FanPost

The Inevitable Argument for Drafting Michael Sam

Let me just put this out there: I was a fan of Sam even before he came out last night. Seemed like a decent fit for our defense in lieu of a Clowney or Barr - a strong pass rusher who could more than adequately spell Chris Long and be groomed to eventually replace him. Perhaps also not a bad idea for a speedy third-down, inside pass rusher in our 3-DE set. Plus, there's always the Missouri pride thing - even though I'm an Illinois fan (went to UIUC), still got mad love for my home state, and we don't get enough love as it is.

At any rate, I like him for the Rams even more now than I ever did. Why? Well, it's not because he's gay, in and of itself. I could care less. But seeing how his draft stock will likely be pushed down by this - we've already got scouts saying that because of the media distraction, he loses any tie-breakers on Draft Day - and, as RVB so eloquently pointed out, he's dropped significantly in the past 24 hours, that just makes him a steal for the Rams!

Imagine snagging him late second round or early third, which is probably where he should be. The Rams get a big PR bump, as well as a new fan base. We can spend our earlier picks on the things we need, while investing in the continued dominance and depth of our defensive line.

If Jeff Fisher's proven anything here, it's that he can handle a media circus over a controversial player just as well as anyone (Jenkins, Johnson, Givens, Ogletree, anyone?), and that he can enforce discipline in a locker room (Jenkins and Givens, as well as the unnamed player who had to sleep in the meeting room because he was habitually late).

The Rams are a young team led by level-headed, open-minded veterans, which is a perfect situation for receiving the first gay player in the NFL into a locker room. As Sam's teammates at Mizzou proved, the millennial generation is plenty accepting of gays in the locker room, to the point that it's a non-issue. Fisher and Snead are so results-oriented that they won't tolerate discrimination of any kind in the first place, and Fisher's strict anti-hazing policy sidesteps the biggest potential PR danger of him getting hazed and the media wondering whether it was because he was gay.

If we can snag him for less than his true draft value, it might be a disservice perpetrated on him by the league, but it's a bonus for the team. We'll be a stronger franchise for it. So what say you, Rams fans - are you with me?

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