Fans and analysts pay close attention to the NFL Draft every year. Many of this year’s top draft prospects have baseball connections. Former players and family members of professional baseball players are all examples. Look at the top NFL Draft candidates with baseball ties.
Baseball is a sport that has a variety of players. Others came from families that have deep roots in soccer, while some dabbled with the game before deciding to make it their career. It is fascinating to see how their experiences at the diamond have influenced their football careers. Everything from their gambling style to their physical attributes, skills and abilities has been shaped.
A former outfielder with good hand-eye coordination, or a base king who is fast can get them a role on the field. This creates a diverse and captivating group of athletes that bring a new perspective to soccer.
It will be fascinating to see who of these baseball players are selected in the NFL Draft. Will teams select them recognize the same versatility and potential as their baseball team? Will they be able to transfer the skills that they developed on the baseball field to the football pitch?
In the days and weeks to come, these questions will be answered as players start their NFL careers. No matter what the outcome, there is no doubt that the connection between football and baseball runs deep. These players are proof of this.
NFL Draft prospects with Baseball ties: Meet players who excelled at two sports
David Durden, WR, West Florida
David Durden is a top Division II prospect in the 2018 draft. Durden, who was drafted in the Red Sox’s 20th round of the 2017 draft and played in the Gulf Coast League Rookie League for one season, is an interesting story. Durden left professional baseball after one season to pursue a college football career.
Jaren Hall, QB, BYU
Jaren Hall spent two seasons playing outfield with the Cougars before turning his attention to football. He ended his Cougars career with more than 6,000 passing yard and 52 touchdowns.
Stetson Bennett, QB, Georgia
Stetson Bennet was the star shortstop at Pierce County High School. Bennett threw the first pitch for the Braves at their home opener in this year. Bennett is the top quarterback prospect for this year’s NFL draft.
Max Duggan is the QB at Texas Christian
Max Duggan was an outfielder for Lewis Central High School. He led the Horned Frogs in the National Championship game last season and was voted second for the Heisman Trophy.
Hunter Luepke FB, North Dakota State
Hunter Luepke, a center fielder who was three-times all-conference in high school. He led NDSU’s FCS National Championship last year, and was named Most Outstanding Player in the National Title Game.
Trey Palmer, WR, Nebraska
Trey Palmer was a varsity baseball player at Kentwood High School. He helped the Kangaroos reach the Class 1A semifinals in their junior year. He is one of the best wide receivers in this year’s NFL draft.
Davis Allen, TE, Clemson
According to Baseball America, Davis Allen used to be a left-handed pitcher at Calhoun High School and a first baseman before he turned his full attention to football. He is one of the best tight ends in this draft.
Ryan Hayes, LT, Michigan
Ryan Hayes, a graduate of Traverse City West High School, was a member of the all-conference team in football, basketball, and baseball. He holds the school records for baseball wins, ERA and strikeouts. Hayes has now become a top prospect for left tackle in the upcoming draft.
Will Levis, Kentucky QB
Will Levis was a letterman in baseball and football for Xavier High School. He is projected to go in the first round of the draft as he is considered one of the best quarterbacks.
Grant DuBose WR, Charlotte
Grant DuBose was a lettered baseball player at Park Crossing High School. He also participated in Baseball Factory showcases. He’s now the top wide receiver in this year’s draft.
Dee Winters (LB, Texas Christian)
Dee Winters was a center fielder who played for Burton High School all four years. In his high school career, Winters had impressive stats: a.401 average, 97 runs, 70 RBIs and 60 stolen base. Winters has emerged as a top prospect for linebackers in the upcoming draft.
Jaxon Njigba (WR, Ohio State)
Jaxon Smith Njigba, the younger brother of Pirates’ outfielder Canaan Njigba. He is a member of the Yankees system. Washington was an outstanding baseball player at Fort Bend Travis High School, before switching to football in college.
Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame
Michael Mayer, hailed as one of this year’s NFL Draft’s most promising tight ends prospects, is a real standout. What makes him special? Aside from his size and athleticism he also comes from a baseball-loving family. You read it correctly. Mayer’s father was a college baseball player at Ohio, and his cousin is Luke Maile of the Cincinnati Reds.
Mayer chose to pursue a career in football despite his strong baseball background. What a journey it’s been! He is a valuable asset for any team who selects him because of his ability to create mismatches during the passing game. Mayer is expected to be a first-round selection in the draft this year.
Travis Dye RB, Southern California
Travis Dye is the highly-respected running back for Southern California Trojans. He comes from a baseball-loving family. His passion for football, however, was so strong that he chose to play it regardless of his family’s baseball roots. He has made himself a name on the field. He has rushed over 1,000 yards in 2021 and scored 11 touchdowns. This solidifies his place as one of this year’s most promising running backs.
Dye’s impressive speed, agility, and ability to evade defenders make him an asset for any team. His exceptional talent and his potential make it no surprise that Dye is expected to be selected in the late rounds.
Parker Washington WR, Penn State
Parker Washington is the dynamic wide receiver from Penn State. He’s a standout at this year’s NFL Draft. Washington, who has a cousin Tyler Tolbert in the Kansas City Royals’ organization, a minor league baseball shortstop, chose football over baseball. It’s a decision that has paid off handsomely!
Washington, who has good size, speed and route-running abilities, is one of the best receiver prospects this year. What sets Washington apart are his strong hands that make him a reliable passing target. He is therefore projected to be chosen in the late to mid rounds. His versatility and playmaking abilities could make him a steal for any team who selects him.