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Missouri's Michael Sam struggles as linebacker at Senior Bowl

Jeff Roberson / Associated Press
At 6-2, 255 pounds, Missouri DE Michael Sam is considered undersized for a defensive end at the next level.

MOBILE, Ala. -- Missouri defensive end Michael Sam worked at both defensive end and linebacker during Day 2 of Senior Bowl practice Tuesday and appeared to struggle more at linebacker.

At 6-foot-2, 255 pounds, Sam might have to make his home at linebacker at the next level, however, because he is undersized to play on the line of scrimmage on Sundays. More than likely, Sam will go to a club that employs a 3-4 defensive scheme that can highlight his pass rushing skills without saddling him with the run responsibility of a 4-3 end.

"I'm getting there," Sam said.

Sam had 10.5 sacks for the Tigers this season, noting that one of them came against Texas A&M star left tackle Jake Matthews, who is expected to be a first-round pick. South coach Gus Bradley said players like Sam can be positioned in places where they can be more successful.

"It's a little bit of a challenge, but I think you can do some things to try to keep them on the open side," he said. "When you do that, it gets to be some 3-4 principles. It's determined by the rules of the game. We can maybe move them around to get those opportunities and showcase their talents."

North coach Mike Smith said Sam working at two positions Tuesday was planned ahead of time.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.



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