(Missouri Football App) -- Michael Sam’s draft stock is falling fast since his announcement Sunday night that he is gay.
According to NFLDraftScout.com, Sam’s ranking as an overall prospect rating dropped from 90 to 160 among players eligible for this year’s draft.
He was already considered a “tweener” because of his size, smaller than most NFL defensive ends, not as fast as most NFL linebackers. Announcing that he is gay gives NFL scouting staffs another reason to worry about Sam, and how his presence might affect a locker room.
The NFL issued a statement shortly after the news broke of Same’s courageous announcement that read: “We admire Michael Sam’s honesty and courage. Michael is a football player. Any player with ability and determination can succeed in the NFL. We look forward to welcoming and supporting Michael Same in 2014.”
It’s one thing for the league to voice its support for Sam, it’s another for locker room full of macho NFL players to accept an openly gay player. Initially, he’ll likely be accepted and applauded for his courageous stand. But how will he be treated if he makes a play that costs his team a game? Or doesn’t return from an injury as quickly as some think he should. Or has a conflict with a star teammate. Everything that happens with Sam will be magnified.
There’s no doubt Michael Sam can play. He was an unanimous All America and the SEC’s defensive player of the year. Some team will pick him in the draft. Maybe not as high as they would have before the announcement, but Sam will play in the league and become a pioneer among gay athletes.
But if falling in the draft costs him money in the short term, it seems likely he can make that up with future book/movie deals and speaking engagements. It’s hard to know how successful he’ll be in the NFL, but Michael Sam figures to remain in the public spotlight for a long time to come.