The Los Angeles Rams shopped the special teams market toward the end of the 2020 NFL Draft. With the 248th pick of the seventh round, the Rams selected Miami (OH) kicker Sam Sloman.
Sloman, a Second Team All-MAC selection in 2019, ranked fourth in the FBS in field goals made, and converted them at an accurate rate. He drained 26 of his 30 attempts (86.7%) as a senior, and proved lethal from all ranges on the field. The Roswell, GA native was automatic inside the 40-yard line, successfully scoring on 15/16 kicks. Beyond the 40, he was 11/14, including an impressive 4/5 beyond 50 yards. He never took a kick for granted, and finished a perfect 34/34 on extra points in his final season with the RedHawks — a season which featured the program’s first MAC Championship since 2010.
Speaking of the MAC Championship, Sloman earned a clear Special Teams MVP award from the event last December. As Miami downed Central Michigan 26-21 in Detroit, Sloman scored 14 points and was a perfect 4/4 on field goals — including 3/3 above 40 yards.
In his two other years as the RedHawks’ starting kicker, Sloman finished 12/16 as a sophomore and 10/13 as a junior on field goal attempts.
Sloman is the third kicker to warrant an NFL Draft selection this weekend, following Marshall’s Justin Rohrwasser (fifth round to Patriots) and Georgia Southern’s Tyler Bass (sixth round to Bills). He is the first Miami draft pick since the Green Bay Packers selected cornerback Quinten Rollins at the end of the second round in 2015. The last MAC kicker to hear his name called in the NFL Draft was former Western Michigan specialist John Potter, a seventh round selection in 2012.
The former Miami standout likely serves as the Rams’ replacement to longtime kicker Greg Zuerlein. Nicknamed “Greg the Leg”, the 2017 First Team All-Pro kicker drained a 57-yard field goal in overtime of the 2018 NFC Championship Game to beat the Saints and advance to the Super Bowl. Since Zuerlein signed with the Cowboys, the Rams have addressed the position’s opening by signing former AAF and XFL kicker Austin MacGinnis, as well as by drafting Sloman.
Sloman’s first professional head coach will be former Miami alum Sean McVay, who played wide receiver for the RedHawks from 2005-07. The Rams coaching staff is composed of several other Miami alums, and their special teams coordinator is John Bonamego, a former Central Michigan head coach from 2015-18 who saw Sloman’s kicking ability on full display in college.
He is the second and final MAC selection (excluding transfers) in the 2020 NFL Draft.