Miami Heat NFL Mashup: Could LeBron James, Dwyane Wade Survive the NFL?

Danny DolphinAnalyst ISeptember 7, 2010




Profesional basketball players are some of the greatest athletes in the world. It’s time to take those words to another level. Which Miami Heat player would make the best football player, and at what position? Let’s take a look at the candidates…

Dexter Pittman

Size: 6’11″ 300

Position: OT

Pittman has the closest resemblance to a football player’s body. He’s a towering presence at 6’11″ on a wide 300-pound frame. Would that size translate over to the football field?

It would be tough for Pittman to maintain a low center of gravity. His height would end up hurting him on the line. His opponent would be shorter, stronger, and more powerful while weighing the same amount or more.

He wouldn’t be able to maintain proper leverage and would be bull rushed with relative ease. There’s a reason there aren’t any 6’10″, 6’11″ lineman and it’s not just because they end up playing basketball.

Success Rate: 5%

Udonis Haslem

Size: 6’8″ 235

Position: TE/DE

His ideal position is up for debate. He certainly has the capability of packing on the size to play football. Remember at University of Florida he weighed over 300 pounds.

As a defensive end he would need to get up to about 265 so he wouldn’t get blown off the line by brute power on every play. He has good acceleration and explosiveness and I think that would translate over to a solid pass rusher on the line.

As a tight end he wouldn’t need to beef up as much and would be used primarily in the passing game, as opposed to staying in to block. He has shown good hands on the court and I think he’d make a really nice tight end.

Haslem is a tireless worker and is one of the NBA’s toughest players so I could see “U” playing some pigskin.

Success Rate: 35%

Dwyane Wade

Size: 6’4″ 215

Position: RB/WR/FS

Wade has an intriguing case for gridiron. I can see him playing a variety of positions. He could even throw on some pounds and be an outside linebacker.

His strengths as an athlete are his explosiveness, speed, and aggression. Sounds like the perfect free safety to me. Sure he could play wideout but I think he would be a dominate safety.

He has the perfect frame for it. If he learned how to play the position from a younger age there is no way he doesn’t become a star. He would be in the mold of the late Sean Taylor,  a big, strong frame with explosive, quick feet. And with his closing speed and jumping ability? He could be a beast in blitz situations as well.

Then again he could be a running back. He has the speed, shiftiness and agility to be a big threat out of the backfield. On the flip end, he is tall for the position and would be vulnerable to huge hits. Whatever position it would be, there is certainly a place for D-Wade on the football field.

Success Rate: 75%

Lebron James

Size: 6’8″ 265 (Media guide says “250″, but nobody is buying that)

Position: TE/WR/DE/CB/S

He has the athleticism to play any sport he wants. I think that if he were to switch to football right now he would dominate in a very quick time frame. He’s a freak. He could handle learning technique and skill on the fly. He’s just that good of an athlete.

What position would he play? How about what position couldn’t he play?

On offense he would definitely be a tight end with the ability to split out wide as a receiver. Nobody, not Darrele Revis, not Champ Bailey in his prime, would be able to stick him one-on-one. He’s so big and powerful, yet also fast and agile.

He played receiver in high school for a couple of seasons before focusing on basketball full time, so he has some experience. He would have had loads of football scholarship offers had people thought he wouldn’t be jumping to the NBA.

If he didn’t just join the Miami Heat and instead chose to stay in Cleveland, I would be praying he gave the NFL a legitimate shot. Who knows he can pull an MJ on us. In a few years he might get bored of filling up his fingers with Miami Heat championships.

Defensively, it’s a pick em. He could bulk up and become a defensive end or slim down and play in the secondary as a corner or safety. Now obviously there is so much he would need to learn, especially as a corner, but he has the athletic prowess to at least give it a chance.

Enjoy Lebron while we have him, because there will likely never be a specimen like him ever again. Scratch that! He has two boys.

Success Rate: 95%

Bottom Line: This article’s purpose was not to bash NFL players and their ability to play the game. There is a great deal of skill and technique involved to excel as a professional football player, regardless of position. But just thinking about elite basketball players having the chance to play football is an enticing thought.

There is no doubt that some of them could could accomplish that challenging feat.

Lebron is without a doubt the most NFL-ready of the bunch. Too bad it’s never going to happen. Only in our dreams, or in commercials.


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