College basketball stars that would translate to the NFL


Last year we saw Baylor Basketball’s Rico Gathers get drafted in the sixth round by the Dallas Cowboys. Gathers is currently on the Cowboys practice squad but there is talk he could make his way onto the final 53 man roster when it’s all said and done.

Gathers isn’t the only basketball player that’s skills translated to the Gridiron: Jimmy Graham, Vincent Jackson, Antonio Gates, Julius Peppers, Julius Thomas and Quinten Rollins all played college basketball before being drafted into the NFL.

So who would be the best candidates from this years college basketball field to hear their name called in Philadelphia? Here are three names that would get NFL scouts salivating if they decided to ditch their sneakers for cleats.

Josh Jackson – Small Forward – University of Kansas – 6’8 – 212 lbs.

Jackson has taken the NCAA by storm as a freshman. The small forward is a lock for a top seven pick in the upcoming NBA draft and a lot of that is due to his athleticism.

Jackson possesses tremendous height and length with a 6’10 wingspan and a vert that would make Jimmy Graham blush. Jackson is a fierce competitor and a human highlight reel at Kansas. His footwork, speed, and vertical would make him one of the most intriguing guys at the NFL combine.

Known for high-flying dunks and his tenacity as a competitor, Jackson would fit right in as a tight end/receiver on an NFL roster. A player like Jackson could be molded, the NFL isn’t used to seeing such long and rangy athletes that possess so much speed and balance. If he could pack on a little muscle, Jackson has the traits that would make for a great football player.

De’Aaron Fox – Point Guard – University of Kentucky – 6’3 – 180 lbs.

Fox is a shifty and elusive basketball player. As a focal point of the notorious Kentucky Wildcats, Fox makes his money in his elite speed and vision. His elusiveness and shiftiness allow him to create space and make plays on the court.

However Fox’s traits include more than good speed, Fox has a 38.5 inch vertical and has been measured with a wingspan of 6’7. Fox is just waiting to be molded into an elite wide receiver. He has the mental toughness, the quickness, the vision, and the vertical to be a deadly playmaker on the outside.

A lot of basketball players turned football players turn into receivers or tight ends because of their natural athleticism and intangibles.

Fox could be molded into a defensive back or offensive weapon, but with his playmaking ability, it would be fun to see Fox scamper around with a football in his hands.

Luke Kennard – Shooting Guard – Duke University – 6’5 – 183 lbs.

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Kennard is the only name on this list with prior high-school football experience. Kennard is a lefty with a sweet shooting stroke and a true scoring mindset. His killer instinct and competitiveness has allowed him to become a leader in Durham for one of the most prestigious college basketball programs in the nation

Kennard is extremely smart, he has great footwork, and shows excellent balance when he plays in Cameron Indoor. The Sophomore took on a much larger role at Duke this year. Leading the team in scoring and being the go-to-guy late in games. Kennard’s coached by one of the best coaches in history regardless of sport and the mental toughness he has built would be great for the quarterback position.

Kennard was more than just a prolific scorer at Franklin High School in Ohio. He was also drawing serious interest as a quarterback at Franklin, even being contacted by the University of Michigan.

In 2013 Kennard threw for 2,331 yards and 26 touchdowns at Franklin High school and was awarded the Ohio Division II Offensive Player of the year. The lefty showed off good mobility and flashed some pinpoint accuracy in his limited tape.

In what is a questionable year for quarterbacks, Kennard has the intangibles and traits that would’ve made him a commodity on teams draft boards.