Michael Sam gets all the headlines, but when it comes to the Rams’ competition at defensive end, the much-hyped former SEC defensive player of the year is arguably being outclassed.
Do you even know the name of the guy battling it out with Sam for a roster spot in St. Louis? The guy’s name is Ethan Westbrooks. The UDFA out of West Texas A&M is having a very strong camp, and had a good game against the Packers on Saturday according to Gary Mihoces of USA Today Sports:
Sam, a seventh-round draft pick from Missouri, had an uneventful first half as a member of the kickoff and punt return teams. He played defensively in the second half. In the fourth quarter, he sacked Packers quarterback Matt Flynn for a 10-yard loss on a third-and-19 play from St. Louis 21-yard line. Sam beat the offensive tackle cleanly from his left end position.
But Westbrooks, an undrafted free agent, played with the second team in the opening half and had another productive game.
On consecutive plays in the second quarter, the 6-4, 267-pound Westbrooks made tackles on running plays for gains of zero and two yards. Late in the second quarter, Westbrooks sacked Packers’ backup quarterback Scott Tolzien for a one-yard loss. Westbrooks also played solidly in the second half.
Sam may have looked strong against the Packers but there are still some who believe he is a one-dimensional player who won’t be very effective in the NFL.
Westbrooks is certainly not what you would call a heralded talent, being just a UDFA, but he may be good enough to prevent the much-ballyhooed Sam from making it onto the roster after all.