Ranking the NFL QBs Who Were Drafted Into MLB
Ranking the NFL QBs Who Were Drafted Into MLB
“With the first pick in the NFL draft …” these are words that every young football player wants to hear. This is what the commissioner of the NFL says right before he calls your name to say that you have been selected by a professional football team to play for the greatest football league in the world.
There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the players selected in the NFL drafted are very talented. Many of these players are multi-sport athletes growing up. These players are stars in those sports and if they wanted, they could have had very nice careers in those other sports.
There are players like Jimmy Graham of the New Orleans Saints and Vernon Davis of the San Francisco 49ers that were excellent basketball players in college. Both of these guys could have gone and made a career in the NBA, but they chose football instead.
This week, it has come to the attention of many fans that three of the four quarterbacks remaining in the playoffs were so good at baseball that they were even drafted by MLB teams.
In this list, I have the top 11 quarterbacks that were once drafted to play on the diamond instead of the gridiron. Some of these players may have been better off trying their luck in MLB. Most of the quarterbacks on this list definitely made the right move and played football.
10. Brandon Weeden
In the second round of the 2002 MLB draft, the New York Yankees selected pitcher Brandon Weeden. Weeden never really showed his promise in MLB, going from the Yankees to the Los Angeles Dodgers and then being drafted in the Rule 5 draft by the Kansas City Royals. See Cleveland, Weeden couldn’t turn the Royals around either!
9. Daunte Culpepper
The New York Yankees took a chance on a young outfielder named Daunte Culpepper in the 26th round of the 1995 draft. Culpepper chose not to play for the Yankees and decided to go to University of Central Florida and play football instead. He showed great promise with the Minnesota Vikings early on, but has fallen off of the map in the NFL since.
8. Matt Cassel
I think the “being at the wrong place at the wrong time” label has to go back a long time for Matt Cassel. In 2004, Cassel was selected in the 36th round of the MLB draft to play for the Oakland Athletics. He chose football and has sat on the bench behind quarterbacks like Carson Palmer, Matt Leinhart, Tom Brady and even Christian Ponder. Cassel has had his shot to start for these teams, but nothing ever worked out. If he would have stayed with Oakland, he would probably be a long reliever and not start in baseball either. That would be Matt Cassel’s luck!
7. Jake Locker
It must be nice to be able to go from the 40th round of the MLB draft to the first round of the NFL draft. Many of these players did the same thing and it has worked out for them. So far, the decision that Jake Locker made to play football instead of pitching for the Los Angeles Angels was a good decision. Locker is the guy for the Tennessee Titans now and does not have to put up with the pitching staff they have in Los Angeles.
6. Michael Vick
When Michael Vick was at Virginia Tech, he was a standout college football quarterback that was on his way to the NFL. Well, the Colorado Rockies saw something in his game that made them think that he could play professional baseball. The funny thing is that Vick has not played baseball since the eighth grade -- really taking a shot in the dark there, eh Rockies?
5. Russell Wilson
It is one thing to be drafted by two different professional sports. It is another thing to get drafted by one sport twice and still chose to play in the other sport. Russell Wilson is the starting quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks and has been probably the best draft pick they have had in many seasons. Before he became the solid NFL starting quarterback that he is, he was drafted to play second base for the Baltimore Orioles in 2007 and again by the Colorado Rockies in the fourth round of the 2010 draft. Looks like Pete Carroll wasn’t the only professional coach to see something in Wilson.
4. Colin Kaepernick
When you are 18-years old and can throw a baseball at 90-plus mph, it has to be very tough to turn down a MLB contract to go to college to have a chance to play in the NFL. That is exactly what Colin Kaepernick did to the Chicago Cubs in the 2009 draft. Kaepernick was a standout pitcher in high school and had MLB teams wanting him to pitch very badly. However, Kaepernick wanted to go to college to play football and possibly play in the NFL. This worked out pretty well for Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers. It did not work out so good for the Chicago Cubs.
3. Tom Brady
It is a funny thing that one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time was drafted by the Montreal Expos as a catcher. That is exactly what happened to Tom Brady in 1995. Tom Brady rejected that and decided to go to the University of Michigan and play football. Turns out, Brady made an okay decision to play football. The guy really hasn’t done too bad for himself.
2. Dan Marino
The Kansas City Royals and the Pittsburgh Pirates have had a few things in common over the last few seasons. They have both been teams that struggled to produce consistent MLB teams and they are also connected to one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time, Dan Marino. Marino grew up in Pittsburgh cheering for his home-town Pirates. He was also drafted in the fourth round by the Royals in 1979. Marino’s NFL career turned out to be a Hall-of-Fame one, and the Royals ... well, they have been the Royals.
1. John Elway
The word “defiance” could be used to describe the NFL career of Denver Broncos great John Elway, and it can also be used to describe his attitude towards the NFL at first. He was originally drafted by the then Baltimore Colts. He did not want to play for them and instead said he would hold out and play baseball. In 1981, he was drafted in the second round of the 1981 draft, six spots ahead of future Hall-of-Famer Tony Gwynn. Elway eventually was traded to Denver and the rest, as they say, is history.