A friend and I were going back and forth between some players and wondering what would have happened had they played football instead of their chosen sport. And it gave me an idea to put out a weekly list of retired and still playing athletes who I would like to see play the great game of football.
Michael Jordan, Shooting Guard, Basketball (6'6” 216) – You know he was not LeBron James as far as pure athletes go, but he was a good one. Able to play baseball at a level most of use cannot, and was of course unconscious on the basketball court.
The one thing about Jordan is that I would have loved to have seen was his will to win on the field. He might have had the most desire to win of any athlete ever. With that said a lot of people would want to have put him at QB, but I think if he would have bulked up and played a hybrid Rover position then we would've really had something.
This guy would never be blocked and he would have an innate ability to cover anyone, even if they were faster than him (he was an All-Pro defender). His one on one tackling skills would be the best in the nation hands down. Also it would have been pretty scary to see Jordan on the same defense as Lawrence Taylor at UNC in 1981.
Willie Mays, Outfielder, Baseball (5'11” 180) – This guy was a dynamic receiver waiting to happen, the only problem was he played baseball. He would have taken the receiver position to another level in that era.
His speed and quickness alone would make him a match-up nightmare. Then you add in his body control and soft hands and this guy might have been the most dominant receiver not named Jerry Rice (and he would not have been that far behind).
When you saw him playing you'd think about guys like Gale Sayers, Reggie Bush, and Devin Hester; he would have been an open field marvel to watch.
Josh Smith, Foward, Basketball (6'9” 230) – The things this guy can do on a basketball court are unreal. His athleticism combined with his height would just ooze a shot as a possession receiver who would cause all kinds of havoc to opposing defenses trying to cover him.
While he is not overly fast, he is quick enough to be a dangerous threat down the seams. Imagine if he was playing for the Colts and was their third receiver. There is nobody in the league that would keep him from the ball in the redzone considering the way he rebounds.
All he would need to really do is hone his body control and then you would have an unstoppable force, the likes of which football has not seen since Harold Carmichael.
Usain Bolt, Sprinter, Track and Field (6'5” 190) – You cannot teach speed, and you cannot teach height. Those two things Bolt has plenty of. Bolt is still raw as far as speed is concerned and sure if you add some weight (10 pounds at the most) he loses some speed, but I will take a 9.9 in the 100m speed any day of the week, if he slows down that much.
Route running is something you can teach, and he will need that. But considering how talented he could be that is worth at least trying out. One thing about him that separates him from the Troy Williamson types of football is that this guy knows how to use his speed to win battles. Translate that to the football game and you have yourself an unstoppable force.