Michael Sam came out as gay in February of this year and was - for some time at least - the most talked about man in the world of sport.
The Missouri defensive end/linebacker had an incredible career in college for the Tigers, a team captain and inspirational leader on the defensive side of the ball that his teammates looked to for inspiration.
But all that has gone out of the window now it seems, and the only thing mentioned about him are negatives. Sam has gone from a potential 3rd-5th rounder to a possible undrafted free agent in the matter of months, all because of a below par display at the combine.
Sam was poor in Indianapolis, I am not debating that fact. A.J McCarron, the much maligned Alabama quarterback posted similar stats in drills at the scouting combine as the defensive man and was blasted for it in all sections of the media.
But then Sam went to his pro day at Mizzou and absolutely smashed all of the figures he put up in Indy. He raised his bench press from 17 reps to 19, ran a 4.71 40-yard dash time (markedly improved from his 4.91), upped his vertical jump by about 5 inches, and actually impressed scouts in attendance with a series of linebacker drills - his supposed new position in the NFL.
However, not one article that is saying he is set to go undrafted mentions his improvements at all. I doubt NFL people are turning such a blind eye to the stats.
The last seven SEC Defensive Player of The Year winners were drafted in the first round, one since 2000 - Chad Lavalais - was taken in the 5th. It really would beggar belief if Sam went undrafted. They don't just give the award out to anybody!
Patrick Willis, Patrick Peterson, Rolando McClain, Eric Berry, Glenn Dorsey, DeMeco Ryans and Michael Sam. An illustrious list to be in and one that is earned through hard work, football intelligence, skill and determination. Not "lucky plays", you don't record lead the SEC with 11 1/2 sacks through luck.
Don't be so quick to write Sam off in the NFL. Negativity only breeds inspiration and drive to prove people wrong.
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