Seventh-round picks do not always get a chance to make an immediate impact on the field as rookies. However, these picks do have a very good chance of sticking around and collecting a pay check for a year. Last year’s draft saw 48 seventh rounders selected (including compensatory picks). 47 of those players either spent time on the active roster, practice squad, or for the unlucky few, spent the season on injured reserve lists hoping to get another chance the following year. This ESPN stat was shared by Peter King of SI.com (via Twitter).
The frenzy surrounding whether or not a seventh rounder sticks on a team is mostly applied to the fate of Michael Sam with the Rams. King is confident that this shows that Michael Sam should be able to avoid getting cut (via Twitter). Even if Sam is not on the active roster, chances are he will find another role with the team. Hopefully, that role will not be with the injured guys who have to watch the season from the sidelines.
King also writes that Rams defensive coordinator Greg Williams will give Sam every chance to succeed. Sam’s situation is further complicated by the backlash the team would receive it it does cut him.
He has always made his missteps, such as the idea to have a documentary crew follow him around. Luckily, Sam and the Rams were able to postpone the story, so Sam would be able to start his NFL career like a normal late-round pick.
While Sam has gotten the most attention in round seven, there are dozen of players who face similar uncertainties when it come to roster construction. Even if the players are able to make the active roster, getting on the field for anything more than special teams will still be difficult. It is encouraging that so many of these middle of the road prospects were able to find a way to stick through year one, in the ultra-competitive NFL.