Chicago Bears Draft Scout: Christian Sam

TEMPE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 23: Linebacker Christian Sam
TEMPE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 23: Linebacker Christian Sam /
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Is Christian Sam a potential linebacker fit for the Chicago Bears in the 2018 NFL Draft?

Christian Sam put up 96 tackles, 6.5 for loss with three sacks in his true sophomore season with Arizona State. Unfortunately, in 2016, his Junior year was cut off after just game due to a foot injury. Sam was able to bounce back in 2017 and was an honorable Pac-12 player with 127 tackles with 9.5 for loss. With little depth at the inside linebacker position is Christian Sam a fit for the Chicago Bears defense?


Age: 22

School: Arizona State

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Christian Sam is an instinctual linebacker who can stick his head in the running game and make plays. He is a strong form tackler, but has the strength to pack a punch. He shows up well in the Oklahoma drill as a between the tackles linebacker who can get off blocks. Sam is also instinctual and gap discipline. As shown in the play below, he does not let cut backs get the better of him. Lining up closer to the bottom of the screen in the linebacker spot, Sam is following the offensive line to the left. However, before leaving his assignment, he has eyes on the running back looking to cut back and makes the play.

Sam also has better than advertised speed when he is getting out in space. He is able to close gaps quickly towards the sideline.


In traffic, he does not play as he fast as he is expected to. He also has lapses in coverage, both in man and zone. In man, his foot quickness can be an issue, as he relies on recovery. In zone, he is able to get sucked out of his assignment at times. As shown in the play below, he motions with the running back while in his zone. However, as the running back goes out to the flats, the slot defender picks him. Sam needs to stick to his spot and sink back to the middle. It would erase how big his window is.

Sam also have off of the field questions in terms of his leadership and desire. There are questions on how much his commitment resonates in the locker room. That is something that front office would have to answer over the course of this draft season.