Where will Michael Sam be drafted?
LAS VEGAS, NV (The Spread) – How will Michael Sam’s announcement that he’s gay affect his stock in the 2014 NFL Draft? Let’s take a look at the odds.
Sam, who was Missouri’s All-American pass rusher, told teammates early in the 2013 season that he is gay and on Sunday became the first openly gay player to head into the NFL draft. And since going public with the news, reports have been mixed about whether or not his announcement will affect his draft stock. In fact, Sports Illustrated’s Pete Thamel and Thayer Evans spoke to multiple NFL evaluators who expressed concern over how teams might react to Sam’s sexual orientation.
“I just know with this going on this is going to drop him down,” one veteran NFL scout told the SI writers. “There’s no question about it. It’s human nature. Do you want to be the team to quote-unquote ‘break that barrier?”
Monday Morning Quarterback’s Peter King also spoke to one NFL general manager who believes Sam will not be drafted.
“We talked about it this week,” the GM said. “First of all, we don’t think he’s a very good player. The reality is he’s an overrated football player in our estimation. Second: He’s going to have expectations about where he should be drafted, and I think he’ll be disappointed.”
Some believe that Sam is a “tweener” prospect that won’t have a position in the NFL. Some view him as a 4-3 defensive end, while others believe that he needs to stand up and rush the passer as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 front. As of this date, he’s listed as a defensive end and is projected to go in either the third or fourth round.
Speaking of which, what pick will Sam be in the 2014 NFL Draft? According to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, the over/under has been set at 125.5 for what pick Sam will be in May. For sake of reference, the Packers selected running back Jonathan Franklin with the 125th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, while William Gholston of Michigan State went to the Buccaneers with the 126th pick. Both selections were made in the fourth round.