Interesting to me that Borland gets a B grade from you being picked 77th but Sam should not have been drafted at all. Both have athletic limitations (Sam has more), but Sam has reasonable length and size for a 4-3 DE and Borland has horrible size and length for any position. Both were productive college players who may not translate to the NFL. Borland had a 31" vertical and 4.83 40 at the combine. Sam had a 25.5" vertical and 4.91 40 at the combine, but improved on those numbers with a 30.5" vertical and 4.69 unofficial 40 at his pro day which converted would likely be faster than Borland's combine 40. Borland also jumped 35" but ran a 4.84 and 4.87 40 at his pro day (not sure how these guys are adding 5" from jumping on their own field).
If a team is willing to draft Borland in the 3rd, it doesn't surprise me at all that another team was willing to draft Sam in the 7th even with the media attention that will bring. I don't agree with your statement that he was drafted because he was gay at all. A ton of teams admitted he dropped on their boards because he would be a distraction. One or two scouts said their teams would not have drafted him before the news came out, but I don't believe for a second that all 32 teams would have passed on him. The guy plays hard and was way more productive than some other late round picks that aren't great athletes.
The Rams are looking to leverage drafting Sam as a positive PR move. They would be foolish not to. At the end of the day, I think most teams (maybe including the Rams) were looking at this situation and saying that they could get some positive PR out of this, but that would be outweighed by the distraction brought by the media and possible team chemistry issues that came from this. If Sam was straight, his play on the field and pro day results get him drafted. Every team evaluated the pros and cons of drafting Sam differently, so he may not have gone to the Rams, but I wouldn't have been surprised if he went in the 5th or 6th. Borland should not have gone in the 3rd even if instincts count more at ILB.
[ Edited by eastcoast49ersfan on May 11, 2014 at 10:04 PM ]