Without compensatory picks Michael Sam may have found himself fielding calls from NFL teams as an undrafted free agent. However, with eight picks left in the draft the St. Louis Rams (a mere 125 miles east of Columbia, MO) added the popular and in some circles controversial figure. While Sam’s draft value had dropped since the combine, we know that late round picks can pan out successfully. Marques Colston, Sterling Sharpe, and Donald Driver were all taken in the 7th and well . . . Keep in mind, the Rams took an OT #2 overall who was called a holding call waiting to happen and a defensive lineman who “benefited from the draft process.” Sam could find himself on the roster following cuts, he may land somewhere else.
What may have been going through the minds of NFL teams in terms of Sam is the 2/3 cut rate of 6th and 7th round picks. Taking Sam may have been ground breaking, cutting him may become a PR nightmare. No one questions his intelligence or character (if you have a problem with his character, I have a problem with you), but his size and athletic ability (demonstrated at the combine, apparently) may hurt his ability to play DE or OLB respectively at the NFL level. We’ll see. There will be no shortage of Sam stories over the next few months, and the Missouri DE will be the most highly talked about 7th rounder ever. We wish him luck, in a similar fashion to Deone Bucannon, 14 games a year.
The small county that I call home has two NFL players, both lineman, both brought into the NFL by the smallest market team, the Green Bay Packers. John Fullington signed an undrafted free agent contract, extending his football career, and continuing his eastward journey. OL Caleb Schlauderaff was traded to the Jets last September. These Mason County boys are tough, so let’s root for this big guy from Belfair, who resembles Clay Matthews in many aesthetic ways, to make the roster.
The Seahawks do not have a need at kicker (as far as we know), but Andrew Furney is getting a shot to unseat Steven Haushka. If nothing else, Furney can extend his resume and visibility, and increase his chances of being picked up somewhere else, though I’m sure the Stanwood native would love to play 50 miles south of home. The only two kickers (one punter) taken in the 2014 draft were 7th round picks, so take solace that Furney’s entry into the NFL is normal. We could easily see him kicking on Sunday somewhere.
Something is rotten in Eugene. The Ducks have dismissed 1/4 of their basketball team two months after a horrifying incident. Oregon managed to go around the nation (San Francisco, Philadelphia and Houston) to collect rapists. Considering the average time players have stayed at Oregon, we can consider their graduation rates to disqualify them from tournaments for years to come. Bill Moos must be shaking his head.
Get excited, Coug fans, this kid could be the gem of the football recruiting class, and hopefully we’ll see him on the court for Ernie Kent next year as well.
Welcome back to where you belong, Jason Gesser.
We’re all for due process, but it took Oregon two months to suspend the accused rapists, and if the incident had occurred on campus, this may have been swept under the rug. We have to hope that 1) Coach Leach and Coach Kent would avoid players who could participate in such a heinous act and 2) the suspension and subsequent dismissal would have happened much more quickly. Oregon’s top player and team leader Joseph Young was mentioned in the police report, which makes one wonder what was his place in the crime? Most importantly, where is the institutional control and why does Dana Altman still have a job?
Frankly, the NCAA is concerned about meal allotment and unionization when far more perilous incidents seem to be increasing. Teams are penalized for inappropriate gifts and benefits, it is time for severe penalties for teams whose rosters produce sex offenders. Start with loss of scholarships, bowl bans, tournament bans; if those don’t work, the death penalty is not too intense a sentence for a program.