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Scout’s Eye: Grading Tape On Mizzou LB Michael Sam
Michael Sam - Missouri - 52 - 6-1 - 260 - 4.74
Games Studied: Oklahoma State, Auburn, Texas A&M, Georgia
Sam plays as a defensive end in their scheme and will usually line up on the left side. He worked as an outside linebacker at the Senior Bowl but played as an end during the game.
He shows some initial quickness off the snap and can be a tough guy to block on the move. That said, he doesn’t have much change of direction and is more of a straight line rusher. He will use his hands as he closes down the line and plays with outstanding effort. Sam will try and spin to free himself off blocks and can win matchups with this first move. Often, he will slap hands down to rush and work around a low block and will use his arm over a move inside.
There are times where he will lose the ball on his rush. He had game saving sack in the Cotton Bowl that caused a fumble to seal game. He beat the offensive tackle to the outside, then sharpened the corner to get there. There were also times where he gave ground in the running game. Sam would get wide and does a much better job of playing assignment to find the ball on the read option.