Fielding the Ultimate NFL All-Star Team with Active MLB Players
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
With the conclusion of the Super Bowl, it's the official start of the baseball season. Finally!
But with the big game still fresh in people's minds (I know this feeling; I live in Baltimore), I thought I would have some fun and combine both sports.
I decided to create the ultimate NFL All-Star team with active MLB players. Here's what my squad looks like.
QB: Joe Mauer—He has a cannon for an arm, and he's one of the smartest players in the MLB, which would come in handy when taking snaps under center. He also had the option of playing quarterback at Florida State University, so the talent is obviously there.
RB: Mike Trout—He's bigger than Ray Rice, so his body frame would be perfect. Trout has explosive speed (he had 49 stolen bases in 139 games last year). The way he tracks balls down in the gaps would make him a great double-threat running back.
FB: Carlos Santana—He's a bigger fellow, but he has more speed than you realize (he has 11 career stolen bases in two-plus MLB seasons). His natural instinct of blocking the plate and preparing for collision would fit the fullback responsibilities.
WR: Justin Upton—He's 6-2 and 205 pounds and has one of the fastest 60-yard dashes in baseball. He would be a defensive back's nightmare with his size, speed and route-running instincts. His size is similar to NFL superstar Andre Johnson.
WR: Matt Kemp—He's another player with great size and speed. He stands in at 6-4 and weighs 225 pounds. When he was healthy in 2011, he stole 40 bases. He reminds me of Calvin Johnson, who is 6-5 and 239 pounds, a pure athletic freak.
TE: Giancarlo Stanton—His 6-5, 245-pound frame would seal off defenders like Jason Witten and Rob Gronkowski. He's not the fastest of outfielders, but he still possesses the speed to steal a handful of bases a year. His strength and power would be ideal at the tight end position.
LT: Prince Fielder—He's got some size to him, but he's also more athletic than you think. He ranked 11th in range factor out of all first baseman last season (stat courtesy of Fangraphs.com).
LG: Travis Hafner—It would be no easy task getting by Hafner, who is 6-3 and 240 pounds. Despite his recent health issues, he's still one of the game's feared power hitters.
C: Jonathan Broxton—He weighs 300 pounds, so size will not be an issue. If he has the ability to throw a baseball with accuracy, I think he could handle snapping a football between his legs.
RG: Adam Dunn—He's a straight up beast. He's 6-6 and weighs 285 pounds. He has the strength to belt 35-plus homers annually, so he shouldn't have a problem blocking pursuing defenders.
RT: CC Sabathia—You wouldn't think Sabathia is very athletic by his 290-pound stature, but he is. He's a career .238 hitter and has three home runs.
LE: Matt Holliday—He's 6-4 and weighs 235 pounds. His nickname of "Big Daddy" would suit him well in the NFL. He has enough speed to generate problems on the edge.
LT: Pablo Sandoval—He doesn't have your ideal body structure of a third baseman. That's why he would fit in on the defensive line. They call him the Kung Fu Panda for a reason.
RT: David Oritz—Weighing in at 250 pounds, Ortiz would be no slouch at breaking through the offensive line. His strength would wreak havoc up front.
RE: Paul Goldschmidt—He hit 20 homers and stole 18 bases last year, so he has that rare blend of power, size and speed.
OLB: Edwin Encarnacion—He has good size and he would be able to drop back in coverage. While he belted 42 homers, he still stole 13 bases.
MLB: Jay Bruce—He would be that big body in the middle of the defense. He possesses enough power (he hit 34 homers last year) and has enough speed (he stole nine bases).
OLB: Brett Lawrie—He has the intensity to play football. I hope you didn't forget about his episode when he threw his helmet and it hit an umpire. He has power and speed.
CB: BJ Upton—He's one of the best athletes in baseball. Upton is incredibly fast and covers a ton of ground in the outfield. Who wouldn't want to see B.J. cover Justin in a one-on-one matchup?
CB: Andrew McCutchen—Like B.J. Upton, he's very fast. Cutch plays good defense in center field and would have similar success covering wideouts.
FS: Torii Hunter—He's one of the greatest defensive center fielders over the last couple decades. When there was a ball hit in Hunter's direction, you expected it to be caught, even if it was hit over the wall.
SS: Josh Hamilton—He's got a good body structure to fit the safety mold. He has power, range and speed, which meets all of the safety requirements.
K: Mariano Rivera—He has ice in his veins. The greatest closer of all-time wouldn't falter under pressure. He also has a passion for soccer.
P: Justin Verlander—I actually have no idea if Verlander can kick. He's got powerful legs and he's pretty athletic, so I figured he could punt a ball pretty well.
KR: Rajai Davis—He's one of the fastest players in baseball. He has an average of 42 stolen bases a season over the last four years.
PR: Dee Gordon—He only weighs 160 pounds, but Trindon Holliday is 166 pounds, and we all saw him return a kickoff and punt for a touchdown in the playoffs against the Ravens. Gordon is scary fast and could follow the Holliday mold.
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