Star Potential: NFL Players with Hollywood Futures

Nick DimengoFeatured ColumnistJanuary 21, 2014

Star Potential: NFL Players with Hollywood Futures

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    Ed Andrieski/Associated Press

    Whether or not we all want to admit it, today's current athletes are more than just guys who happen to play a sport.

    And while NBA players might get recognized the most by fans in commercials or on the street, NFL players have proven again and again that they're the ones who are really the stars when in front of the camera.

    So while these 15 guys might not be thinking about anything other than football right now, it's clear that they have the potential to make it in Hollywood should they ever feel like it.

Darnell Dockett

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    Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

    One of the funnier/more controversial players in the league, Arizona Cardinals defensive end Darnell Dockett uses his Twitter account better than nearly any other pro football player.

    With nearly nothing off-limits, Dockett might bring it close to the line a lot of times, but it brings him attention he might not otherwise get.

    As a complete beast with a ton of aggression, Dockett would be perfect in any action flick.

    Ideal Role: Action hero.

Carlin Isles

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    Image via rugbywrapup.com

    There are plenty of fans who might not actually know who Carlin Isles is, but tabbed as "the fastest man in rugby," the former high school football player from Ohio has both speed and plenty of size.

    He may only be on the Detroit Lions practice squad right now, but given the underdog stories that sports fans seem to fall in love with, I wouldn't be surprised to see a documentary or "based on the true story" type of flick come out on his life should he develop into an actual player.

    Ideal Role: Cameo appearance in a film about his football life.

J.J. Watt

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    As arguably the most feared defender in the NFL right now, reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt has proven to be a dominant force on the field.

    But it's his childish persona off of it that would appeal to some in Hollywood.

    We haven't seen a ton of humor from the big guy, but we've already seen him with a bit of a dry sense of humor in both an ESPN commercial and on The League, so I think he'd be a perfect sidekick in a comedy, if not the obvious superhero.

    Ideal Role: A sergeant on a police force.

Victor Cruz

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    Maybe New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz has already gone Hollywood?

    With cameos in commercials for Campbell's Soup and Gillette—among others—Cruz has clearly caught the attention of marketing folks.

    Thanks to his signature salsa touchdown celebration, Cruz would be best shaking his way on a show like Dancing With the Stars, if not in a full-fledged feature film.

    Ideal Role: Cameo appearance in a comedy.

Jared Allen

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    Without a doubt, Minnesota Vikings defender Jared Allen is one of the funniest guys in all of sports—on top of being a five-time Pro Bowl selection.

    Whether it was the mullet he rocked a few years back, or when declaring himself as a graduate of the Culinary Academy in a game this season, Allen has the goods to get people to laugh.

    Naturally, in front of a camera is where this dude could shine.

    Ideal Role: In a sophomoric comedy—similar to his brief role on Jackass.

LeSean McCoy

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    Michael Perez/Associated Press

    He may have led the NFL in rushing this season, but if you follow Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy on any of his social media channels, you know that he's got a knack for making his opinion known.

    Thanks to being outspoken and a bit controversial, McCoy could score more gigs on TV and film as much as he scores touchdowns.

    McCoy isn't the biggest guy out there, but he's quick in the things he does, and would be good alongside a badass in an action flick.

    Ideal Role: Cameo in an action film.

Aaron Rodgers

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    Slowly turning himself into one of the funniest guys in the NFL, quarterback Aaron Rodgers knows what to do to make people smile.

    It's that charm and charisma that would make him so good in Hollywood—as he showed so perfectly on his cameo on The Office last year.

    Rodgers might be a league and Super Bowl MVP, but he could do just as well if given the chance in film.

    Ideal Role: Leading man in a comedy.

Tony Gonzalez

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    Dave Martin/Associated Press

    OK, so the best tight end in NFL history may have called it quits after this year, but while Tony Gonzalez has been hilariously good on the field for 17 years, he has also shown to be quite clever.

    As his impressions during his player intros as both Ron Burgundy and Scarface show, Gonzalez could step into any role and absolutely pull it off.

    Ideal Role: Disguised in a comedy—like Derek Jeter once did.

Calvin Johnson

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    Rick Osentoski/Associated Press

    One of the more marketable players in the entire league, Calvin Johnson isn't shy in going up for a jump ball against a defender, so why should he be if asked to hop in front of the camera?

    Already getting a chance to do just that in a Nike campaign, Megatron could shine in any role he would be asked to fill, either acting as a tough guy or playing the suave ladies man.

    He's a dynamic football player, but he might be even more so as an actor.

    Ideal Role: Something similar to Will Smith in Hitch.

Adrian Peterson

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    Minnesota Vikings all-world running back Adrian Peterson might be well liked amongst his peers—unless one of them is trying to tackle him—but he'd be even more liked as an actor.

    Giving a sneak peek of what he could do on-camera, Peterson made a cameo in The League, while also showing some tough-guy skills in numerous Nike commercials.

    Built like a rock, there's no reason to think "AD" couldn't become like "The Rock" after his playing days are over.

    Ideal Role: Action hero.

Tom Brady

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    Stephan Savoia/Associated Press

    Let's see here; he overcame being a sixth-round pick to win three Super Bowls, is one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game, is married to a supermodel and has star power, looks and charisma.

    Is there any reason to think Tom Brady won't be a Hollywood star after he finally retires?

    OK, so maybe he won't subject himself to that kind of role, but I'd think producers just can't wait to write up some sort of feel-good screenplay about his life.

    Ideal Role: Leading man in a comedy or drama.

Richard Sherman

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    As if his recent "outburst" after clinching a Super Bowl berth wasn't apparent enough of Richard Sherman's star power, then maybe his outlandish comments and entertaining one-liners should be.

    Sherman is one of the biggest trash-talkers between the lines, and one can argue he brings the fun back to the league.

    Love him or hate him, it's time to accept the fact that Sherman is at the top of his game—both in pads and in the media rankings.

    Ideal Role: Antagonist in a drama.

Peyton Manning

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    Sure, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is a stud throwing a football, but for any company or movie hoping to make a splash with a likable personality, he should be its man.

    While Manning is known for his attention to detail and serious approach to the game, he gives himself a break by appealing to people because he doesn't take himself too seriously—as proven in numerous cameo appearances.

    Ideal role: One of the anchors on the next Anchorman movies.

Colin Kaepernick

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    Gerry Broome/Associated Press

    Sports fans have seen a lot of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick over the past year or so on TV, so it's probably just a matter of time until he steps into a bigger role.

    Blessed with great football talent, Kaepernick also has an appeal about him that just makes people like him—unless he's on the other side of the field against your favorite team.

    Add in the whole story about him being adopted, and it just seems perfect for him to star in a Hollywood film sooner rather than later.

    Ideal role: The former, famous ex-boyfriend in a comedy—a la Brett Favre in There's Something About Mary.

Rob Gronkowski

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    Elise Amendola/Associated Press

    While there's a ton of speculation about New England Patriots outrageous tight end Rob Gronkowski getting his own reality show, I'm waiting for the moment he just jumps to the big time by nabbing a movie role for himself.

    One of the most entertaining athletes in any sport, "Gronk" may have been injured for most of this season, but that doesn't take away from the fact that he's still in the news for being, well, himself.

    It seems that no matter what this dude does, people are going to be intrigued.

    Ideal role: The goofball sidekick in a comedy, or a lovable superhero.