Jeff Fisher and 7th Rounders
- Updated: June 30, 2014
Most years, football fans don’t pay attention to the late rounds of the NFL draft. There’s even a derogatory term for the last man picked in the seventh and final round: Mr. Insignificant.
But 2014 was different. It featured what may be the most interesting late round on record, with openly gay defensive end Michael Sam drafted in the seventh round, 249th overall, by the St. Louis Rams.
Sam was the 2013 SEC Co-Defensive Player of the year when he played at Missouri. Out of all the men who have won that award, he was picked latest in the draft. In fact, every other winner in the past eight years was drafted in the first round – including C.J. Mosley, with whom Sam shared the award this year.
The general consensus now is that Sam faces very long odds of actually making the Rams due to his late draft pick. That prompted us to look at how other seventh-round picks have performed under teams coached by current Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher.
The results are surprising. To begin with, all but six of Fisher’s 27 seventh-round draft picks saw time on the field under his coaching. Furthermore, only two never played in the NFL.
In total, Fisher’s 25 NFL-bound draftees have played in 821 games, for an average of more than 32 games per player.
Lastly, some critics hold that Sam’s size may prevent him from making the team. Sam is a ‘tweener,” meaning that at 6’2”, 261 lbs., he is in between the traditional sizes for a linebacker and a defensive end. However, a lot of players that size made a significant impact last year. Sam’s height and weight are comparable to that of four of the top 10 sack masters from last year. Okay, maybe three, because Mathis admitted that he took PEDs. The other three are Junior Galette, 6’2″, 257 lbs.; John Abraham, 6’4″, 256 lbs.; Olivier Vernon, 6’2″, 261 lbs.
|Year||Draft Picks||Players||Games Played||Position|
|1995 Titans||1||CJ Richardson||1 game for Arizona in 1995. 14 games for Seattle in 1997.||DB|
|1996 Titans||1||Mike Archie||23 games, all under Fisher from 96-98.||LB
|1997 Titans||1||Armon Williams||6 games for Fisher in 1997.||DB|
|1998 Titans||2||Jimmy Sprotte and Kevin Long||Sprotte didn't play for Fisher. He played in 5 games in 1998 and 4 games in 1999 for Cincinnati. Long played in 63 games for the Fisher from '98 until 2001.||Sprotte, LB. Long, C.|
|1999 Titans||1||Phil Glover||Played in 1 game for the Titans in 1999. He played 9 games for the Colts in 2000.||LB|
|2000 Titans||2||Mike Green and Wes Shivers||Green played in 32 games for Tennessee from 2000 until 2002. Shivers played in 3 games for Atlanta in 2000.||Green, RB. Shivers, T.|
|2001 Titans||1||Keith Adams||Didn't play for Fisher, but played in 85 games between 2001-2007.||LB|
|2002 Titans||2||Darrell HIll and Carlos Hall||Hill played in 33 games for Fisher from 2002 until 2004. Hall played in 45 games for Tennessee and 14 for Kansas City. Hall had a four-year career.||Hill, WR. Hall, DE.|
|2003 Titans||1||Todd Williams||Played in 7 games for Fisher over two years.||G|
|2004 Titans||3||Jared Clauss, Eugene Amano, and Sean McHugh||Clauss played in 29 games in a two-year career. Amano had a nine-year career and played in 124 games under Fisher. McHugh didn't play for Fisher, but had a five-year career with three teams, playing in 40 games.||Clauss, DT. Amano, C. McHugh, FB.|
|2005 Titans||1||Reynaldo Hill||Played in 48 games over 4 years for Tennessee.||DB|
|2006 Titans||3||Cortland Finnegan, Spencer Toone, and Quinton Ganther||Finnegan is still in the NFL and has played in 116 games, all but one year has been under Fisher. Toone played in 3 games. Ganther played in 36 games for four teams. He played for Fisher for three years.||Finnegan, DB. Toone, LB. Ganther, RB.|
|2007 Titans||1||Michael Otto||He is still in the league. He's played in 62 games, all under Fisher.||T|
|2008 Titans||1||Cary Williams||Still in the NFL. Has played in 71 games for three different teams. Played for Fisher for a year and a half.||DB|
|2009 Titans||2||Nick Schommer and Ryan Durand||Schommer played in 13 games. All under Fisher. Durand played in 1 game over two years with the Titans.||Schommer, DB. Durand, G.|
|2010 Titans||2||Marc Mariani and David Howard||Mariani has played in 32 game for the Titans. Howard was signed by four different teams, but hasn't made an appearance in the NFL.||Mariani, WR. Howard, DT.|
|2012 Rams||2||Aaron Brown and Daryl Richardson||Brown didn't play in the NFL. Richardson has played in 23 games over the last two years, all under Fisher.||Brown, LB. Richardson, RB.|
|2014 Rams||4||Mitchell Van Dyk, C.B. Bryant, Michael Sam, Demetrius Rhaney||Van Dyk, OT. Bryant, FS. Sam, DE. Rhaney, C.|