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MLB Draft Picks Turned NFL Studs

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It is not unusual for an MLB team to draft a player who becomes an NFL player. As a matter of fact, a few NFL studs have been drafted by MLB teams. We are not talking Tim Tebow or Johnny Manziel, think bigger, think Super Bowl big, or MVP, or even future, current NFL Hall of Fame big. What MLB draft picks turned NFL studs?

Now before we dive into it, we will get the two dual athletes out of the way. Bo Jackson played both sports debuting in MLB before the NFL. Jackson would be drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 1986.

Deion Sanders was drafted in both respected sports in 1989. As a matter of fact, Sanders was also drafted into the MLB in 1988 by the Kansas City Royals but did not sign. Although Sanders’ football career would end up being much more than his baseball, when asked to chose one or the other throughout his career he would simply put it “Football is like my wife and Baseball is my mistress”. Here are eight MLB draft picks turned into NFL stars.

Jameis Winston

Current New Orleans quarterback and defending NFL passing yards leader, Jameis Winston may not fit the criteria for NFL star, but back in high school, he was one of the top pitchers in the state of Alabama. Football always seemed to be his calling, rightfully so as he won the 2013 Heisman Trophy with the Florida State Seminoles. Although he decided to go to Florida State over schools such as LSU, Ohio State, and even Alabama as Florida State agreed to let the right-handed pitcher play baseball as well.

The highly touted football prospect would be drafted by an MLB team. In 2012, the Texas Rangers selected Winston in the 15th round. He would obviously decline to sign as he was committed to playing football at Florida State come 2013.

Kyler Murray

As fans are aware, the most recent of the MLB draft picks turned NFL stud, the quarterback in Arizona named Kyler Murray. He was also a young stud when it came to baseball as well. The NFL’s number one pick in 2019 was a highly touted MLB prospect ahead of the 2018 MLB draft. Murray would be selected ninth overall by the Oakland Athletics in 2018, he would in fact sign his $4.66 million signing bonus with Athletics and said he would be attending 2019 spring training.

After 2019, he would be awarded the Heisman Trophy and opt to enter the NFL draft. After being selected first overall in that draft, Murray would decide to try his hand in the NFL as opposed to working his way through the minor leagues of baseball. Oakland holds his MLB rights if he ever decides he would like to try his hand at baseball again.

Colin Kaepernick

Yes, that Colin Kaepernick, the man who started kneeling was once regarded as a potential MLB prospect. In high school, the now-former NFL quarterback was widely regarded as a better baseball player than a football player, but when the University of Nevada offered him a football scholarship, he would turn down his many baseball scholarships. In 2009, the Chicago Cubs would take the chance on Kaepernick and draft the future NFL quarterback in the 43rd round.

Kaepernick would not sign and pursued football, where he would go on to compete in a single Super Bowl, then seemingly be “blackballed” from the NFL.

Dan Marino

Miami Dolphins legend Dan Marino was also once selected in the MLB draft. Marino who is regarded as one of the greatest NFL players to never win a Super Bowl, was in fact drafted in the fourth round by none other than the Kansas City Royals in 1979. Marino would go on to have an illustrious NFL career, appearing in nine pro bowls, winning one MVP, and being inducted into the pro football Hall of Fame.

One thing Marino never did though, won a championship, oddly enough if he would have pursued baseball, he may have won a World Series, or a few. The Kansas City Royals would win Three World Series titles from 1980 to 1985.

John Elway

Another NFL legend who may have made a name for themselves in the MLB would be John Elway. The former two-time Super Bowl champion, Super Bowl MVP, and NFL MVP was selected by the Kansas City Royals way back in 1979. Like many other drafts, the Royals used their 18th round pick on a player they virtually had no chance of signing. Most should agree Elway made the right choice chasing his football dreams but leaves many to wonder if he would have made a capable MLB player.

Russell Wilson

Many baseball fans will remember Russell Wilson has attended a couple of years of spring training with the Texas Rangers and New York Yankees. The former Super Bowl Champion quarterback has been drafted by two MLB teams. Wilson was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 41st round of the 2007 draft, although the Orioles offered Wilson the third-largest signing bonus of any draftee in 2007 ($350,000), he would turn it down as he wanted a college education. Fast forward to 2010 the Colorado Rockies would shoot their shot drafting the second base prospect in the fourth round.

Wilson would start in single-A, working his way up the ranks. In January 2012, Wilson would inform the Rockies he would not attend spring training as he wanted to pursue football. Come 2013 the Rangers would select Wilson in the Rule 5 draft. In 2014 and 2015, Wilson would in fact attend spring training. Wilson promised his late Father one day he would wear a Yankees uniform, in 2018 that came to fruition when the Rangers and Yankees agreed to a trade involving the Seattle Seahawks quarterback. The Yankees currently hold Wilson’s MLB rights.

Tom Brady

Arguably the greatest NFL player to lace them up was once a baseball player, only a high school baseball player though. The now Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback was once a power-hitting catcher. Yes, the man football fans have been watching dominate the NFL for a better part of 20-years was a catcher who could hit for power.

In 1995, coming out of high school, the Montreal Expos drafted Brady in the 19th round. Brady at the time not knowing that he would win six Super Bowls, four Super Bowl MVPs, and three NFL MVPs, would opt not to sign and instead attend Michigan in hopes of one day playing in the NFL. This may be the biggest of the MLB draft picks turned NFL stud.

Patrick Mahomes

The quarterback for the defending Super Bowl champions was at one point an MLB draftee. This should come as no surprise if you have ever watched Mahomes on the gridiron, his fancy sidearm throws look like a baseball throw. In 2014, the Detroit Tigers selected Mahomes in the 37th round. As opposed to following in his father’s footsteps, Mahomes would pursue football. Early on in his career, it seems as though that was the right choice.

MLB Draft Picks Turned NFL Studs Thoughts

These are just a few MLB draft picks turned NFL studs. Many of them never did and never will step foot on a professional field to play. They may never see MLB action, but they are able to say that they were drafted by both an NFL and MLB team. What could have been if these MLB draft picks turned NFL studs pursued baseball instead?


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