Christian Sam

Arizona State
ILB

Prospect Info

College
Arizona State
Hometown
Class
Allen, TX
r-Junior
Height
Weight
Arms
6' 2"
244 lbs
31 1/2”
Hands
10”

Prospect Grade

5.38
NFL Backup or Special Teams Potential
How We Grade

2018 Draft Results

Drafted by
New England
Patriots
Round 6 ‧ Pick 4
40 Yard Dash
4.75u
Seconds
 
Bench Press
28
Reps
 
Vertical Jump
32.0
INCHES
 
Broad Jump
114.0
INCHES
 
3 Cone Drill
7.03
Seconds
 
20 Yd Shuttle
4.25
Seconds
 
60 Yd Shuttle
--
Seconds
 

Playlist

Sam was coming off an excellent sophomore year when lining up for the first game of the 2016 season. Unfortunately, a foot injury suffered in that contest shut down his campaign after just one tackle. He rehabbed that injury and returned to garner honorable mention All-Pac-12 honors in 2017, leading the Sun Devils with 127 tackles, 9.5 for loss, three sacks, and two pass breakups. That sophomore season saw Sam compile 98 tackles, 6.5 for loss, an interception, and two pass breakups in 13 starts. Sam started at Allen High School for two straight state titles and was a top-30 linebacker recruit when signing with ASU. He played in 12 games as a reserve, making 16 tackles, one for loss, an interception, and one pass breakup.
By Lance Zierlein
NFL Analyst
Draft Projection
Rounds 5-6
Overview
Sam is an inside linebacker who has the ability to swing over to a WILL spot if needed. He absolutely "looks the part" and he's got the play strength necessary for handling inside linebacker duties. Scouts have questions about his overall football character and his play speed is a little below the NFL norm for the position. Sam's athletic numbers were average at the Combine, but they look good enough on tape. His timed speed could cause him to drop a round or even two, but he has enough talent to become a solid NFL backup who can step into starting reps if needed.
Strengths
  • Broad chest with tapered waist and well-defined limbs
  • Fluid and twitched up
  • Finds solo stops and isn't a herd tackler
  • Explosive striker and plays with good aggression
  • Plays with knee bend and slide quickness in his scrapes
  • Plus change of direction
  • Plays with square pads as tackler
  • Downhill worker
  • Quick shoulder turn to slip blocks
  • Good peripheral vision and instincts
  • Usually where he's supposed to be
  • Three-down backer who can cover
  • Former staff considered playing him at cornerback before he got too big
  • Has ability to carry tight ends around the field and can match running backs out of their breaks
Weaknesses
  • Play speed doesn't always match timed speed
  • Scouts say he's not the alpha leader in the locker room and doesn't love to practice
  • Will need to become more effective taking on blocks with hands instead of shoulders
  • Still learning to digest blocking schemes
  • Gets out of position when he starts guessing
  • Can run himself out of plays by running under blocks
  • Reads runner's initial steps at times rather than sticking with his keys
Sources Tell Us

"He makes a bunch of stops and he's always around the ball but you never really see those 'run the tape back again' type of plays to get you excited." -- AFC Personnel executive

News

Path to the Draft

Final quick-snap 2018 NFL Draft grades for all 32 teams

Best and most worrisome picks from the 2018 NFL Draft

Winners and losers from Round 1 of the 2018 NFL Draft

Winners and losers from Rounds 2, 3 of the 2018 NFL Draft

GRADE
9.00-10
Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99
Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99
Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49
Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99
Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49
Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99
Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49
NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19
Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00
50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99
Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74
Chance to be in an NFL training camp
NO GRADE
Likely needs time in developmental league