The New England Patriots drafted Christian Sam in the 6th round and he is already proving some doubters wrong.
Christian Sam was drafted in the 6th round by the New England Patriots to bolster the teams pass rush. Once again it looks like Bill Belichick found a late round gem who can immediately improve the Patriots defense if needed.
Sam had his most dominant season at Arizona State last season. In 2016 he suffered a season-ending ankle injury, but in his Junior year, Sam came back better than ever.
He led the Pac-12 in tackles with 127 and had 9.5 tackles for loss. Sam is great in the box and is a tackling machine. He can stop plays in their tracks, stalling an offenses momentum.
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One of the knocks on Sam was that his work ethic was lacking and he didn’t enjoy practicing. Well Sam made it very clear that he loves being out on the practice field.
"“Everyone has their own opinions,” Sam told reporters during his post-draft conference call in April. “They’re entitled to their own opinion. I feel like that was something that was put out there that wasn’t true. I’m a guy who when I practice I take pride in practicing because I know it’ll prepare me for the game and I know how big practice is to be able to prepare for the game and play at a very high level that week. So I feel like everyone is entitled to their own opinion and that’s something that got out there that I couldn’t control. The only thing I control now moving forward is that I’m the best practice player I can be.”"
Work hard, Play hard
Sam will look to try and make an impact when he can. He will be behind guys like Kyle Van Noy, Marquis Flowers and Dont’a Hightower in the depth chart, but if he works hard he should get some snaps. The Patriots love to swap in linebackers and keep everyone fresh.
It seems like Sam has already adapted well to the Patriots way as he sounds like a 10 year veteran with his comments about Patriots minicamp.
"“Work hard,” Sam said. “I mean, I’ve always known that, but work hard and everything you do, go hard, be attentive and just – not follow – but there’s been a standard set here and just keep going with it.”"
I think Sam could grow to be a great player. The Patriots were like a revolving clinic at the position last year. They made some great moves in the draft to make sure they are deep at the position. We all were witnesses to the horrible defense in the Super Bowl and the Patriots made moves to ensure a performance like that won’t occur again.
If Sam can continue to work hard you may begin to hear his name more and more as the season begins.