Roundtable: The NBA Meets the NFL (Defense)
In the summer of 2017, both the Owners and the NBPA have the option of opting out of the current CBA in hopes to reach a new deal. If there is indeed a lockout like 2011, in which the first portion of the season is lost, what will NBA players do? Well considering the fact that college basketball players have gone on to play in the NFL and have successful careers, we at OTG began to wonder…
Which current NBA player would have success in a NFL defense?
Jon Kim – NFL players are so lucky Andre Drummond is a basketball player. This guy is ridiculous, on paper he is listed at 7’0”, 280 pounds, HUGE! He is built like a locomotive and can run the floor like a gazelle. I mean the top D-Ends in the NFL are only listed at 6"4" and 290. Drummonds wingspan is 7"6" and his large hands should give him an advantage against any team. With the right people, teammates, and same work ethic he has now Drummond can have a long career in the NFL.
He already has the ability to out muscle defenders in the NBA and is usually top 5 in the league in blocked shots, rebounds, field goal percentage. The Detroit Lions should really consider sales pitches with this guy, especially after losing Ndamukong Suh. Both the Lions and Detroit Pistons don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. Be a shame to waste all that youth and special talent.
Brett Carroll – I’ll take John Wall at cornerback. His athleticism and defensive instincts make him perfect for the position. He already has mastered the art of the steal, averaging over 1.5 steals per game in his career. Imagine him averaging 1.5 interceptions in the NFL? That’s a huge game changer for any team that has him.
With his size and speed, Wall will be able to keep up with just about any receiver in the league, and would be a defensive nightmare for opposing offenses. His measurements also will allow him to play in space, and should be effective in both man-to-man and zone defenses. He has the height and vertical ability to be able to high point any jump ball that comes his way. Even a guy like Calvin Johnson might have trouble with him.
*Photo via WashingtonRedskins.com
If you like blitzing, his speed would allow him to be a great off the edge. Corner blitzes are usually very hard to execute in the league, because the corner must have the speed and strength to get to and sack the quarterback in time. Wall’s physical gifts will allow him to thrive in that situation.
I compare him to Richard Sherman. Their measurables are just about the same (Wall actually is an inch taller at 6’4) and they are both athletic. Their defensive IQ’s are about the same as well. Wall might not be the trash talker that Sherman is, but on the field, he should be just as effective.
Mike Ricci – Perhaps you’ve heard the Ronnie Lott finger story. In 1986 Lott decided to have part of his finger amputated to avoid surgery that would’ve caused him to miss the start of the season.
If you were to wake up tomorrow morning and read reports on Twitter that an NBA player had cut off his finger to avoid missing extended time, you’d assume Russell Westbrook, right?
*Photo via AP
It’s not hard to imagine Russ as a superstar safety in the NFL. He’s been clocked running a 4.3 40-yard dash, he loves to play aggressive, and he’s tougher than a three dollar steak. I mean, the guy broke his face last season and only missed one or two games following surgery.
So give me Russell Westbrook at safety and bask in the violent glory that would come from Westbrook lighting up Odell Beckham Jr. on a crossing pattern. Can we make this happen? Let’s get him in pads this weekend!
Parth Goradia – There’s only one notable player in the NBA that has big time football experience, and that’s Nate Robinson. Robinson played football his freshman year at the University of Washington before deciding to focus on basketball. If Nate continued to play football he could’ve been a solid corner in the NFL. What the 5-9 Robinson lacks in height, he makes up for in athleticism. He’s blocked a Yao Ming shot attempt, so I’m sure he could high point a ball intended for Dez Bryant. His measurables match up nicely with three time Pro-Bowl corner, Brent Grimes and he may have been able to have a similar impact.
In the end, I’m happy Nate decided to stick with basketball. He’s given the NBA some great moments. Also, if he tried this gem in the NFL, he probably would be called for pass interference.