The St. Louis Rams shocked the world when they drafted openly gay defensive end Michael Sam in the seventh round in the 2014 NFL Draft. Sam immediately became the first openly gay player in NFL history, while the pick was followed by some negativity via social media, as well with doubts over whether or not Sam would have a realistic chance to make the Rams’ final roster.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, it isn’t a lock, and if he does it surely won’t be easy. With the Rams expecting to carry roughly eight to nine defensive linemen, Sam could easily end up being one of the final cuts.

Stud pass rushers Robert Quinn and Chris Long are clearly safe, as are defensive tackles Michael Brockers and Aaron Donald. The team is also said to be high on Kendall Langford, while Alex Carrington, William Hayes and Eugene Sims are all expected to lock down jobs before Sam.

If the Rams leave it at eight bodies on the d-line, Sam could soon be looking for work. If they keep one extra, he would have a shot, but would still face competition in the likes of Jermelle Cudjo and Matt Conrath.

Sam slid in the draft due to average athleticism and speed, as well as a lack of versatility. A strict defensive end in a 4-3 system, Sam is likely going to struggle to get around tackles in the NFL and doesn’t possess the natural strength to bull rush them consistently, either.

While he faces long odds to make the Rams’ final roster due to their insane depth, he could be helped out by some timely injuries. And even if he doesn’t make the Rams, Sam could still up his game and impress enough in camp and hopefully preseason to earn him another look elsewhere.

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