Christian Sam is a name to keep an eye on in the later days when looking at the linebacker group. Sam is coming out of Arizona State where this past year he led the PAC-12 in tackles. Sam was on pace for a promising career with the Sun Devils until he was plagued with an injury. A foot injury in the first game of his junior season set him back and did not allow to build off the impressive sophomore year he complied. In his final season at ASU,] Sam showed the ability to bounce back and come back just as strong.
When you watch tape of Sam there are very few plays that jump out. He is a solid linebacker with a lot of good skills, he just lacks that feel and sense to make the big highlight plays. The team taking Sam will be getting a very good-sized NFL linebacker. Sam is around 6’2”, 237 lbs to pair with great athleticism.
When it comes to the qualities that will help Sam make the transition to playing on Sundays there is quite a long list. Over the course of his tenure, Sam has shown the ability to read and diagnose what the offense is looking to do. He pairs that knowledge with the ability to close and make secure and sound tackles. Additionally, Sam can stay on the field to be a three-down linebacker. The coaching staff at ASU wanted to try Sam at cornerback but he continued to grow and they moved him to linebacker.
There are a lot of good linebackers in this draft which does not help Sam’s overall status. The biggest difference between Sam and the other prospects who may go higher than him are the flash plays. Sam is consistently where he needs to be and makes the play when he is there. Due to the lack of clash plays and average athleticism that will leave him in the middle of the linebacker rankings.
While the linebacking group may not be the most glaring hole, the Browns could benefit from adding depth. Sam is the type of linebacker the Browns could use in the middle to either give support or start in place of Joe Schobert. Look for Christian Sam to be a target for linebacker-needy teams in the late day two range.