As the most-watched man at the Scouting Combine, former Missouri defensive end Michael Sam aced the early portion of the test, coming across as smart, thoughtful and focused on football when he met the media. But in his workouts, Sam hasn’t been as impressive.
Sam, who will be the NFL’s first openly gay player if he makes it to the league, turned in a disappointing 40-yard dash on Monday after turning in a disappointing bench press on Sunday.
NFL Network timed Sam at 4.79 seconds and 4.84 seconds in his two 40-yard dash attempts. That’s not a good showing for a 261-pound defensive end. Several bigger defensive ends have run faster, and some defensive tackles are faster, too.
And that comes on the heels of yesterday’s performance in the bench press in which Sam managed just 17 repetitions of 225 pounds. That was the second-worst showing among defensive linemen, and plenty of non-linemen (including seven wide receivers) did better than that as well. If you’re not strong and you’re not fast, that’s not a good combination.
By coming out before the Combine, Sam showed that he’s a brave, inspirational young man. What Sam hasn’t shown at the Combine is that he’s a good enough athlete to succeed in the NFL.