With the 2012 Olympic Games nearing its conclusion, and with the NFL preseason just beginning, water coolers everywhere are surrounded with talks about a mashup: which NFL players would be good at Olympic sports?
Every sport is undeniably different, but every player possesses a different sense of what athleticism is. Throughout every NFL broadcast, there is always a comment about certain players being good athletes rather than just good football players. Being a great athlete implies that they can succeed outside of the sport of football.
With the combination of speed and jumping ability, a few NFL players could make the Olympics, especially in hurdling. Here are five NFL stars that would be great at Olympic hurdles.
Position: Running Back
Team: Miami Dolphins
Dolphins running back Reggie Bush has basically made a career out of jumping over people. Whether it was jumping over college players at USC while looking like a man among boys, or hopping over a defender to reach the end zone in the NFL, Bush has what it takes.
Bush’s impressive jumping skills, combined with his amazing speed at running back, make a great combination to participate in Olympic hurdles. Also, the switch from jumping over defenders to hurdles might ease the transition for Bush.
Position: Defensive End
Team: Buffalo Bills
You may not recognize Jarron Gilbert by name, but chances are you you know the defensive end-turned YouTube sensation. The Buffalo Bills defensive end, who then played for the Chicago Bears, jumped out of a pool with one swift leap.
This brute strength can definitely translate into Olympic hurdles. He may jump so high that he wouldn't even see hurdles there in the first place, although his weight could slow him down considering that he is a defensive end.
Team: Pittsburgh Steelers
Just like in Olympic hurdles, a cornerback in the NFL needs to be two things: fast and agile, and Ike Taylor possesses both of these traits.
Although he was not invited to the combine as a rookie in 2003, he showed every NFL scout his speed with an unofficial 4.18 in the 40-yard dash. His athleticism found him a home with the Steelers, as he was picked in the fourth round of the 2003 draft.
His impressive time, mixed with his natural mobility at the cornerback position, could definitely help the veteran cornerback in Olympic hurdles.
Team: Washington Redskins
Apart from winning the Hesiman Trophy during his time at Baylor, Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III was also in track and field. According to his player profile on Baylor’s website, the quarterback participated in both sprints and hurdles. In fact, he holds the NCAA Midwest Region record for 400-meter hurdles.
Even throughout high school, Griffin excelled in hurdles, as he was one of the nation’s best at the time.
Griffin’s experience alone would make him a great addition to the team.
Position: Wide Receiver
Team: Minnesotta Vikings
Was there ever a doubt that the then-Bengals wide receiver Jerome Simpson would make this list? After his astonishing highlight last season against the Arizona Cardinals, you can bet he would make Olympic qualifiers.
His front flip over linebacker Daryl Washington to score a touchdown is not a football play; plain and simple, it is an athletic feat.
Yes, Simpson did technically flip rather than hurdle, but the sheer momentum he generates could help the receiver in the hurdles. The momentum from jumping hurdle after hurdle only increase his height as he speeds by the other competitors.