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Rams make Michael Sam first openly gay player drafted

Missouri defensive lineman Michael Sam went to the Rams in the seventh round Saturday (249th among 256 picks), becoming the first openly gay player to be drafted.

"I knew I was going to get picked somewhere," Sam said from San Diego, where he watched the draft with friends, family and his boyfriend at his agent's home. "Every team that passed me, I was thinking how I'm going to sack their quarterback."

Sam publicly came out this year; his team and coaches found out before last season. Sam was the SEC defensive player of the year last season, but analysts considered the 6-foot-2, 255-pounder too short to be a defensive end and too slow to be a linebacker.

"In the world of diversity we live in now, I'm honored to be a part of this," Rams coach Jeff Fisher said.

With the draft's next pick, St. Louis took Tennessee State center Demetrius Rhaney.

"Michael Sam, he's like a brother now," Rhaney said. "That's my teammate. I can't wait to meet him, and let's get the ball rolling."

Rams draft ex-janitor: The Rams took in the fourth round Utah State safety Maurice Alexander, who two years ago worked as a janitor at their stadium. Alexander got kicked off the team for a year and was sentenced to a year in jail (all but 45 days suspended) for punching a teammate. He came home to the St. Louis suburb of Eureka and cleaned up after games. "I always stood at the end of that field, and I just looked at it," he said. "This could be my dream spot. That year off, it taught me a lot. I know it could be over quick."

Murray to K.C.: The Chiefs took ex-Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray, a graduate of Tampa's Plant High, in the fifth round. The SEC's career passing leader, who will compete with Tyler Bray for the No. 3 spot, said he knew the Chiefs were interested after an interview. "We were supposed to talk for 45 minutes, and it ended up being an hour-and-45-minute meeting," he said. "The scheme that we were doing at Georgia was the same as what they're doing up there. It was a great fit."

More QBs: A.J. McCarron, who led Alabama to two national titles, went one spot after Murray to the Bengals. He said he expects to learn behind incumbent starter Andy Dalton. LSU's Zach Mettenberger went to the Titans in the sixth round. Tennessee has endorsed Jack Locker as the starter, but he can become a free agent after next season. And the Texans, whom some analysts expected to use the top overall pick on a quarterback, took Pittsburgh's Tom Savage in the fourth round. New coach Bill O'Brien said he will compete for the starting job with Ryan Fitzpatrick, Case Keenum and T.J. Yates.

Bills: Tailback Bryce Brown was acquired from the Eagles for a 2015 conditional pick.

No Longhorns: No player from the University of Texas was drafted for the first time since 1937. QB Garrett Gilbert, who left Texas for SMU, went to the Rams in the sixth round.

Mr. Irrelevant: With the last pick, the Texans took Memphis safety Lonnie Ballentine. He is the guest of honor for the weeklong Mr. Irrelevant festivities in Newport Beach, Calif., which include a parade.

Rams make Michael Sam first openly gay player drafted 05/10/14 [Last modified: Saturday, May 10, 2014 11:14pm]
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