The New England Patriots selected Arizona State linebacker Christian Sam with the 178th pick in the 2018 NFL Draft on Saturday. He joins Purdue linebacker Ja'Whaun Bentley as the second linebacker selected for the Patriots on day three of the draft.
Sam earned All-Pac 12 honors in his senior year with the Sun Devils in 2017, making a big comeback from a foot injury suffered as a junior. He led the team with 127 tackles and three sacks in his final year, and also contributed against the passing game with two pass breakups as a senior and an interception in his sophomore campaign.
Described on his NFL.com draft profile as a player who "looks the part" with the "play strength necessary for handling inside linebacker duties," Sam projects as a "Sam" linebacker who can swing out into pass coverage as the "Will". However, he also entered the draft with "questions about his overall football character" from scouts.
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