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Michael Sam runs 4.91 40-yard dash at NFL Scouting Combine

INDIANAPOLIS -- Former Missouri defensive end Michael Sam ran an official 40-yard dash time of 4.91 seconds Monday at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Silver: Standing with Sam
Facing the assembled media for the first time since announcing he's gay, Michael Sam truly impressed Michael Silver. READ

The NFL's first openly gay draft prospect is participating in every combine drill in hopes of solidifying his draft status, which has been projected as a third- to fifth-round pick. Sam was whistled for a fault before each of his attempts, requiring a restart. He was clocked at 4.79 and 4.84 unofficially.

Relative to the rest of the defensive linemen, Sam's time was only slightly above average. Among 42 defensive linemen who participated in the 40-yard dash, Sam's 4.91 tied for 18th with Princeton defensive tackle Caraun Reid. South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney posted the fastest time for the position at 4.53.

Sam was grouped with defensive ends for the drill, although at 6-foot-1 and 260 pounds, he might be moved to outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense. NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah has described Sam as a DPR (designated pass rusher) who would primarily play on passing downs in the NFL. In this type of role, he could be a fit for a team with a 4-3 scheme as well.

The SEC co-defensive player of the year recorded 11.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss to lead the league in both categories last season. He announced he was gay three weeks ago, and would be the NFL's first openly gay active player this fall.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

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