The Rams used their eighth draft pick this year on kicker Samuel Sloman, selecting him 248th overall in the seventh round. Here are five things you should know about the former Miami (Ohio) standout.
1) Goalkeeper turned kicker
According to a story told by general manager Les Snead on a Rams post-draft show, the 5-foot-8 Sloman was a goalie on Pace Academy’s soccer team but got “beat out” because he was too short. The school’s football team talked him into joining its squad, and he went on to help it win its first state championship in program history.
“He ended up being a very clutch field goal kicker along their journey to their first state championship in football,” Snead said.
2) Path to Miami (Ohio) was similar to that of Rams head coach and fellow alum Sean McVay
Like McVay, Sloman went to high school in the Atlanta area before heading to Miami (Ohio). Sloman graduated from Pace Academy in Atlanta while McVay graduated from Brookhaven (Ga.) Marist, and the schools are separated by less than 10 miles.
3) A “high-upside” prospect
According to Rams Senior Personnel Executive Brian Xanders, Sloman was 14 of 19 on field goal attempts of 40 or more yards over the last two years and also improved his kickoff length every year. Per Sloman’s Miami (Ohio) bio, he posted 12 touchbacks as a freshman, 21 as a sophomore, 42 as a junior and 52 as a senior.
“So you’re getting a high-upside guy with the power and explosion there,” Xanders said.
4) Clutch under pressure
Xanders also shared another interesting stat on that same post-draft show: In the last two years, Sloman was 27 of 29 on field goal attempts in the second half or overtime.
That 93 percent accuracy “is one of the best I’ve seen in terms of college kicking,” Xanders said.
5) The meaning behind his college number
Discussing Sloman’s character and personality on the same show, Xanders explained that he lived with Miami (Ohio)’s offensive linemen and wore the number 79 to fit in with his offensive line teammates.