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The Chiefs and NFL by beat writer Terez Paylor

Senior Bowl losers: Transition to linebacker tough for Missouri's Michael Sam

01/30/2014 11:20 AM

01/30/2014 12:45 PM

Time to assess the players whose stock went down in part two of The Star’s final Senior Bowl recap. To do that, I asked Rob Rang of, Mark Dulgerian of and Shane Hallam of for their opinions and kept track of how many votes each player received.

To read part one, which is about the Senior Bowl winners, click




Three votes

*Aaron Colvin, Oklahoma, cornerback: “The (knee) injury is killer ― that (stinks),” Hallam said. “I think he'll still get drafted, but he'll move from the second day to the third day now.”

Dulgerian and Rang also noted Colvin's misfortune.

“He was having a great week before the injury,” Dulgerian said. “He looked like the best cornerback there by far.”

Two votes

*Michael Sam, Missouri, outside linebacker: “I feel like scouts came into the week saying 'We know what he can do with his hand in the ground, but with how he looks, we want to see him standing up,'” Dulgerian said. “They tried him all over the place and he never really found an identity or comfort level that guys find during the week. It's tough to play in a spot you're not comfortable with in front of all these NFL teams and learn it in three days. But luckily NFL teams are smart and they know what he can do from three-point stance. They tried it, and the experiment didn't work out.”

Hallam echoed that opinion.

“He doesn't quite have the size you want in a defensive end, and when he made the switch to linebacker, he just hasn't gotten it,” Hallam said. “I might be more comfortable with him putting his hand down (and rushing the passer).”

One vote

*Tahj Boyd, Clemson, quarterback: “My personal biggest disappointment of the week” Hallam said. “I thought he would be the best QB here, but I had the most negative notes on him of any of them. He came in under 6 feet 1, his balls didn't have much zip, he missed lots of passes too high and he never got his timing down.”

*Marcel Jensen, Fresno State, tight end: “He went down with an injury and was only there on Monday but he really struggled,” Rang said.

*Adrian Hubbard, Alabama, outside linebacker: “In my opinion, he was the least impressive player on either side,” Dulgerian said. “Just everything was bad. As the week went on, he seemed to lose a lot of confidence.”

*Daniel McCullers, Tennessee, defensive tackle: “He looks the part, but he's so, so stiff and didn't make nearly as many plays as he should,” Dulgerian said. “He has slow developing pass-rush moves and I don't think he was very impressive in person.”

*Stephen Morris, Miami, quarterback: “He came in smaller than people thought and showed some inaccuracy,” Rang said. “It was a big opportunity for him, and he wasn't as accurate as we all hoped.”

*Trent Murphy, Stanford, outside linebacker: “I don't think he had a bad week, I just don't think he showed (a ton),” Hallam said. “He played linebacker at Stanford and changed to defensive end (this week) and struggled early in the week, though he had good day (Wednesday). He showed he's probably better in space and better at outside linebacker. That doesn't mean he won't be a first-round pick ― it means it might limit which teams look at him.”

*Cyril Richardson, Baylor, guard: “Pass protection was rough for him,” Hallam said. “When they were running the ball, he was good. When he was in the pit 1 on 1, he didn't have the anchor to hold up in pass pro and was getting knocked around at 343 pounds.”

*Marcus Smith, Louisville, outside linebacker: “Like Sam, he struggled to make that transition to outside linebacker in a week,” Hallam said.

*Will Sutton, Arizona State, defensive tackle: “Just from a physical standpoint, he came in heavier than expected and it wasn't good weight,” Rang said. “He's still a good player, he still flashes, you just would have liked to have seen him in a bit better shape.”

*Billy Turner, North Dakota State, offensive tackle: “He needed a lot of coaching,” Dulgerian said. “He has the lapses in his technique where, if he let down at all in college, he could still get by with physical ability. I'm not so sure he's ready to step in and help a team year one.”

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