How did you feel about Michael Sam's televised reaction to being draft?
(Football StL) -- There are very few people and organizations out there that aren't praising Jeff Fisher and the St. Louis Rams for selecting Michael Sam in the 7th round of the NFL draft this weekend. It's a historic and very progressive thing for this country.
And for sports, too.
Now the question goes to how will Sam, an openly gay man, be treated in the locker room and, more importantly, will he make the team this fall? Clearly the latter won't be able to be answered for quite a while.
But the former? That shouldn't even be a question.
"Since February, since my big announcement, there has been this whole speculation of the first openly gay football player," Sam said on a conference call. "But, you know what? It's not about that. It's about playing football. Can Michael Sam play football? And yes, I can. The St. Louis Rams know I can and I'm going to give everything I've got to the St. Louis Rams to help them win a championship."
Sam finished the 2013 season for Mizzou as the co-defensive player of the year in the SEC with 11.5 sacks. Yet he still fell to the 7th round presumably due to the fact he's a little undersized for a true 4-3 defensive end (he's just 260 pounds).
The former Tiger believes he should've been picked in the first three rounds since he played so well. And he's furious that he fell all the way to the 7th round. Does he think it's possible he plummeted in the draft because he's gay?
“Who knows? Only the people who sit in the war room know," Sam said. "They saw Michael Sam’s name and they scratched it off the board, you know, that was their loss. But St. Louis kept me on that board until the end. The picked me in the late seventh round and I feel like I’m (Houston DE Jadeveon) Clowney being the first draft pick in the draft, so I’m proud of where I am now.”
The Rams say this was simply a football pick and had Sam valued far higher than where they got him. He's going to be what GM Les Snead called a "DPR" - designated pass rusher - to maximize his strengths and to minimize his weaknesses.
Sam's competition to make the 53-man roster include Eugene Sims and the others who are along the defensive line.