Michael Sam improved on his performances from the NFL Combine with a solid showing at Missouri's Pro Day. He did two more bench press reps (19 v. 17), shaved his 40 time (4.69 v. 4.91) and increased his vert by 20% (30.5" v. 25.5"). All in all, a very good day for the NFL defensive end prospect.
Bleacher Report has a great full report of Sam's day.
One of the big notes here is the performance after he pulled up with a tight hamstring. While other prospects may have bowed out after an injury (or whatever it was), Sam persevered. That said a lot about his competitive nature and his attitude, which can go a long way with coaches. This is no diva, this is a guy willing to work through pain.
The other big message was that he clearly got the message from the Combine that he had to improve. He heard the message loud and clear, he put in the work, and he did in fact improve.
"We're thrilled with Mike's performance today," Sam's agent Joe Barkett told Outports. "He improved on all categories that were important to him. He worked really hard over the last three weeks to make sure that would happen."
Here he is doing footwork drills after he pulled up:
According to one tweeter, every NFL team was in attendance except for the Washington Redskins. Funny, I was attacked by some for saying they might not be the best fit for Sam.
Some other notes from Twitter:
Michael Sam's popularity is the best thing for guys like Kony Ealy & L'Damian Washington today. #MizzouProDay #NFLDraft— Bryan Manning (@bdmanning4) March 20, 2014
Sam walks out on the field singing #Beautiful by Mariah Carey. I think he's ready for the workouts #MizzouProDay— Cody Crutchfield (@codydoesnews) March 20, 2014
Just talked to Sam's agents. They are confident in Sam's ability to mesh in the locker room and in his ability to improve at #MizzouProDay— Cody Crutchfield (@codydoesnews) March 20, 2014
Before leaving #MizzouProDay around 2:30, Michael Sam stopped to sign a fan's @SInow cover. @EmpireAthletes pic.twitter.com/ThsWTfMFLJ— Erik Hall (@hallerik) March 20, 2014
The next one to two weeks will mean some rest for Sam as he shores up that hamstring. Then he'll be ready for any teams who want an up-close-and-personal workout with him (though the teams have all seen a lot of him already).