The NFL Draft is underway with the second and third rounds going on tonight, and in the dearth that is the sports world right now, it’s pretty much all we have. I figured I’d carry on with this momentum and use it for this week’s roundtable question for the staff, which was: Which Red Sox player would make the best football player, and what position would he play? I probably should have expected the popularity of one choice.
I don’t honestly know much about football. I’m going to say that the best football player would be Jackie Bradley Jr. We already know the dude can throw. We already know the dude can run. If he can do both things at the same time, he’d at the least make for a fun scrambling quarterback. Or maybe he could be an incredible wide receiver, since he’s so good at running routes in the outfield.
It would be awesome to see Jackie Bradley Jr suit up as a running back in the NFL. At 5’10 and 200, I see him as an Alvin Kamara prototype. That is, being heavily utilized in the passing game as well the running game. JBJ has frequently flashed his speed in the outfield, making countless spectacular defensive plays. His acceleration and read on the ball is unmatched; he goes from a stand-still position to a full sprint faster than almost any outfielder I’ve seen. I can only imagine having the opportunity to see that speed in the open field. Maybe Jackie will also end up with the Buccaneers before the start of the season? (too soon? too soon.)
I am not a football fan and I think the last time I actually watched a game was a couple of years ago. With that being said, I’m thinking Jackie Bradley Jr. would make a pretty good wide receiver. I’ve never seen anyone patrol center field like him so he should be able to snag some hail marys in the end zone.
This is the moment when it’s really obvious I don’t follow many other sports. Jackie Bradley Jr. should definitely be a great quarterback. Did you see that throw he made? Unreal. Or maybe he should be a receiver, put that running and catching to good use.
This seemed a little too easy so I’m thinking that really the best Sox player, if they were drafted into the NFL would be Xander Bogaerts. And he’d be the kicker. Why? As a shortstop, Bogaerts is instantly one of the best athletes on the field. Shortstops are required to make precision throws and to read the infield, keep an eye on runners, and take in information. All skills that could help a kicker take in the wind levels and avoid blockers. As a kicker, he’d be able to continually adjust and refine his skills over the years. Maybe work in some trick plays where he’d fake a kick and throw the ball. Or maybe he should be the quarterback. The point is I think Xander Bogaerts is really, really good and could excel in other sports because he’s just that talented and hard working.
I think Jackie Bradley Jr. would be a shutdown cornerback. He’s a defensive star who can cover a ton of ground and catch just about anything. I also think Mitch Moreland would be a solid tight end. Not a big receiving threat but the kind of tight end who nails his blocking assignments and then has the soft hands to catch a few passes in the red zone.
There were a few that came to mind right away with this question. Chris Sale as a QB. He’s tall, obviously good at throwing and even though he’s skinny as hell QBs are protected enough that there’s a good chance he might survive. Michael Chavis as a fullback also came to mind because he’s small but built, so leading the way and knocking helmets with dudes seems like something he would like. Surprisingly though he’s 40 pounds lighter than LaGarrette Blount, so maybe he’s not built enough. However, I think the best answer here is Jackie Bradley Jr. as a slot receiver. He has the height and weight to be effective at the position, obviously has great hands, and runs very effective routs. I think Bradley would be the best option to Bo Jackson on this team.
People, I can’t lie: I have actually, truly, started forgetting what day it is. It was until about 10 a.m. Thursday that I realized I had forgotten my Thursday column, and I almost forgot this amazing question too. But I didn’t! That said my answer is short and not all that interesting. I think Eduardo Rodriguez would be a linebacker in the NFL. He’s a big guy and the way his shoulders roll over off the top of his body I can just as easily imaging him stalking down a ballcarrier or quarterback as I can him staring down a batter or umpire, hunting for a strike. I can also imagine him picking up a smaller player and throwing him to the ground, which is a big part of it. In fact since I read this question I have been seeing it happen in my mind’s eye and it’s glorious, if only because it’s actual sports. Except it’s not because everything is bad.
I think Jackie Bradley Jr. has the type of athleticism that would translate best to football. At his height and weight, Bradley probably would be best suited to being a defensive back or a slot wide receiver. Something tells me that with his skills of anticipation, consistently getting amazing jumps on the ball, he’d be a prolific safety. While I think he’s fast, tough, and sure handed enough to be Wes Welker 2.0 I see him as a roaming safety in the mold of Ed Reed. Reed was able to impact games by anticipating where the ball was going in order to make a big game changing hit or interception, so it would be for Bradley. Reed was also revered by Bill Belichick and Tom Brady so the fact that Bradley is so likable makes me sure of my choice.
I’m going to ignore the fact that Jackie Bradley Jr. was just compared to both Wes Welker and Ed Reed in the matter of one sentence, and instead point out that everyone is overthinking this question except for Carlucci. If you are thinking about who, out of a population of non-football players, would be the best football player, the only semi-real, semi-plausible answer is whoever would be the best kicker or punter. These people would all get destroyed at any other position. So, the answer, I think, is Eduardo Rodriguez at kicker. It’s either him or Bogaerts, and I only say that because I know they are both big soccer fans and Rodriguez played growing up. He has the kicking mechanics down, at least.