While former Missouri University linebacker/defensive end Michael Sam has made headlines as the first openly gay NFL draft prospect, he's struggled in his quest to impress NFL scouts.
Multiple teams have looked into drafting Sam in recent months, but it appears as if the majority of scouts are questioning how his skillset will translate to the NFL.
"He's not a linebacker, and he's really not a defensive end," an NFC personnel director told Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. "I'd certainly take him to camp. You've got to admire how hard he plays."
It's a sentiment shared by an AFC executive: "It's a tough fit when you're short and slow and a try-hard overachiever. That's the issue."
It's not just personnel directors and executives who question the ability of Sam. A poll of 21 scouts conducted by the Journal-Sentential suggests that Sam may not be drafted prior to the seventh round or even drafted at all, as a third of those polled suggested they wouldn't sign him as an undrafted free agent.
"Most of his production was hustle stuff," said an NFC personnel man. "There's production, but he's short, he's not a really good athlete and he doesn't play good against the run.Iffy skillset aside, Sam is likely to earn a training camp invite if he does go undrafted. There seems to be universal praise for his work ethic as he attempts to become the NFL's first openly gay active player.
"He's kind of a one-task pass rusher. Just run up the field. And they swallow him up and kind of push him around.
"It doesn't fit with being SEC defensive player of the year. But that's just kind of what he was."