Jan 3, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Missouri Tigers defensive lineman Michael Sam (52) reacts after a play during the second half against the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the 2014 Cotton Bowl at AT

2014 Senior Bowl: Michael Sam struggling with position switch


Michael Sam won the SEC Defensive Player of the Year for the SEC east champion Missouri Tigers and made the play of the game to clinch the AT&T Cotton Bowl vs. the Oklahoma State Cowboys, but despite his college success his NFL future is very much in question.

Sam led the SEC with 10.5 sacks and 18 tackles for loss and at 6-2, 261-pounds hasn’t been able to show he is anything more than a one-dimensional player. Furthermore, he’s the classic ‘tweener’ who is not big enough to play defensive end in a 4-3 defense and isn’t comfortable in space as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense.

It wasn’t all bad news for Sam but he looks like he could be one of the players who has talent evaluators split on their assessment of him.

Players who have to make a transition from one position to another against elite competition are bond to have some hiccups along the way, so it will be interesting to see how Sam adapts to playing at linebacker and how much more prepared he will be at next month’s NFL combine.

Tags: 2014 Senior Bowl Michael Sam Missouri Tigers