Inspired by The Last Dance, I want to look at five athletes that could hang it up in their prime and try their hand at a different sport. Like Mike. I’ll also give you five football players that could find success in other sports. As well as some other fun crossover ideas. I am leaving out guys like Russell Wilson, who could obviously find success in baseball.
Five athletes that could find success on the gridiron:
1 Mike Trout – Baseball to Safety
At 6’2” 235 lbs Mike Trout would have no problem finding a role in the NFL. The ideal fit, and maybe the Eagles should give him a call, is at safety. Trout’s speed, vision and hands make him the complete safety and he has already proven he can patrol the center of the field.
2 LeBron James – Basketball to WR
Duh, LeBron could high-point the football better than anyone. Imagine Dak Prescott being able to throw the football nearly 12 feet in the air and having LeBron bring it down for a touchdown. LeBron also has a history, and some highlights, on the gridiron. I think he probably made the right choice giving up football in high school, but it’s fun to dream.
3 Usain Bolt – Track to WR
We talk about guys like Henry Ruggs and Tyreek Hill being almost unguardable because of their speed. Now imagine the fastest man to ever walk the Earth running for a Russell Wilson deep ball. If we can’t get him on the gridiron, can we please at least get an official 40 time?
4 Neymar – Soccer to Corner
Any high school football coach will tell you they love to get soccer players out to the football field. The easy answer is to get them to play kicker or punter which is usually an easy transition. But for Neymar it’s corner. Good luck beating this guy with a double move or fancy footwork.
5 Zion Williamson – Basketball to EDGE
Much like LeBron, Zion has a very similar skill set but doesn’t play with the same speed as LeBron. What Zion does have is burst, strength and length, making him the ideal edge rusher in the NFL. At 6’6” and 280+ lbs, Zion is already the perfect size and would be unstoppable in the Saints defense.
Five football players that could find success off the gridiron:
1 Patrick Mahomes – Football to Golf
Everyone is going to say baseball here but it is probably the third sport I would list for Mahomes. Brett Veach has already told Pat that he can no longer play basketball and if you stalk, I mean follow, Pat on social media, you know my mans is never very far from a course. Hell, he has one in his back yard that I’ve seen while hiding in the bushes.
2 Odell Beckham Jr – Football to Soccer
Feet. Feet. Feet. OBJ has some of the best footwork in the NFL and has already proven he excels at soccer. If the Browns try to trade him they might want to see how much cash they can get from European soccer leagues.
3 Tyreek Hill – Football to Track
Tyreek Hill has already said he wants to try his hand, or feet, at track and field and try to qualify for the Olympics. While I hope he Stick(s) to Football, he might actually have a chance. Hill ran an official 20.14 in the 200 meters while in high school, yeah, high school, so I think this is something he could actually pursue and find success at.
4 Julio Jones – Football to Basketball
DeMarcus Cousins can vouch for Julio on the hardwood, and has done so multiple times by saying the star receiver had one of the sickest dunks he had ever seen. We already know Julio is one of the best leapers in the NFL. But could he be one of the best in the NBA too?
5 Christian McCaffrey – Football to Baseball
McCaffrey is one of the best examples of why kids should play multiple sports. Having said before that basketball, baseball and track helped form him into the athlete he is today. What if McCaffrey chose baseball? His compacted build, short area quickness and quick hands could dominate on the diamond just as well as he does on the football field.
Five athletes that could find success outside of football.
1 Steph Curry – Basketball to Baseball
Steph will finish his career as one of the best shooters in NBA history but he is also one of the best ball handlers in the league right now. His handles would kill in the middle infield turning double plays and passing the ball to first. From what I’ve seen of his golf swing, he wouldn’t have much trouble at the plate either.
2 Aroldis Chapman – Baseball to MMA/Boxing
Aroldis Chapman is the most intimidating player in Major League Baseball. You won’t change my mind, but if you doubt me just do a quick google search of Chapman without his baseball jersey. The man is a walking muscle with one of the scariest left hands across all sports. Any person that can throw a ball that hard could easily take a head off in the octagon.
3 Aaron Judge – Baseball to Basketball
At 6’7” Judge is one of the few guys that has the size to play in the NBA. He is damn near the exact size of Zion Williamson, if you believe Zion’s listed weight (I don’t) of 280 lbs. With Judge’s size and ability to track the ball in the air, he could easily be a rebounding threat, but my bet is the big man can play above the rim as well.
4 Karl Anthony-Towns – Basketball to Baseball
After throwing out the first pitch for the Twins, KAT said he gave up baseball to focus more on basketball and that he could probably get the ball up to 80-85 with some practice. Can you imagine 6’11” on the mound? If you’re too young to remember Randy Johnson that might be hard, but the hand size and his ability to manipulate the ball, KAT could have quite the career for the Twins.
5 Giannis Antetokounmpo – Basketball to Volleyball
Volleyball? Why not? Secretly one of my favorite sports and I’m tired of just limiting players to basketball and baseball. Giannis throws down some ridiculous dunks at some ridiculous heights. Now turn those moves into spikes and you’ve got a top volleyball player in the world. Being 6’11” will also help as a blocker, which, so will his ability to block a basketball. Just don’t ask the big man to dig out many balls on the ground.