The San Francisco 49ers visited with an intriguing prospect in Santa Clara on Wednesday. According to the Detroit Free Press, the Niners visited with British Olympic discus thrower, Lawrence Okoye. Okoye is an interesting prospect because he has all the measurables to be a football player — he’s 6-6, 304-pounds, and runs a 4.78 forty — the only problem is…he’s never played football.
The 49ers are in a position to take a late round flyer on a prospect with huge upside because they have the most picks in the upcoming NFL Draft (13), and Okoye seems to have a lot of potential since he’s never played the game. The Niners love to develop players as well, with a great coaching staff that includes defensive line coach Jim Tomsula, the Niners could find a diamond in the rough at a position of need.
Some really good players have developed from never playing the game of American football before including San Diego Chargers‘ TE Antonio Gates. Which got me thinking; what other sports could the 49ers dip into to find a hidden gem?
Cricket: Now, I don’t know the rules of Cricket or if people/teams can actually win at Cricket, but I also see highlights on television and I know a few things. 1) I could totally play this game. 2) I could dominate at this game. If they happen to have an all-star team, I’m sure they’d choose me. Also, you need really good concentration. They use a big piece of wood, presumably, a bat and the fielders have no gloves. So, why not recruit someone to be a wide receiver? They have great eye-hand coordination and have developed their hands from years of playing the intricate sport of Cricket.
Curling: This is one of my favorite Olympic sports and the great thing is the 49ers already have an in. Vernon Davis was elected an honorary captain for the Olympic Curling team. If he can’t recruit their top person, then no one can. Curling seems to take a lot of patience and some really good cleaning/sweeping skills. I’m sure one of those guys can play running back and wait for a hole to develop and hit said hole like they are throwing the “stone” for the gold medal. Worse comes to worst, if he can’t play RB then they have a great guy to clean the locker room after the game.
Sumo Wrestling: If you’ve seen the underrated movie, “The Replacements” starring Gene Hackman and Keanu Reeves, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. Take one of those big fatties and insert him immediately on the offensive or defensive lines and watch him push back these puny (in relative terms) players. Plus, he’d be fun entertainment for birthday parties and other random get-togethers that the players will go to. So, he’s definitely a good locker room guy.
What I’m really trying to say is that I love that the Niners are looking into different avenues to find the next great sleeper in the draft. Also, I really want to try Cricket and become an international sensation, the likes that no other Cricket player has ever seen!