As much as I miss the N.B.A., we’re not going to see the pro’s lace-up the sneakers for another few months now. No, it’s the National Football League’s time to shine. As I watch this pre-season game waiting for the NFL to dominate out airwaves, all I can think is, “which NBA players could play in the NFL?”
After thinking about it and doing a little bit of research, I came up with 5 names I think could actually play and be a factor in the NFL. Check out my list below.
Lebron James: At 6’8 and 250 pounds of muscle, King James could easily come in and play football right now. The question is, what position?
Names like Antonio Gates, Tony Gonzalez and Jimmy Graham, have already set a great pattern for James to follow. All three played the forward position in college. All three transitioned instantly in the NFL thanks to the skills they learned playing the forward spot and flourished as tight ends.
James could move from the hardcourt to the grid iron with no issue like those player before him. His size make him a match-up nightmare for linebackers and corners. He’d also serve well as a blocker when it comes to running plays. It’s scary to know that someone who’s so dominant at one sport could really come in a be dominant in another sport but if anyone can do it, King James can.
Blake Griffin: Like James, I could see Griffin excelling at the tight end position, but not as a pass catcher (unless CP3 was the quarterback.) Griffin isn’t anywhere close to as athletic as James, Graham, Gates or Tony Gonzalez so i don’t see him being any type of threat in the passing game. His value would come in as a blocking tight end.
I can see Blake spending more time setting up plays for others ala CP3 as opposed to being an offensive threat like James could be. Griffin would be best suited on the offense side helping running backs find light of day down the field. Maybe he could help the next player mentioned break through the line and head for a score.
Nate Robinson: Who hasn’t watched Nate Robinson play basketball and instantly think, “He can play on Sundays, now!” Nate’s game is all about speed, power and position. Coming out the backfield as a third down running back, Nate could be a value to a few teams now.It also helps that he actually played football. It was even rumored that he would leave hoops to go try his hand at pro football.
While at the University of Washington, Nate doubled as a defensive back in the fall and a point guard come spring. Nate could play as a safety, but I think he would excel at the running back position.
At 5’9 and 180, he’s not the biggest player on the field, but he can have a place. Like Darren Sproles, he can get in between the cracks. His speed comes in short burst and small areas. With a good O-line, Nate could help you pick up anywhere from 3 yards to 30 yards. We’d be talking how great he was right now if he’s chose the pigskin over the leather.
Metta World Peace: This is another player who I’ve heard mentioned many times as a player who could put on the pads and play in the league. Artest is 6’7 and built solid. Like Lebron, he could play on the offensive side as a tight end with ease. He’s not as athletic as he once was, but Artest can still get out on a break pretty quick. I think he would be able to catch the ball and he’d be a beast when it came to blocking plays.
While offense could be a good more for Metta World Peace, he might be better suited for the defense. You could almost see Artest right now trading in his New York Knick uniform to a New York Giant uni and playing the lienbacker position. Artest is mean enough and crazy enough to be a every down linebacker. Lets just hope that no fans try to throw anything at him after a tough loss.
Rajon Rondo: At 6’1 Rondo has the ability to see down the court and make the right pass without thinking twice. He’s led a pack of veteran players to two Eastern Conference finals and a NBA championship all by finding ways to get the ball to the right players. Rondo has franchise quaterback written all over him.
As more offenses are moving towards running the spread, Rondo could be a threat when it comes to the pass and the run. Rondo has built a tough skin thanks to playing his whole career in the pressure cooker called TD North Arena. He can deal with the scrutiny that comes to quarterbacks today. Put him in a Chip Kelly offense and Rondo might give Mike Vick a real run for his job.
Honorable Mentions: Kyrie Irving (Quarterback), John Wall (Wide Reciever), Kobe Bryant (Wide Reciever/Quarterback), Deron Williams (Defensive Back), Russell Westbrook (Defensive Back)
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