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Michael Sam disappoints in the 40


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.

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74 Responses to “Michael Sam disappoints in the 40”
  1. leatherface2012 says: Feb 24, 2014 12:08 PM

    wont get drafted

  2. eagles247 says: Feb 24, 2014 12:09 PM

    Nearly identical measurables to Trent Cole coming out of Cincinnati in 2005.

    Cole: 6’2″, 236 lb (now up to 270)
    Sam: 6’2″, 261 lb

    Cole: 4.70 s, 15 reps (Pro Day)
    Sam: 4.79 s, 17 reps (Combine)

    Cole went in the fifth round btw.

  3. eazy57 says: Feb 24, 2014 12:09 PM

    This is what happens when you give a day 3 prospect overblown attention for his lifestyle over his ability to play football. Who cares if he’s gay. Inspirational? He isn’t a hero. Just a man who is trying to live his dream as a football player. It’s 2014. Does anyone really care if someone is gay anymore?

  4. andrewluck12 says: Feb 24, 2014 12:10 PM

    i really don’t see hows thats a disappointment. guys expected to be drafted between 3rd and 5th round. pretty standard.

  5. kabasaman says: Feb 24, 2014 12:10 PM

    Now, If Sam doesn’t get drafted. Everyone will be a bigot. We all know how the system works. My guess he will get drafted, but not until the 6th or 7th round…. and there will still be talk…

  6. northpackalacky says: Feb 24, 2014 12:10 PM

    So he’s not Mike Mamula. Most teams already knew he wasn’t an elite athlete and wouldn’t time great in the 40. He has a knack for getting to the QB, and that’s all that matters. Someone will draft him.

  7. clarencewhorley says: Feb 24, 2014 12:11 PM

    Sam also had a bad vertical leap, he is not a good athlete (in NFL terms)

  8. blackandbluedivision says: Feb 24, 2014 12:14 PM

    Tebow 2.0.

    People will talk about his sexuality more so than his actual ability on the field.

    I have no problem with anyone who chooses to come out. I just hate people fascination with it. The man came out and announced…who he has always been. What’s the hoopla?

    He should be celebrated for being brave and coming out. But, after that treat him like everybody else.

  9. buchopeful says: Feb 24, 2014 12:15 PM

    He wont get drafted and he’ll claim everyone is against him..

  10. bmorelady says: Feb 24, 2014 12:15 PM

    He WILL get drafted in the later rounds for special teams. I think he could be developed in the NFL but he needs a strong team with good leaders like SF, NE, BALTIMORE, Seattle, Pittsburgh, etc

  11. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: Feb 24, 2014 12:16 PM

    Gay, straight, bi, whatever — this guy will not cut it on Sundays. No strength, no speed, no explosion.

    Performance will not be his friend — watch the game tape of what he did at Mizzou.

  12. rc33 says: Feb 24, 2014 12:16 PM

    If Mike Sam truly wants to be “just a football player and a member of the team” and nothing else than we need to start treating him accordingly. I mean, NFL Network had a draft preview this past weekend where their first profile was Johnny Manziel, their second was Clowney, and their 3rd profile was of Michael Sam.
    So, in terms of value; Top 5 pick, Top 5 pick….and 6th round pick. Got it.

  13. mvp43 says: Feb 24, 2014 12:19 PM

    Well, if anything this gives teams an excuse not draft him. Or, if he does get drafted, there won’t be any backlash for cutting him.

  14. The Great Ted Thompson the Genius says: Feb 24, 2014 12:24 PM

    You think Sam didn’t know he was going to put up those numbers? This “hero” came out because he thought it would help his draft position, or if he got drafted too low he would have an excuse.

  15. steelerben says: Feb 24, 2014 12:25 PM

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I was pretty sure he wasn’t graded as more than a low round pick anyway. It isn’t like we saw a top rated prospect being out benched by a punter here. If he hadn’t have come out before the combine, I’m betting that most people on this site wouldn’t care either way about his reps or 40 times. I’m all for an underdog story, but based upon his abilities rather than his hype, is it really all that disappointing?

  16. bmorelady says: Feb 24, 2014 12:26 PM

    Well said easy. I think he has to be tired of it all it has to be mentally & emotionally draining for him. He is performing to his ability & now he’s being called “disappointing”. Sheesh, just let the guy be

  17. mezanine10 says: Feb 24, 2014 12:28 PM

    Cole is going to dissapoint because his head isn’t in the right place. IMO, his pre-draft announcement is evidence that he’s more intersted in being a symbol of gay rights than being an NFL player.

  18. travelingwillies says: Feb 24, 2014 12:30 PM

    Wow. Defensive tackles run faster than that.

  19. tedmurph says: Feb 24, 2014 12:33 PM

    Sam was productive for one yr in college. Most of his sacks came against the weaker sisters they played, usually late in the game when they were way behind. He was surrounded by a lot of talent on that D, many of which are or will be better prospects than him. He didn’t do much against the SEC iron. Between what’s on film and the Combine, I think the only reason he gets drafted is a team trying to make a statement. On merit he’s no betteer than 6/7th rnd/UFA.

  20. chargersdiehard says: Feb 24, 2014 12:34 PM

    What some guys lack in speed and athleticism, they make up for in heart and determination. It usually equals out in the end. Most of these “freak” atheletes are usually idiots off the field and in locker rooms.

  21. rcampore says: Feb 24, 2014 12:45 PM

    Let’s get this clear. Michael Sam was already out to most of his college teammates. He just made the announcement because he knew it would come out eventually anyway.

    He is projected at 3rd -5th round and I don’t think anyone was expecting him to come out on combine day and try to make it for the 1st round. He will get drafted in the later rounds as he should be based on his skill set.

  22. richatthelake says: Feb 24, 2014 12:46 PM

    I recall Terrell Suggs running a pair of mid-4.80’s & he said don’t worry I’ll run better at my pro day. He ran worse & the naysayers couldn’t wait to write him off. Suggs & Sam were unanimous All-Americans, both were their conference’s Defensive Player of the Year. Mayock said about Suggs “forget about the combine, look at the game tapes, he’s a football player.”

    Suggs has done all right by most people’s standards, 6 Pro Bowls & a DPOY award to go along with his 95 sacks.

  23. poridge1214 says: Feb 24, 2014 12:46 PM

    So the Combine is now directly related to your success in the NFL?

  24. tjacks7 says: Feb 24, 2014 12:46 PM

    Plenty of guys haven’t had the measurables but could still play football. Instincts and desire can’t be measured. Only time will tell.

  25. macjacmccoy says: Feb 24, 2014 12:48 PM

    Im very worried that super progressive Jeffrey Lurie is going to force his team to waste a high draft pick on this guy so he can brag to his hollywood friends that he had the 1st active openly gay athlete in America on his team.

  26. flannlv says: Feb 24, 2014 12:57 PM

    I know they play different positions, but Brandon Spikes came out of Florida as an All-American from an SEC defense and ran a 5.06 as a LB. Sam is going to be drafted 5-7 round.

  27. canedaddy says: Feb 24, 2014 12:57 PM

    That’s pretty bad. Maybe he won’t be the first openly gay NFL player after all.

  28. usmutts says: Feb 24, 2014 12:57 PM

    All this Combine workout warrior stuff is a bunch of bull. The only question is whether a guy is a real football player, not whether he can run a straight 40 yard sprint in a track suit 2/100 of a second faster than some other guy. And like someone said recently, they don’t put a weight bench on the 50 yard line during games.

    It doesn’t matter what Clowney’s combine numbers are, for example. Does he have the drive, the energy, the desire, and the smarts to be a great football player? The same question applies to Mike Sam and all the others.

  29. r8rsfan says: Feb 24, 2014 1:02 PM

    Sports media can’t get enough of this guy – it’s like all networks (NFL included) can’t force their support on him fast enough.
    He’s being so over-hyped on NFL Network right now it’s crazy. It’s football people, not TMZ.

  30. navigator24 says: Feb 24, 2014 1:07 PM

    6th round to the Steelers

  31. SilentMajority says: Feb 24, 2014 1:13 PM

    Ironically, if he slides in the draft it will be because he’s gay; however, if he’s drafted earlier than expected it will be because of his talent.

  32. adolfoliverbush says: Feb 24, 2014 1:18 PM

    It doesn’t really matter what your 40 time is. Many great players do not have incredible measurables. You can’t measure a players heart, determination, and work ethic.

  33. pftstory says: Feb 24, 2014 1:23 PM

    The first sentence of the story is sad… “As the most-watched man at the Scouting Combine.”

    Why is he the most watched? Really a 4th-7th round pick is the most watched? And who is doing the watching? The teams evaluating his talent or the press?

    I expect the press.. The same people who will cover the media circus that surrounds him as an example of the public’s inability to handle someone like him. When really it is the press who create the media circus. I sense Sam and the public are fine with him saying he is gay and moving on.

    I don’t see Sam claiming he didn’t get drafted because of it (if he actually doesn’t). Though I expect he will be drafted. If there is doubt at draft time we will see encouragement from the league office for some team to pick him to avoid the press creating a media circus over it.

  34. shaggytoodle says: Feb 24, 2014 1:26 PM

    In honor of Sam I think that everyone, you should go to work, and announce their orientation.

    That way people like him realize that, no one really gives a crap about what you do outside of work, as long as you get your job done.

  35. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Feb 24, 2014 1:32 PM

    Now we know why he wanted attention before the draft. His performance will easily be forgotten.

  36. jeff6381 says: Feb 24, 2014 1:33 PM

    This guy isn’t brave he is a football player thats it. Why is he brave because he is gay? We do not need to know a persons sexuality its none of our business he now has the attention from the media when ever he breathes when its unnecessary. He should live his life as a gay man if that what he chooses and not announce it to the word i bet there are other gay guys in every sport but we dont know it because they didnt announce it to the world.

  37. csbanter says: Feb 24, 2014 1:37 PM

    Special team player, situational pass rusher, he is what he is.

  38. fnc111 says: Feb 24, 2014 1:42 PM

    Undrafted rookie FA and it’s not because he is gay. The only reason we know who he is is because of him coming out. He knows deep down that he’ll be lucky to make a practice squad. That’s why he told the world he is gay, trying to get famous.

  39. Ed Bandell says: Feb 24, 2014 1:45 PM

    And here I thought I was going to read the first FOOTBALL related report about Michael Sam. I thought I would be able to just read about him as a football player.

    Poor 40 time, poor bench, but nope…had to tell me once again that he’s gay.

    Kinda hard to respect his wish to be known as just a football player and not just that gay football player when the media will not let the latter rest.

  40. rajbais says: Feb 24, 2014 1:45 PM

    The press conference, interviews, and medical examination likely tired him.

    He likely needs to lose 10 lbs and improve the 40 time and get a few more bench reps in the 225.

    He looked unathletic today.

  41. crubenst says: Feb 24, 2014 1:46 PM

    Awesome. Those numbers should let him slip far enough for us to snag him in the 5th. He’ll be a solid pro.

  42. djshnooks says: Feb 24, 2014 1:50 PM

    Some peoples real football intelligence is shining through on here.

    If you think the drills at the combine or the combine itself had absolutely any correlation to NFL success, whatsoever…you should stop watching football and find a new hobby.

    You’re an idiot, plain and simple.

  43. Ed Bandell says: Feb 24, 2014 1:53 PM

    His time just went official, it is even worse:

    4.91 was his official time. Ouch.

    He also had one of the lowest vertical jumps.

    About middle of the pack with his broad jump.

    To me this shows a guy that isn’t all that explosive.

  44. godofwine330 says: Feb 24, 2014 1:57 PM

    Mike Mayock already had him at a 3rd to a 5th before this combine stuff, now his 3rd to 5th is legitimate and quite possibly later. Roger Dodger is not going to allow this man not to be drafted, if only for the pub. The Brooklyn Nets did the same thing and signed Jason Collins to get/keep the media talking about his team, watching his team. For Sam to have such a poor showing can’t do anything but hurt his stock which is plummetting right now

  45. stevejjones says: Feb 24, 2014 1:58 PM

    Increasingly evident that his coming out was less an act of “bravery” than it was an attempt by a guy who knew his limitations to get some PR and perhaps affirmative action himself into the league. PS – who saw Jason Collins five foul, 2 rebound performance the other night.

  46. mediasloppy says: Feb 24, 2014 2:06 PM

    Yeah, what a bust. His combine results are more or less equal to Jared Allen who was drafted in the 4th round.

  47. gnorules says: Feb 24, 2014 2:07 PM

    Let his play on the field do the talking after he is drafted. There are plenty of great players who didn’t have the greatest measurables in the combine. I would call it a red flag if he ran a 40 in 8 seconds, but not a 4.7. Like they said on NFLN this weekend, usually the only time you ever run 40 yards in a straight line in the NFL is when something really good happens, or really bad. The guy is a pass rusher and when paired with another good pass rusher he will produce.

    You watch, he will be drafted by some team in that 3-5 range and they will start bragging about how “The rich just got richer. X team just added to their sack arsenel with Sam” when he ends up on some defensive team that just cranks out sacks.

  48. mackcarrington says: Feb 24, 2014 2:09 PM

    Well then, that’s that. He may have a better chance as an undrafted. That way he can find a team that has real need for a guy like him. In his defense, he may be one of those guys who perform well on game days, when the blood and adrenaline are pumped up; when the emotions are high and something is on the line. Some guys just can’t “bring it” in a sterile workout environment.

  49. Ed Bandell says: Feb 24, 2014 2:19 PM

    Jared Allen:
    40: 4.72
    Vert: 33″
    Broad Jump: 10’10”
    Bench: 13 reps

    Michael Sam:
    40: 4.91
    Vert: 25.5″
    Broad Jump: 9′ 5”
    Bench: 17 Reps

    Yes…virtually identical….

  50. gftd1 says: Feb 24, 2014 2:21 PM

    After looking at last year’s stats from DE’s in last years combine, Michael Sam has done rather well. I even noticed that players that didn’t even do as well, still were drafted to play in the NFL.
    All I know is, whatever team picks up Sam, they’re going to gain a lot of new fans, (maybe lose a few haters, but who cares), and make the franchise a lot of money. Not because he’s gay, but because he’s a leader. I know, I’ll be watching

  51. jmethane says: Feb 24, 2014 2:22 PM

    How many reps did clowney do again?

    Does give GM’s an “out” for not drafting him though. Maybe he’ll end up on Seattle with a chip on his shoulder.

    He wasn’t the SEC defensive player of the year for nothing. Guys can get stronger. Many guys like clowney and apparently Sam got by with natural talent…haven’t yet put in the hard work in the weight room to dominate in the NFL.

  52. gftd1 says: Feb 24, 2014 2:30 PM

    As for his scores, what does that say for the rest of the DE’s who played in the SEC last season? For him to voted top DE player of the year, the other guys must have really sucked. Obviously, he was voted the best for a reason. Seems like you idiots are forgetting that.

  53. denverbronconj says: Feb 24, 2014 2:54 PM

    As Warren Sapp said, they don’t put the (dumbells) weight bench on the football field.
    Mayok says so what?

    Which is it?

  54. kingmugs says: Feb 24, 2014 2:56 PM

    Yep, those are te measurables you should expect from an undersized player. 40 was a little disappointing. What’s most surprising is that media outlets like TMZ and RedEye are calling him a “second round prospect”… Totally setting up a storyline for when he gets drafted later than second.

  55. shaggytoodle says: Feb 24, 2014 2:56 PM

    Jared Allen improved every year in college. He also is 4 inches taller, people knew Allen was a 4-3 end.

    People aren’t sure where to place Sam in their special teams. If anything he will get to play KO and P coverage.

  56. dliwsrekoj says: Feb 24, 2014 3:28 PM

    He’ll be an undrafted prospect. I don’t see him being more than on the practice team. The guy has no work ethic, isn’t showing heart, and is obviously doing all this for media attention. Not even the Patriots would take their chances. I don’t see him getting drafted at all period. I do see him on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers practice squad.

  57. danoid1 says: Feb 24, 2014 3:40 PM

    If you base his draft prospects solely on how he does at the combine you are an idiot. The combine is not football. You’re wearing a t-shirt and shorts…no helmet, no pads…and you’re not actually playing the game. He wants to play football in the NFL…not run track and field or just go weightlifting.

  58. seaeagle707 says: Feb 24, 2014 4:17 PM

    It really doesn’t matter what will happen with Sam, they will all be attributed to his being gay. If he gets drafted, if he doesn’t get drafted. If he’s drafted early, if he’s drafted late. If he gets on a team after the draft, if he doesn’t…….. If I remember right, it was his publicist that caused the “gay” admission.

    But if he truly isn’t up to NFL standards, I’d hate to see him push it and make a team, only to get nearly killed on the field. He should believe in himself and his own realistic abilities, and not listen to some suits who’ll stand to gain from him playing, but who won’t have to share the physical pains that he might.

    Being the first at anything can be great, IF you’ve got the abilities to truly BE that first.

  59. slick50ks says: Feb 24, 2014 4:55 PM

    Sam WILL be drafted, but only because he came out. Some bad organization will want the free publicity.

    This is the new obama America. If you don’t deserve it, the world is your oyster.

  60. listenup823 says: Feb 24, 2014 5:21 PM

    What does Richard Sherman have to say about this?

  61. seattlelibtard says: Feb 24, 2014 6:22 PM

    My guess is he’ll be drafted by either San Franciso, Seattle, or Minnesota (or any other gay active city). The merchandising angle is too great to pass up.

  62. daviddmsvcp says: Feb 24, 2014 6:32 PM

    Jason Kidd will draft him.

  63. pzamora1 says: Feb 24, 2014 6:59 PM

    Maybe he should try center

  64. craigkintexas says: Feb 24, 2014 7:01 PM

    Practice squad….tooslow for kickoff/punt coverage.

  65. zeeman911 says: Feb 24, 2014 7:35 PM

    Yeah watch him sue the NFL when he goes undrafted….. Dude knew he wasn’t good enough to make a roster, so he came out and thought that would help his chances….

  66. wahoo21 says: Feb 24, 2014 8:31 PM

    If he is so bad….why did missouri recruit him?

  67. wgward says: Feb 24, 2014 8:31 PM

    Excellent value for some team.

  68. alshonbrandontandem says: Feb 24, 2014 9:57 PM


  69. s0krat3s says: Feb 24, 2014 10:01 PM

    Its funny that most people acknowledge combine drills don’t mean that much in terms of on-field speed or play, yet when someone that’s easy to hate on doesn’t do well they feel the need to point to these drills as evidence he will fail.

  70. joetoronto says: Feb 25, 2014 4:39 AM

    Get ready for the extremists to blame everyone and everything other than a lack of skills for Sam not getting drafted.

  71. rainponcho87 says: Feb 25, 2014 10:22 AM

    sad thing is all this attention on him now just makes it less likely a team would want him. Maybe he is on your team and everything’s fine in the locker room but you are having to answer constant questions about whether he makes the team, his playing time, etc, etc. That is not worth the headache for a guy who is not super talented. There is a reason Jackie Robinson broke through. He was worth the distraction.

  72. just4given says: Feb 25, 2014 4:15 PM

    Big surprise. All the media hype – including the NFL Network – for a projected mid round pick. WHY? There was nothing “football” related to hype. And if Mr. Sam really wanted to be known as a football player instead of a “gay” football player, perhaps he should waited until he made a Pro Bowl or two before coming out.

  73. says: Mar 2, 2014 12:44 AM

    will be interesting to see whether Sam gets drafted…My guess is he will be drafted in the last rounds and possibly to a city with a large gay community..San fran, Seattle.

  74. doszap says: May 9, 2014 12:38 PM

    The problem with this young man is not his being Gay.
    It’s what team wants to take the time, and spend the cash to get him stronger, and quicker.

    You’re not going to pick up speed,unless you lose size, and at 261, he cannot afford that.

    I am sick and tired of this gay BS circus crap we always go through, if it’s not that it’s the black thang.
    This PC crap needs to just be FLUSHED.

    Judge a person on their merits, and stop demanding special treatment because of any other reason.
    If he was busting 4.40’s and BP another 50#’s, he would gone fast.

    This draft is about getting the BEST athlete long term for your pick.

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