While Michael Sam can now call himself an NFL draftee, he still has to become an NFL player.
It’s going to be an uphill climb for the former Missouri standout as the St. Louis Rams currently have one of the most talented front lines in the NFL and are only expected to keep eight or nine defensive lineman on their 53-man roster come the season.
That’s already eight bodies on the defensive line, not including Sam or tackles Jermelle Cudjo and Matt Conrath. The Rams will only keep eight or nine, so it will be a tight squeeze for Sam.
“Well, it’s going to be very competitive for him because of the depth and the talent level at the position,” Fisher said. “He’s going to have to come in, and like the rest of his new teammates — these rookies — they’re not in shape. Not in the condition our veterans are in. He’s going to have to work to get in great shape and we’ll blend him in the offseason program and we’ll go.”
That’s not to say Sam can’t make the roster, but he’ll certainly be facing a challenge and is no certainty to be guaranteed a roster spot, especially given his non-guaranteed contract.
On the plus side for Sam, he’s known for his relentless work ethic, which may be the difference between a roster spot come the season opener or being sent into the free agent pool.