football player, not as Michael Sam the gay football player.” The NFL hopeful would be the first openly gay athlete to play in the NFL.

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