Michael Sam NFL Draft 2014: Highlights, Scouting Report for Rams DE

Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse more stories
Michael Sam NFL Draft 2014: Highlights, Scouting Report for Rams DE
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Michael Sam, DE, Missouri (HT: 6’2” WT: 261 lbs)

St. Louis Rams

Seventh Round: 249th Pick 

NFL Comparison: Trent Cole, OLB, Philadelphia Eagles

Combine Weigh-In
Height Weight Arm Hand
6020 261 33 3/8" 9 3/8"


Combine Workout
40-yd dash 10-yd split Vert Broad 3-Cone Bench
4.91 1.72 25 1/2" 9'6" 7.80 17



  • Compact and thick build with a toned frame. 
  • Sufficient arm length despite lack of height. 
  • Comes off the ball with adequate acceleration. 
  • Prolific pass-rusher who is productive making plays in the backfield. 
  • Out-leverages blockers on a consistent basis by playing with low pad level into contact. 
  • Has a compressed frame that’s not easy for blockers to get their hands on to control. 
  • Quick to the corner as a speed-rusher and can take advantage of slow-footed tackles. 
  • Consistently rips through the hands of pass-blockers. 
  • Frequently beats pass-blockers on first contact by winning with his hands. 
  • Strong upper body to ward off blockers and split gaps working to the inside. 
  • Plays with resistance strength to stay on his pass-rushing arcs and not get wedged off. 
  • Can work to the inside of tackles and into the backfield to disrupt running plays. 
  • Has experience in a defense that played from multiple fronts and varied techniques.


  • Rigid body type with especially stiff ankles and knees. 
  • Play recognition not overly developed. 
  • Motor isn’t especially high. 
  • Lacks a variety of pass-rushing moves and can be predictable. 
  • Struggles to bend around blocks on the corner due to a lack of flexibility. 
  • Doesn’t spin back to the inside when pass-blockers mirror the speed rush on the corner. 
  • Not a power rusher who can compress the pocket from the outside despite a thick build and low pad level. 
  • Struggles to hold up at the line of scrimmage against drive blocks and doesn’t generate power to stand up blocks. 
  • Needs to play with more balance while engaged with blocks while keeping his shoulders square. 
  • Doesn’t consistently shed run blocks while containing plays on the edge. 
  • Highly ineffective and unproductive chasing down plays in pursuit. 
  • Does a poor job wrapping up as a tackler to finish plays. 
  • Plays flat-footed in coverage and struggles to move laterally or play route breaks. 
  • Only played on the left side of Missouri’s defense, little experience playing from the right side.

Collegiate Statistics
Year Team Tackles TFL Sacks FF PD
2010 Missouri 24 7 3.5 2 0
2011 Missouri 29 3 1.5 0 1
2012 Missouri 22 7 4.5 2 0
2013 Missouri 48 19 11.5 2 2


Personal Notes

  • Was ranked as the 75th overall defensive end prospect in the ESPN 150 as a 3-star recruit out of Hitchcock, Texas. 
  • Decommitted from Iowa State after the departure of Gene Chizik and signed with Missouri. 
  • Named SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Year in 2013. 
  • Became the second unanimous All-American in Missouri Tigers football history in 2013.

Ratings Chart

Graph made at nces.com


As one of the most productive pass-rushers in the country as a senior, Michael Sam has garnered accolades and attention as a draft prospect.  Specific athletic limitations including a lack of flexibility and a lack of optimal size are concerning. 

Sam also isn’t a multi-dimensional rusher despite the high number of sacks.  He still projects as a pass-rush specialist in the NFL because his prospects as a run defender are even direr.  For 4-3 defenses looking for depth at end or a rotational rusher for third downs, Michael Sam makes sense.

Draft Projection: Fifth Round

Follow Los Angeles Rams from B/R on Facebook

Follow Los Angeles Rams from B/R on Facebook and get the latest updates straight to your newsfeed!

Los Angeles Rams

Subscribe Now

By signing up for our newsletter, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.

Thanks for signing up.