Sam’s decision and the pre-draft “anonymous scout” dynamic

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No one will know the impact of Michael Sam’s decision to come out as gay until the draft begins.  Until then, we’ll hear plenty of talk about how it may affect him.

Much of it will come from scouts who speak to the media anonymously.  Because that’s what always happens this time of year; folks with a possible agenda that becomes impossible to discern because their employment isn’t known will express opinions about whether players will go high or low or not at all in the draft.

One thing we’ve learned in the last 13 years of covering drafts is that teams that like a player will be tempted to say bad things about him in the hopes that he’ll fall — and that teams that don’t like a guy will be tempted to say good things in the hopes that another team will use a pick on the player, pushing others farther down the board.

Usually, it’s a dynamic that applies to high-round players.  For Sam, some could be hoping that a guy they would have taken in round three will now be available in lower rounds.  If a third-round talent can be gotten in round five, six, or seven, those responsible for the coup will look good in the eyes of their bosses.

Let’s keep that in mind as General Managers and scouts and owners begin to chime in anonymously about Michael Sam.  Or any other prospect in this year’s draft.  Or in any year’s draft.

17 responses to “Sam’s decision and the pre-draft “anonymous scout” dynamic

  1. It takes courage to do what he did especially before the draft, but as a coach, GM, teammate, etc…I could care less who he dates as much as I care about him being able to play the game.

  2. Change of this kind takes that person to start the ball rolling. Unfortunately, I don’t see how this won’t affect his draft pick. Some teams that might otherwise be interested may not be interested in the extra drama and focus.

    We shall see.

  3. I wonder how many of the armchair QBs making derisive statements about him would have the balls to say said statements to his face.

  4. My bet is the Patriots pick him up in the 6th or 7th round. Same old story: Value pick.

    They picked Brady #199 with Bledsoe on roster. Picked Gronk and Hernandez lower than their value – because of injury issues and drug issues. Picked Marcus Cannon (1 or 2nd rd value) in 5th round because he had cancer.

    Guy has production and a reason they can steal him late in draft.

  5. @jpb12

    Wow, you cited what, 4 picks over a 13 year period? Pretty exhaustive evidence you’ve thrown out there, totally hammering your thesis into the ground.

  6. The NFL is still not ready for this, why? Distractions: Chad Johnson, Kluwe, TO ect.. and the reason Tebow isn’t in the league no one wanted a media circus and that’s what they’re going to get with Sam like it or not. This year won’t be about football with him or the team he goes to it WILL be a circus bigger than Tebow.

  7. At 6’1.5″ 260, he’s more suited to a 3-4 OLB role than a 4-3 DE role. That, by itself, will limit the number of teams interested in him.

    Besides the scheme limitation, he rang up most of his sacks against the Tigers weakest opponent’s offensive lines.

    Prediction: selected in Round 5 or 6.

  8. This point brings up another good reason that Sam announced this before the Combine. His agent was on NFLAM and said that initially, Sam wanted to wait until after the draft to speak about this publicly but there were a lot of media who were milling around wanting to break the story so he and his agent discussed it and decided that now would be a better time. And I agree. Put it out now so that no one can “blackmail” him about it anonymously.

    What was also good was the man they had on whose last name was Davis who was in the NFL and gay and he said that the lockerroom wasn’t stopping him from announcing his status, it was his own insecurities. Let’s not forget that there are many reasons that gay people don’t want to make their preferences known, and not all of it is due tosome sort of oppression they feel. Charlie casserly was talking about Smith and another man whose name he declined to provide when he was on the Redskins as both being widely known within the lockerroom to be gay and there were absolutely no issues, 30 years ago. In fact I remember from that special on Smith when he was found to have AIDS, a lot of his former teammates visited him andsupported him wholeheartedly because they loved HIM as a PERSON and he earned their respect as a man.

    I would bet a lot that most gay people (or any other people that are grouped together for whatever reason)just want to be treated as PEOPLE, not GAY people. I hope that happens soon. I am sick to death of this group and that group and people using other people for their own drama filled attention seeking agandas.

  9. No one will care if he turns out to be a good player. If all of this affects his play, it will set the movement back several years.

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