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Fielding a Basketball Team with Current NFL Players

Updated: Oct 7, 2021

March Madness is over, and the NBA playfoffs are right around the corner. We're standing in a gym with roughly all active 1,800 NFL players, and TRO gets first dibs to field a starting five. Here's who's getting taken to play which position and why.

via iStockphoto

CENTER: Calais Campbell, DE, Baltimore Ravens

via NFL

Standing at 6' 8" and listed at 300 lbs, Calais Campbell is an absolute force. He's a no brainer for the center position where he would roam the paint - blocking shots, collecting boards, and stacking up bodies. His footwork as a star defensive lineman would contribute to his post moves down low. It also helps that when he was in high school in Colorado, in addition to playing football, he averaged 22.7 points and 16 rebounds and 3.3 per game on the basketball court for South High School.

Imagine taking a screen from Campbell. It probably does not feel much better than getting sacked by him. He is simply a large man who does not let 300+ pound offensive linemen stand in his way. I don't see him having difficulty backing many guys down in the paint to get to the rack.

POWER FORWARD: Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs

via Bleacher Report

Sure, Travis Kelce look like Memphis Grizzlies center Jonas Valanciunas, but that's not why he's been chosen as the starting power forward for TRO's basketball squad, or at least not the only reason.

We all know the history of tight ends having notable college basketball careers. Tony Gonzalez, Antonio Gates, and Jimmy Graham. Sure, Jimmy Graham is still in the league and could have been the choice here, but Kelce has the kind of flair needed for this roster.

At 6' 5'' and 260 lbs, Kelce has the size and strength to be a stretch four. As one of the best pass-catching tight ends the league has seen, Kelce has the speed and agility to cut to the hoop and throw down lobs. Kelce was a three-sport athlete in high school: football, baseball, and basketball. He's stated that he's always wanted to play 10 days in the NBA, and that kind attitude goes a long way.

SMALL FORWARD: Nick Foles, QB, Chicago Bears

via NY Times

If you haven't heard, Nick Foles is a HOOPER. Yes, the same guy that reminds us of Napoleon Dynamite. At West Lake High School, Foles played both basketball and football.

Not only did Foles play basketball, but he was reportedly recruited by notable programs such as Georgetown and Gonzaga. Stories from his teammates at charity basketball tournaments almost sound like urban legends. He's 6' 6'' and 243 lbs. Teammates have described him as a wing player capable of draining threes, crossing up defenders, or slashing to the rim to flush down cool dunks.

Foles's size and versatility makes him the perfect fit for the small forward position.

SHOOTING GUARD: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Tennessee Titans

via Dude Perfect

This one's a bit of a gamble, but great teams aren't built without rolling the dice a little bit. Ryan Tannehill played basketball in high school, along with football, and he ran track and field. However, his high school basketball career did not turn many heads. What really drew the attention of TRO was a YouTube video he filmed with Dude Perfect in 2013.

In the video, Tannehill seemed to fit right in with the Dude Perfect crew, draining trick shots with footballs, basketballs, frisbees, golf balls, soccer balls, you name it. He even sunk a long basketball shot with a fishing rod. Pair that with his silky-smooth athleticism as a mobile quarterback who played wide receiver in college and defensive back in high school, on top of being a quarterback. This kind of focus and consistency lands Tannehill at the two-guard spot where he can post up on the three point line, catch and shoot, or attack the basket off of a clean pump fake.

POINT GUARD: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys

via Andrew Jansen /

Ezekiel Elliott produced quite the athletic career at John Burroughs School outside of St. Louis, Missouri. He obviously played football, but he also dominated for the school's basketball team, played baseball, and was one of the school's best track athletes.

At 6' 0'' and 225 lbs, Elliott has the stocky frame and explosiveness to put his head down and attack the rim. As an NFL running back, he is no stranger to having the ball in his hands, and if you look at his high school basketball tapes, Elliott thrived at using his burst to blow past perimeter defenders and quickly strike the lane for an easy dunk or layup. If the lane clogs up, Zeke could rack up assists by kicking the ball out to any of the other four guys mentioned above.

Here's a final look at TRO's starting five:

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