Betting Odds Formed For Michael Sam’s 2014 NFL Draft Position

Michael SamThe 2013 Co-SEC Defensive Player of the Year Michael Sam made history a couple of weeks ago when he came out as the first openly gay active football player. Sam has completed his college career at Missouri, but has yet to begin his NFL career. This poses a very interesting scenario for both Sam and the NFL teams that he will try out for in the coming weeks leading to April’s 2014 NFL Draft.

Sam played a big role in the Tigers’ run to the SEC East title and a berth in the SEC Championship Game last season. Had Missouri defeated Auburn in Atlanta, the Tigers would have gone on to play in the BCS Championship Game.

Past winner’s of the SEC Defensive Player of the Year have gone on to be first-round draft picks. But even prior to Sam’s announcement he was thought to be a 3rd or 4th round selection. This is is due to his size + the position he plays. As a 6’2 defensive end, Sam is considered short for the position in the NFL. He found great success at Missouri being able to rush from the outside, but going up against tackles in the NFL might be a different story. NFL teams prefer defensive ends to be taller because they can take away passing lanes if they are unable to get to the quarterback.

Sam is seen as more of a hybrid defensive end and an outside linebacker in a 3-4 NFL scheme. This would be the best fit.

But now the questions that remain are which team will take him, and where?

Bovada Sportsbook has formed a betting line on the over/under for where Sam will be selected. The betting line is set at 125.5 picks. At 32 picks per round, the betting line essentially asks whether or not he will be picked prior to the fourth round (rounds 1-3), or at the start of the fourth round or later.

This betting line is not too far off from where many had predicted him. But Sam will get plenty more attention with his announcement. He will be under the microscope during the NFL combine, as team’s look to evaluate him.

While Sam stating he is gay shouldn’t affect his draft stock, it might. There are NFL teams that will not select him because they do not want that attention.

The chances are that the team that selects Sam will have strong veteran leadership able to handle the questions that will come their way.

This could be the first of several betting odds relating to Sam + the NFL Draft to come.


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