Even before the 2014 NFL Draft was over, analysts were giving their reasons why Sam was going to be undrafted. From being too small to not being fast enough, there were a list of reasons why the defensive end would have to wait to find a team. It was argued that it might even be better for Sam to go undrafted, as he would have a great chance to sign to a team looking for a bargain.
The fact that it took so long for Sam to be drafted despite his title as the SEC Defensive Player Of The Year may seem unsettling to some, but awards in college cannot determine future success in the NFL. Winning a Heisman Trophy is one of the biggest honors in all of sports, but it is a poor indicator of future success. Recent winners Matt Leinart, Troy Smith, Tim Tebow and Mark Ingram have all been viewed as failures, so the hesitation on Sam because of his award shouldn’t surprising.
This will be a huge story for the next few days, but hopefully as things settle down fans will start to look as Sam as a football player, and not define him by his sexual orientation. Coach Jeff Fischer is beloved by his players, and his experiences throughout the league will help to maintain a positive atmosphere in the locker. Sam will be viewed as nothing more than another teammate, and he will have the opportunity to have a long and successful career with the Rams if he works hard and learns the system.
Now that he finally has a team, Sam proves that you get a job in the NFL based on talent.