Could Michael Sam be a fit for the Jets?

NCAA Football: Cotton Bowl-Oklahoma State vs MissouriDo the Jets need a youth movement at outside linebacker?  Absolutely.  So with the news about Mizzou’s Michael Sam potentially becoming the NFL’s first openly gay player, could the SEC’s 2013 co-Defensive Player of the Year become part of the Jets this May?

Dom Cosentino of the Star-Ledger wrote five reasons that the Jets should consider Michael Sam.  Here’s the first of his reasons and one which we agree with.

He can fit the scheme. Sam was a 4-3 defensive end in college who can be converted to a 3-4 rush linebacker in the NFL. He’s listed at 6-foot-2, 255 pounds, but ignore any qualms about his lack of size; many of the top 3-4 OLBs around the league—Justin Houston, Robert Mathis, Elvis Dumervil, to name the three with the highest 2013 grades from Pro Football Focus—are similarly sized. And for you Jets fans twitching at the thought of a Vernon Gholston repeat: Just because Vernon Gholston was Vernon Gholston doesn’t mean Michael Sam will suddenly become Vernon Gholston. One guy’s inability to make the DE-OLB transition has nothing to do with another’s.

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

Many those who have studied film on Sam say they like his motor, but that his game has some holes and that likely makes him a mid-round talent.  Sam is a co-defensive SEC Player of the Year, an impressive honor.  Very few of them are ever drafted outside the first few rounds.  But still, that seems to be the talk on Sam, regardless of his recent statement.

The Jets are a defense that needs to find more mid-round players who can come in and be productive thanks to the players the team already has in place.  After watching the Sons of Anarchy help Calvin Pace post a 10 sack performance for the first time in his career at age 33, one starts to believe that the Jets don’t need a pricey veteran, or even an early round draft pick at outside linebacker this coming year.  Antwan Barnes was on pace for a good season before he was injured, but again he is another over 30 year old player.  The Jets need to get appreciably younger and more athletic but don’t need that player to be Jadaveon Clowney.  Drafting a player like Sam might obviate the need for Barnes going forward, but would add a degree of youth needed at the edge of the defense.

Even if Sam only has one pass rush move at the age of 24, it stands to reason that he could be a help to the Jets.  Does he need to be coached up?  Absolutely, there’s work to be done on his pass-rush technique and he must get better against the run to see time with a defense like the Jets.

Sam is known as a competitor, a guy who plays hard and investing a middle round draft pick in a spot like outside linebacker is exactly how the Jets need to move forward to address the spot.  If Sam can demonstrate decent quickness (not necessarily 40 yard dash, but three cone drill and shuttle) at the Combine as well as some upside in drills and workouts this spring against the run, then the Jets might have interest as we think there’s a fit for him in New York.




80 comments
Jeff E. Guy
Jeff E. Guy

Personally, I think the talk from "anonymous front office sources" is nothing but positioning. The NFL is hyper-competitive and these guys will stop at nothing to gain an edge. If they can reduce his stock with gay badgering then pick him up in the fifth or sixth, then they've got themselves a steal. I suspect there are a few teams that might pass because he won't fit regional culture, Nashville and Atlanta come to mind. If he does drop because of that, the Jets would be foolish to pass when his draft position is a lot worse than his talent. The New York metro area won't care that he's gay, just how many QBs he sacks

jvsvn
jvsvn

The only issues with Sam are the same issues with any potential draftee. 1) Can he play, 2) does he fit your scheme, and ultimately 3) where is he on your board relative to the other players you could possibly draft. Sam led the SEC in sacks last year. Is he a guy that can be a solid situational rusher in the NFL? The Jets should evaluate him as a football player only (and I think they will). 


The Jets need to go offense early in the daft. But Pace is 33 and  Barnes is 29 and coming off an injury. Nobody could argue that looking for a solid rush OLB in round 3 or 4 would be a totally reasonable thing for the Jets to do. (particularly with an extra 3rd round pick). Is Sam the right guy? Well, that depends on what evaluation you have on Sam and who else is available when those picks are made.


As a side note, I just went and read the wikipedia page on Michael Sam. Here is an except:


"Sam is the seventh of eight children born to JoAnn and Michael Sam, Sr. His parents separated when he was young.[5] As a child, Sam watched one of his older brothers die from a gunshot wound. Another older brother has been missing since 1998, and his other two brothers are both imprisoned. A sister who was born before him died in infancy.[17] At one point in his childhood, Sam lived in his mother's car.[5] He was once accidentally maced by police who were arresting one of his brothers."


Michael Sam was the the SEC defensive player of the year. He graduated from the University of Missouri in January.  He did those things as an openly gay man (he came out to his team before hi senior year).


This guy has shown more character in his life than most people could possibly hope for. If he can play and he is the highest value player on the board at the time the Jets are drafting (3rd round, 4th round, whatever), you take him. Period!



lagooo
lagooo

He is the fastest guy I've seen coming off the edge from this draft class. Will be a steal in the 3rd or 4th round.

blackwood1
blackwood1

Who did not see this foolishness coming!?! Just nonsense because we all know dang well this would not be a subject if it were not for his "look at me if im not drafted high its because im gay" moment.

Mike Milea
Mike Milea

Would you take a OLB in the second, if someone like Dee Ford or Kyle Van Noy falls to us?? I think depending on how we handle our offensive weapons through free agency will determine where exactly I stand on taking a OLB in the second. There just seems like theres a ton of talent there in the second and starting/impact talent that could make our D that much more scary for another decade i hope. As for Michael Sam, i'd love to have him on the team. I think regardless of his sexual preference the guy is clearly full of heart (just like the rest of our D line) and he's clearly extraordinarily courageous. To be entering a professional sport surrounded by intense masculinity and overflowing Testosteron... the guy still comes out with it without fear of how it may affect his draft stock and/or where he goes come draft day. I think that kind of courage and fearlessness is the kind almost any level headed person can look up to. And the biggest joke of em all is the media can do whatever the hell they want with this piece, but when you have Coples, Wilkerson, Richardson, and the rest of S.O.A beating the crap out of O-lines, and then you have a uber talented guy like Sam coming off the edge and putting a beat down on the QB... The media's jaw will drop and their tail will whip right between their legs because they only kind of media that can come from the type of production that our team will put up is positive media... something that the media surrounding the Jets don't know too much about. I'd love to have Sam on my team.

juunit
juunit

Where would he play? Ridiculous as this sounds, Sam doesn't have the athleticism to replace Pace. At best he could be Coples' backup.

Disgruntled Jets Fan
Disgruntled Jets Fan

I wouldn't mind him, mainly because it would fit with my master plan of having a Will, Mike and Sam at LB all playing roles different from their names.  Hail Eris!

bob
bob

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I got plenty of snow in my yard........So if your looking for snow man parts cheap.....

Just stop over my yard and help yourself ..I get you all the snow man parts you like.

So hurry over before your snow man parts go out of season.



xplr
xplr

Michael Sam? We need receivers, TEs and massive secondary help. What the heck do we need with another distraction at a position that we really don't need help with?? No way they draft this kid. I'm not sure anyone else will either, but if they do, it will probably be in the last few rounds. 

kniff
kniff

It wasn't that long ago that we let Kerry Rhodes go... he is 31 and a FA right now since he left Arizona. Many feel he was blacklisted because of his rumored sexuality....


The media seems to be incrementally changing the belief system of the country, including the NFL. Sam is a direct challenge to the NFL as an institution. 


All we can do is see what happens next....but as for him on our squad.....no thanks.

John Ledo
John Ledo

Uhh no thanks...you think the media circus involving Mike Vick is bad, can you imagine with this guy? The players need to feel comfortable in their locker room why mess up the chemistry...guy talk would no longer be accepted with him there.

Robert James
Robert James

Also remember how playing in NY can affect him with this media circus, it's never gonna be about how good or bad he played... JMO

bradysucks
bradysucks

It's pretty funny. The media makes fun of the Jets for everything and yet......If the Jets draft Michael Sam they'll be drafting the one player the media doesn't DARE make fun of.....because bashing the gay guy if off limits.....bashing every other Jet though is the thing to do if you're in the media......IRONIC

jdb4
jdb4

As much as like Sam's explosiveness and his motor take Morgan Breslin 100% of the time over Sam.

marcus81
marcus81

why draft a player and convert them to another position? just draft who you need at that position, of course someone will argue about their talent and potential

Roberto Flores
Roberto Flores

I'd rather they select Will Clarke instead of Michael Sam. That's if they would entertain the thought of drafting a defensive end of course.

McGeorge
McGeorge

The Jets need receivers more than anything.

All I'm asking for is two 21 year old Jerry Rice Clones, that the Jets draft in the 6th and 7th round, behind the 21 year old Ed Reed clone they find in the 5th round.

phily kay
phily kay

@Mike Milea  Ive been kinda dreaming of van noy to nyj since about 2/3 thru the season. i think he would be a tremendous pick in the 2nd, i just hope hes still there because hes an olb that makes plays behind the los in the run and pass game and has the coverage skills to drop back. i like murphy if van noy isnt available. i think our approach to the draft s/b best player available. id rather take a talent that falls like barr in the 1st if the top offensive guys (evans,watkins,lee,ebron) are gone and we cant trade down. i see no reason to reach. i think we'll have most, if not all our holes filled to at least a certain degree by draft time in order to accomplish this

MarshRandy
MarshRandy

@juunit  OLB. We don't really have one for pure pass rushing purposes - I still consider Coples a DE. Sam and Barnes on passing downs

Brendan
Brendan

@ifti99  The team still needs a long-term answer at the OLB spot opposite Coples, though. 

zoddie
zoddie

What does the NFL as an institution care about who Sam has sex with?

phily kay
phily kay

@Johnsbodybyvi Ledo  how comfortable did the locker room seem with tebow? how controversial was he? how was the chemistry? how was the media attention? the media's job is to create stories, regardless of the situation. every year theres a story/attempt at scandal. how would this be different other than we'd be praised by the lgbt community (which isnt relevant to football lol). the most i think the jets should do is ask the leaders/veterans on the team (in private and in confidence) how THEY would feel and how they think the team would. THATS what should count

Brendan
Brendan

@Johnsbodybyvi Ledo   Will you stop it? 


Missouri had its most successful season ever, he was voted the MVP by his teammates, he was an All-American and SEC DPOY. Just stop. He literally disproved the notion that a team couldn't be close or win with a [word livefyre blocks] guy in the locker room. 


If the team think he's worth the pick in a mid-to-late round they should take him. 

bradysucks
bradysucks

 Michael Sam is the one guy the media will never make fun of if the Jets draft him........If the Jets draft a guy who digs other guys romantically they will get respect from the media.....but if the Jets trade for a guy who digs GOD they get crushed by the media.......

I'm not judging,,,,,just telling the truth


The only circus Michael Sam will bring with him to NY is a circus of liberal media LOVE....media love fest......The media loves destroying the Jets....but they will treat Michael Sam with "kid gloves".....We all know it's true


He''ll be the only Jet they don't go after with cheap shots



harold
harold

With OLB in a 3-4 you have a limited pool of players who actually played that position in college.  So you have to project that spot in most cases.

a57se
a57se

@Roberto Flores  

or Marcus Smith or Jackson Jeffcoat or Kareem Martin or James Gayle or Larry Webster....these guys all have the size you want and most of them are NOT one dimensional.

phily kay
phily kay

@McGeorge  does that mean we're looking for a manning clone in the 1st? or a brady clone in the 2nd?

harold
harold

I think we would all sign up for the Deion clone in the 4th as well

juunit
juunit

Coples is a DE. There's really no difference between DE and rush LB. My point is, Sam is exactly the same as Coples in the sense that he can't do LB type things and his only ability is rushing the passer. Pace, the guy on the other side, drops back in space fairly often and Sam can't do that.

lagooo
lagooo

Pace is the least athletic person on the front 7. All his sacks were coverage or scheme sacks.

Frank Cecere
Frank Cecere

@rstysanchz @jaygo  I do know that he's a big kid that threw mostly to Luke Tasker who is Steve Tasker's son. Really good pair of hands

phily kay
phily kay

@Brendan @Johnsbodybyvi Ledo  AND when he told the team, what i keep hearing including from richardson his former roommate, that they all knew already and it wasnt a problem. i guarantee that there are homosexual players in the nfl that teammates are aware of and it doesnt bother most of them. sorta reminds me of integration. ever heard anyone thinking that jackie robinson will make it? besides branch rickey that is? fact is people are scared. scared to move forward, scared to evolve. he was a great college football player and helped his team. his preference for male sexual partners versus female sexual partners was irrelevant to his performance. if his performance translates to the next level who he sleeps with will not be an issue after a lil time. i personally feel that if you're not comfortable with who i am then the problem is with you, not me. something for most people, media included to ponder. (p.s. i am straight, and dont believe in religion or other fairy tales, but believe we should respect a persons decision, even if we dont agree with it [unless its criminal or unconscionable])

rstysanchz
rstysanchz

@bradysucks  you dont think hell bring like a tebow type circus here? because michael sam is the first guy out there is now a national interest in this guy so no matter if the media is positive on him this story is going to stick 

phily kay
phily kay

@Hanknaples  3 ignoramuses defending a 4th ignoramus doesnt change the fact that its still 4 ignoramuses. pretty sure every serial killer and a lot of rapists/pedophiles serving extremely long prison sentences have ppl who defend their acts. does that make them right? so like i said just cuz 3 guys go along with a 4th it doesnt make any of them right. as a litmus test ask yourself this: if 3 ppl (or all of my pals) support my decision to flush ur head down the toilet does that make us right? cuz we're all in agreement u know....

Brendan
Brendan

@Hanknaples Not at all, but you are still defending a guy who is an awful, awful human being. 

phily kay
phily kay

@Hanknaples @bradysucks  when science makes it possible for hank to comprehend life and its experiences as a normal human being, will the government go after his disability benefits, or will those still continue to be made?....... and u should really try harder not to come off as such an idiot. i doubt anyone here is in love with him because of his sexual preference, just that most of us are evolved enough to know that his sexual preference is not a factor in his on field performance, and thats what we care about

phily kay
phily kay

@bradysucks  I agree with most parts of this, but i dont really agree with the premise of self promotion. i believe i read/saw that he basically came out because this isnt a big secret (the team knew) and he wanted to be the one to make it public on his terms (more or less) than have it be a "revelation" during the scouting combine later this week. I can understand that reasoning, if true, but i also can see how it was done with at least some intent of self promotion. though the scrutiny that comes with it makes the latter harder to believe as the primary motivation

rstysanchz
rstysanchz

@bradysucks  the only reason i thought tebow was because when sanchez was playing poor and the national media and non jet tebow fans were howling for tebow to start especially when mcelroy got the nod first...lets just say sam comes in and dosent start right away i think hes going to get that same attention from the national media and non jet sam fans causing a distraction...let me go on the record as saying i havent nothing against this guys lifestyle or that he came out and wish this guy nothing but the best but i believe hes going to have this national cult following that will cause a distraction in which even the punter is going to have answer michael sam questions 

bradysucks
bradysucks

I think Michael Sam will be universally praised by the national media and anybody who says or does anything that mocks him in any way will be crushed and labeled a bigot. I don't think the Michael Sam circus will be anything like the Tebow circus, but I do think it will create a distraction for Sam's teammates.

The thing that bothers me is that Michael Sam is going to be praised by the media regardless of whether or not he performs on the football field. I also don't think "coming out" in the year 2014 is brave when the reality is that the media embraces those who do so and it is also an opportunity for Mr Sam to capitalize and make money by being the 1st openly g@y NFL player! If he did this in 1960 he'd be the bravest guy there was....but in 2014 not so much...I see Michael Sam as an opportunist looking to capitalize on his sexuality as a way to make money and increase his celebrity....