Michael Sam might have to wait until the third day of the NFL draft to be selected.
ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said on SportsCenter that Sam, the first openly gay NFL draft prospect, projects as a fourth-round pick. Kiper compared the University of Missouri defensive end to Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Justin Houston, Seattle Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril and Indianapolis Colts outside linebacker Robert Mathis. Houston and Avril were third-round picks; Mathis was a fifth-rounder.
Kiper said that he doesn’t believe Sam’s announcement will affect his draft stock. Sam was the SEC Defensive Player of the Year. He had 11.5 sacks during his senior season at Missouri. Sam had three three-sack games for the Tigers.
Sam is 6-foot-2, 260 pounds. His quickness and acceleration are listed as strengths by CBSSports.com. His lack of ideal size is listed as a weakness. CBSSports.com lists Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil as a player comparision for Sam. Kiper said Sam struggled in coverage during Senior Bowl practices. Sam had a sack in the Senior Bowl game.
Watch Sam’s three-sack performance against Florida in the video below.