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&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Draft 2014: Michael Sam compared to Elvis Dumervil and Robert Mathis

Leading up to the 2014 NFL Draft, one of the most discussed prospects will be Missouri Tigers defensive end Michael Sam. Since Sam came out as openly gay last weekend, many have been wondering whether or not his announcement will cause teams to shy away from him in the draft.

ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. was recently asked the question, and he shared his belief that the SEC co-Defensive Player of the Year will be drafted.

Kiper then took things a step further by drawing comparisons to two current NFL players that he believes Sam is reminiscent of. The players: Baltimore Ravens outisde linebacker Elvis Dumervil and Robert Mathis of the Indianapolis Colts.

“What he can do is pressure the QB, using good quickness to try to beat defenders off the edge (though he doesn’t bend terribly well to turn the corner) and a high motor to finish plays and come up with sacks or tackles for loss maybe some others wouldn’t get,” Kiper wrote. “He is not a refined pass-rusher at this point, but he’s a capable one with some upside.”

Like Sam, Dumervil and Mathis are undersized pass rushers, but they both leave pretty big shoes to fill.

If Sam can live up to the comparisons, some team will be very happy on draft day when they add a dynamic pass rusher to the roster.

Tags: 2014 NFL Draft Michael Sam NFL NFL Draft