Hines Ward and the 13 Best Converted Quarterbacks in NFL History

Allen KimSenior Analyst IDecember 2, 2010

Hines Ward and the 13 Best Converted Quarterbacks in NFL History

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    PITTSBURGH - SEPTEMBER 07: Hines Ward #86 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates a touchdown pass from Charlie Batch #16 against the Miami Dolphins during the first game of the NFL season on September 7, 2006 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (P
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Converted quarterbacks is common place even more so now than ever before.

    Many players get the opportunity to play quarterback in college because of their dual-threat ability.

    In fact, some of the best and most exciting college quarterbacks were able to run and throw with the best of them.

    However, when they get to the NFL, their athletic ability is not enough to get them a position behind center and many are turned into wide receivers.

    So, who's the best of the group?

13. Ronald Curry

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    MIAMI - NOVEMBER 16:  Receiver Ronald Curry #89 of the Oakland Raiders makes a catch against the Miami Dolphins in the second quarter at Dolphin Stadium November16, 2008 in Miami, Florida. Miami defeated Oakland 17-15.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
    Marc Serota/Getty Images

    Ronald Curry was a standout quarterback at North Carolina. He set many records as a quarterback for the team and won MVP in two bowl games.

    In 2002, he was selected by the Oakland Raiders in the seventh round. He would go on to play seven seasons in Oakland.

    He has career totals of 193 receptions, 2,347 yards and 13 touchdowns.

12. Matt Jones

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    JACKSONVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 23:  Matt Jones #18 of the Jacksonville Jaguars lines up during the game against the Minnesota Vikings at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium on November 23, 2008 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    At the University of Arkansas, Matt Jones played quarterback. He was a star athlete while with the Razorbacks.

    Jones opened up eyes everywhere at the NFL combine where he measured at 6'6" and 237 lbs. with a 4.37 40-yard dash, 39.5" vertical and 10'10" broad jump.

    He was called "The Freak" during the proceedings and was selected with the 21st overall pick in the 2005 NFL draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

    He played four seasons in Jacksonville, but was released in 2009 for numerous drug problems.

    Jones retired with totals of 166 receptions, 2,152 yards and 15 touchdowns.

11. Brad Smith

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    ORCHARD PARK, NY - OCTOBER 03:  Brad Smith #16 of the New York Jets runs against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium on October 3, 2010 in Orchard Park, New York. The Jets won 38-14.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    While with the Missouri Tigers, Smith played quarterback for four years while racking up numerous accolades.

    He was drafted in the fourth round of the 2006 NFL draft by the New York Jets.

    In New York, he was moved to wide receiver, with some time at running back. Jets fans are familiar with him in the team's "Seminole" formation.

    Smith also returns kicks and punts and he holds the record for the longest play in Jets' history and the second longest in NFL history with a 106-yard kickoff return.

10. Peter Warrick

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    NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 10:  Wide receiver Peter Warrick #80 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs on the field during the game against the Tennessee Titans at Adelphia Coliseum on December 10, 2000 in Nashville, Tennessee.  The Titans defeated the Bengals 35-3
    Scott Halleran/Getty Images

    Peter Warrick first played quarterback in his senior year at Southeast High in Bradentown, Florida.

    Choosing Florida State for college, he played three seasons there as a wide receiver where he racked up numerous awards.

    Coming out of Florida State, Warrick was a highly-touted prospect. He was selected with the fourth overall pick by the Cincinnati Bengals.

    He played five seasons with the Bengals where he put up decent numbers, but nothing worthy of a top-five pick.

    Before the start of the 2005 season, he was released by the Bengals and eventually ended up signing with the Seattle Seahawks. His lone year with the Seahawks would be his last in the NFL.

    Over his six-year career, he racked up 275 receptions, 2,991 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns.

9. Michael Bush

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    OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 31:  Michael Bush #29 of the Oakland Raiders in action against the Seattle Seahawks at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on October 31, 2010 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Michael Bush played quarterback at Louisville Male High School.

    When he joined the University of Louisville, he was brought in under the premise that he would be starting at quarterback, but he never got the chance to start due to the other quarterbacks ahead of him on the depth chart.

    Bush became a star running back at Louisville where he played for four seasons before entering the 2007 NFL draft. He was selected in the fourth round by the Oakland Raiders.

    Injuries have derailed part of his career, but he's getting playing time and producing when given the opportunity.

    He's currently playing backup to Darren McFadden.

8. Joshua Cribbs

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    Joshua Cribbs played quarterback at Kent State University where he still holds numerous school records.

    He went undrafted, but was signed by the Cleveland Browns in 2005, where he still plays.

    Cribbs has made two Pro Bowls and two All-Pro teams.

    He's even part of the NFL 2000s All-Decade team as a second-team kick returner.

    Cribbs also holds the NFL record for most kickoff return touchdowns in a career.

7. Antwaan Randle El

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    Antwaan Randle El played quarterback at Indiana University for four years.

    He was selected in the second round of the 2002 NFL draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers.

    While with the Steelers, he was shifted over to wide receiver with kickoff and punt returning duties.

    After four seaons with the Steelers, he served for years in D.C. before making his way back to Pittsburgh where he still plays.

    Randle El's most notable play will forever be a 43-yard game-winning touchdown to Hines Ward in Super Bowl XL.

    For players who have thrown at least 20 passes, Randle El has a 157.5 passer rating, which is considered to be the highest in NFL history.

6. Marlin Briscoe

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    Marlin Briscoe was drafted in the 14th round of the 1968 NFL draft by the Denver Broncos.

    In a late September game, he got his first action behind center after the team's starting quarterback suffered a broken collarbone. He got the call in the fourth after Joe DiVito—the player ahead of him on the depth chart—was unable to get the job done.

    On Dec. 6, 1968, Marlin became the first starting black quarterback in the NFL. He finished the year with 14 touchdown passes and a 17.1 yards per completion average, good enough to lead the league that year.

    Before the start of the 1969 season, he was released by Denver where he went on to the Buffalo Bills. There, he made his conversion to the wide receiver position.

    In 1970, he was voted into the Pro Bowl and was selected as an All-Pro.

    The following year, he was traded to the Miami Dolphins where he would go on to win two consecutive Super Bowls with the team.

5. Freddie Solomon

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    Selected in the second round of the 1975 draft, Solomon was taken by the Miami Dolphins.

    After three seasons with Miami, he would go on to join the San Francisco 49ers where he played for eight years.

    He won two Super Bowls while with the team.

    Solomon is best known—or better yet, not known—for being the intended receiver on the play simply known as "The Catch".

    If you're somehow unfamiliar with "The Catch", it's the game-winning touchdown catch by Dwight Clark in the 1982 NFC playoffs against the Dallas Cowboys.

    Solomon was selected to one All-Pro team and he had 371 receptions, 5,846 receiving yards and 48 touchdowns to add to his resume.

4. Curtis Conway

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    12 Sep 1999:  Curtis Conway #80 of the Chicago Bears is in action during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Chiefs 20-17. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Daniel  /Allsport
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Curtis Conway played quarterback at Hawthorne High School in California.

    While at USC, he was moved from behind center to the wing, getting some time as a wide receiver.

    In the 1993 NFL draft, he was selected seventh overall by the Chicago Bears. He played with the Bears for seven years before joining the San Diego Chargers and then finished his career with stints with the Jets and 49ers.

    Conway had three 1,000-plus-yard receiving seasons. Over the course of his career, he piled up 594 receptions, 8,230 receiving yards and 52 touchdowns.

3. Gene Washington

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    Gene went to school at Stanford University. There, he played quarterback and was eventually drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in 1969 in the first round of the NFL draft.

    In the NFL, he was converted into a wide receiver.

    Starting in his rookie season, he made it to four straight Pro Bowls and was selected onto four All-Pro teams.

2. Anquan Boldin

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    ATLANTA - NOVEMBER 11:  Anquan Boldin #81 of the Baltimore Ravens against Brent Grimes #20 of the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on November 11, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    In 1998, Anquan Boldin was named Florida's Mr. Football while playing quarterback for Pahokee High School.

    When he moved up to Florida State University, he was moved to the wide receiver position with some time behind center.

    In the 2003 NFL Draft, he was selected in the second round by the Arizona Cardinals.

    He would go on to win AP Offensive Rookie of the Year after a 1,377-yard, eight-touchdown campaign.

    Boldin would play seven more years with the Cardinals before being traded to the Baltimore Ravens.

    Over the course of his eight-year career, he has totals of 8,172 receiving yards and 50 touchdowns. He also has three Pro Bowl selections to add to his resume.

1. Hines Ward

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    PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 21:  Hines Ward #86 of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs with the ball after catching a pass against the Oakland Raiders during the game on November 21, 2010 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty
    Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    Hines Ward played quarterback at Forest Park High School in Georgia.

    When he joined the University of Georgia Bulldogs, he was converted into a wide receiver with some time at running back.

    During his sophomore campaign, he saw some time at the quarterback position. In the 1995 Peach Bowl, he was the starting quarterback and he threw 59 times for 413 yards, both Georgia Bowl records.

    His NFL resume speaks for itself. He has a list of accolades that any player in the NFL would admire.

    Over his illustrious career, he has amassed 935 receptions, 11,457 receiving yards and 82 receiving touchdowns. All are Steelers franchise records.

    Ward has won two Super Bowls with the Steelers and was named Super Bowl MVP in one of them.

    He's been voted in to the Pro Bowl on four occasions and was selected to the second-team All-Pro three times.