With the NFL Playoffs in full swing, and the MLB offseason asleep at the wheel, most sports fans have had their minds on the pigskin. With that in mind, we at Baseball Essential thought it would be a fun idea to build a football team of baseball players. The NFC and AFC will be wheeling out the best of the best one week prior to Super Bowl Sunday for the Pro Bowl, and this is MLB’s team.
Quarterbacks: Justin Verlander and Jeff Francoeur
In this scenario, Verlander seems likely to be the starter with Frenchy as the back-up. A typical NFL quarterback is fairly tall with a huge arm and leadership abilities. Furthermore, quarterbacks are the only position at which players improve with age. Both Verlander and Francoeur are 34 years old (Happy Birthday, Jeff!), have top flight arm strength, are rather big guys, and have been leaders in their respective clubhouses throughout their careers.
Running Backs: Dee Gordon, Billy Hamilton, Trea Turner
Running backs are typically guys who are faster than everybody else, and don’t necessarily need to be big guys. Furthermore, running backs have to be very young, with the max age as about 31. These three led the league in stolen bases in 2017, despite their slight builds. Furthermore, none of these players are necessarily injury prone, and seem as if they would have no trouble finding the holes based on their routes in the field.
Wide Receivers: Odubel Herrera, Ender Inciarte, Marcell Ozuna
The profile for a wide receiver is rather obvious. They need to be fast, athletic and can be counted on to catch the ball. Therefore, I went with three of the best defensive outfielders in the league. All three of these guys have great speed, exquisite gloves, and the power necessary to break tackles and to block for the backs.
Tight Ends: Giancarlo Stanton, Manny Machado
Tight ends are larger guys who are mainly used as blockers but can be counted on to make a catch here or there. Both of these guys are absolutely hulking individuals with power that is bordering on elite. If Verlander is able to find these guys, there is a strong chance that they could be headed to the end zone.
Punt Returner: Ben Revere
Revere is one of the fastest players in the major leagues, but he is overlooked due to the fact that he doesn’t get on base enough to show off his speed. While Revere player cornerback in high school, in the pros he would be considerably better suited as the DeSean Jackson-type punt returner. He has game changing agility and can catch seemingly impossible kicks.
Safety: Chase Utley
This may have been the easiest pick of the team. Utley is an absolute freak of nature, and may be the most old-school, hard-nosed competitor who will do anything it takes to win. As a Philadelphia native, watching him was similar to watching Brian Dawkins. The guy is a vicious, human highlight reel who would be the best bet as the last line of defense on any football team.
Cornerbacks: Mike Trout, Bryce Harper
Corner backs are big, fast and sometimes rather abrasive. While Trout isn’t much of a bulldog, in terms of over-confidence, he is far too athletic to be left off this roster, and has the speed and strength to be a widow maker in the backfield.
Harper, on the other hand, is a typical corner. He’s jaw-droppingly athletic and has an attitude and the hard-nosed style of play that makes me believe he would put his body on the line every single play. While the postgame interviews with Erin Andrews might turn out to be interesting, to say the least, he is a perfect fit.
Offensive Linemen: Aaron Judge, Pablo Sandoval, Bartolo Colon, Jonathan Broxton
Aside from Judge, athleticism isn’t something that comes in abundance here. Nevertheless, the average weight of these gentlemen is 276.75 pounds. They would certainly be able to make Verlander feel secure as the opposing team begins to blitz.