Well, if you have trouble with depth at linebacker, why not use two late round picks to find a couple diamonds in the rough? The Patriots did just that, selecting Arizona State linebacker Christian Sam with the 178th pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Sam, who is listed at 6-2, 237 pounds, was a standout high school player in Texas, leading his team to back-to-back Texas 5A Division 1 State Championships. Sam was the MVP of the 2013 State Championship after finishing the game with 5.5 tackles, one sack and one forced fumble.
As a freshman at ASU, Sam appeared in 12 games, finishing with 16 tackles, one tackle for a loss, one sack, one interception, and one pass defended. Sam’s sophomore year was considerably better than his freshman year, appearing in all 13 games before becoming the starter against the Texas A&M Aggies. He finished his sophomore year with 96 tackles, three sacks, 6.5 tackles for loss, one interception, two passes defended, and two forced fumbles.
Unfortunately, Sam suffered an injury which forced him to miss essentially the entire season. He had one tackle before he got injured. Because of the injury, ASU was able to redshirt Sam. His redshirt junior year was a good one; he finished the season with 127 tackles, three sacks, one interception, one pass defended, and one forced fumble.
Sam is considered a strong coverage linebacker that has the ability to step back a level and play safety if needed. That is the type of flexibility the Patriots covet, and with the issues at linebacker, Sam will have chance to play his way into playing time as soon as 2018.