Jan 3, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Missouri Tigers defensive lineman Michael Sam (52) runs on the field before the game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at the 2014 Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium. Missouri beat Oklahoma State 41-31. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

What Effect Will Michael Sam's Declaration Have On The Draft?

The recent coming out of NFL hopeful Michael Sam has led to more than a few articles.  Of these articles, nobody has addressed the foremost question on my mind…

Michael Sam is gay, and although I’m sure not the first gay football player in the NFL, he is the first to be open about it.

Every team (including the Cowboys) has come forward and embraced his lifestyle, as everyone would expect.  Could you imagine had any team done the opposite? 

All of our individual feelings about homosexuality and gay marriage and whether you agree with it or not is one thing, but as an organization you are almost bullied into embracing a lifestyle you might very well not agree with.

Personally, I could not care less of Sam’s sexual orientation.  Just like I don’t care if a player is married or single, and whether they have the sexual appetite of Tim Tebow or Charlie Sheen.  The only thing that matters to me is attitude, work ethic, and performance.

Many people have placed Michael Sam as a Cowboy’s 3rd round pick, though he doesn’t necessarily fit our defensive scheme, plus at 6′ 2″ and somewhere in the 250’s the guy is smaller than I am.  The saving grace here is that he is an excellent pass rusher, and who doesn’t have use for a great pass rusher? 

This is where my question comes in.  Every year there are players that fall further in the draft than expected.  Who hasn’t seen 3rd round hopefuls fall to the 5th or 6th?  You could do a hundred mock drafts and still not even get close to how things fall on draft day. 

There are just too many variables, including last minute trades, the different value teams place on the same athlete, and a team’s need (regardless of the guideline that you should always draft based on value and not need, it still happens).

So my question is, of all the player’s over the years that have dropped round after round, what if that player happens to be the first openly gay man to enter the NFL draft? 

In other words, if many in the media place Sam to be taken by the Cowboy’s in the 3rd round, will this be the first time a team ever feels pressured to pick a player to avoid a possible backlash?

That’s the problem with how much emphasis our society puts on sexual orientation.  I can’t predict how things will go for Michael Sam.  I hope whichever team gets him, they are mature enough to truly accept him for who he is and treat him properly.  I would hate to see another Incognito type scandal this season. 

If that happens to be the Cowboy’s, he might be able to add to our much needed defensive depth.  However, I also hope in the event that he doesn’t get drafted by the Cowboy’s or any other team in the 3rd round, that as a society we are mature enough to accept that this kind of thing happens, without insisting it is based solely on prejudice against Sam’s lifestyle.

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