On Now
Coming Up
  • Thu., Apr. 26, 2018 6:00 PM - 10:00 PM EDT Flock Party Draft Edition Fans are invited to attend the Ravens Flock Party: Draft Edition at Hightopps Backstage Grille to watch the first night of the NFL Draft. Starting at 6 p.m., 98 Rock and WBAL Radio will broadcast live, while Ravens alumni players, including WR Jacoby Jones and FB Le’Ron McClain, Ravens Cheerleaders and mascot Poe join the festivities onsite for a night of giveaways, photos and autographs. Fans in attendance will also have a chance to enter to win a $10,000 cash prize by correctly picking the Ravens’ first draft pick.
  • Thu., Apr. 26, 2018 8:00 PM EDT NFL Draft Follow the Baltimore Ravens through the 2018 NFL Draft.
  • Sat., Apr. 28, 2018 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM EDT Draft Fest On Saturday, April 28, the Ravens will host Ravens Draft Fest, presented by Verizon, at a new location – Baltimore’s Inner Harbor – from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Fans will be able to watch Day Three of the NFL Draft and be a part of Ravens history when the team announces its fourth-, fifth- and sixth-round selections live from the Baltimore Harbor via the NFL Network.
  • Thu., May. 31, 2018 5:00 PM EDT Beach Bash Flock to the Beach with the Ravens for our annual Ravens Beach Bash presented by Miller Lite.

News

Print
RSS

Would Michael Sam Be Good Fit With Ravens?

Posted Feb 25, 2014

The defender from Missouri is set to become the first openly gay player in the NFL.


Near the end of Michael Sam’s press conference at the NFL Scouting Combine, the defender from Missouri had a request for the public.

He wants the focus on football.

“I just wish you guys would just see me as Michael Sam the football player instead of Michael Sam the gay football player,” he said.

Sam is in the position to become the first openly gay player in NFL history, and almost all of the attention on him has focused on his sexuality rather than his football acumen.

So how would Sam fit with the Ravens on the football field?

“Any player that has the qualities to be a great player and a good teammate, is a guy that fits us,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said at the combine when asked about Sam. “We’re really good at helping players, any player, become a part of our team.”

Sam has mostly been described by draft analysts as a “tweener.” At 6-foot-2, 261 pounds, Sam lacks the size to play defensive end in most schemes. He is built more like an outside linebacker, but he doesn’t have the same speed as edge rushers. Sam officially clocked his 40-yard dash in 4.91 seconds.

NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock described Sam as a “situational pass rusher and core special teamer,” and expects that he will get drafted somewhere between the fourth to sixth rounds. 

Sam stressed that whatever system he ends up in, he has the ability to get after quarterbacks.

“I’m a pass rusher,” he said. “If you put me in a situation to get the quarterback, I’m going to get the quarterback. Whoever coaches or GMs, this league is a passing league, I’d like to believe in myself as a good pass rusher.”

Sam thrived last season at Missouri and led the SEC with 11.5 sacks and 19 tackles for loss. He was the Defensive Player of the Year for the SEC, the premier college football conference in the country.

His production tapered off in the second half of the year, and he faced questions for why he registered just 1.5 sacks in the final six games.

“Winning is hard, buddy,” Sam responded. “Winning is hard. There’s going to be games when I might not get a sack. Throughout the games I did have some inconsistency there, but for the most part we as a defensive line did put a lot of pressure on quarterbacks, made them uncomfortable in the pocket to have to go and run away or throw the ball out of bounds.”

Sam could be a fit for the Ravens in the later rounds, as General Manager Ozzie Newsome has said on a number of a occasions that he can never have enough pass rushers. He projects as an outside linebacker in the Ravens defense, which is currently a crowded position.

The Ravens already have Terrell Suggs, Elvis Dumervil and Courtney Upshaw as the top outside linebackers, and Pernell McPhee as the situational pass rusher. The team also drafted pass rusher John Simon in the fourth round last year. None of the outside linebackers on last year’s roster are free agents this offseason.

If the Ravens are interested in adding another pass rusher and Sam is available in the later rounds, Newsome and Harbaugh both stated that they have no concerns about how he would fit in Ravens’ locker room.

“Once he gets in and he can rush the quarterback and get the quarterback on the ground and make tackles, he's going to be a good teammate,” Newsome said. “The biggest thing is how the media is going to deal with him.”

Please Note

The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed on BaltimoreRavens.com represent those of individual authors, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions or policies of the Baltimore Ravens' organization, front office staff, coaches and executives. Authors' views are formulated independently from any inside knowledge and/or conversations with Ravens officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.

Related News

Recent Videos

Recent Photos

Save