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Friday, May 26, 2006

[Sport] NZ to NFL

Over on Jets Blog they are talking about AFL (Aussie Rules) player Jason Akermanis of the Brisbane Lions. Akermanis was invited to participate in a New York Jets training camp which he turned down. But this has reignited my thoughts on turning rugby players into American footballers.

I thought I could give my very un-professional opinion on some of players in this year’s Super 14 Final and where they could fit into the NFL.


Name: Ma'a Nonu
Position: Midfield back, wing
Date of Birth: 21.05.82
Height: 1.82m
Weight: 102kg

Nonu is known as a line-breaker (9th most in the Super 14 regular-season with 40). He has average hands and I would say he could be a RB/WR. He doesn’t have the blinding speed required to be a top flight receiver but as a third WR option he would easily be a threat. He has the size and frame to be a good “speed” RB and has explosiveness at the line. Poor tackling ability limits his options at linebacker and would need better awareness to be a safety.
Position: RB/WR
Team: Indianapolis Colts [The Edge left, could help fill the gaps]

Name: Chris Masoe
Position: Loose forward
Date of Birth: 15.05.79
Height: 1.83m
Weight: 106kg

Masoe (and playing partner Jerry Collins) would be great as a weak-side linebacker or safety. His size limits him somewhat but his speed and awareness are impressive. He is a solid tackler. He has good hands and could anticipate the pass well. If he were to play at Safety his size would intimidate WRs and match up well against the run. He could be the next Troy Polamalu.
Position: SS
Team:Kansas City Chiefs [Need a solid defensive player]

Name: Jason Eaton
Position: Lock
Date of Birth: 21.08.82
Height: 2.02m
Weight: 107kg

I believe the Jason Eaton would make a great TE. His current size is comparable to other top-end TEs (Randy McMichael, 1.90m, 115kg; Tony Gonzalez, 1.95m, 113kg) he just needs a little more weight. His skills in the lineout show that he can catch well and under pressure (59 lineout takes this season). And his scrimmaging skills show that he could block when needed to as well.
Position: TE
Team: Arizona Cardinals [Two good QBs, good RB, just need a tall TE to complete the picture]


Name: Daniel Carter
Position: Inside Back
Date of Birth: 05.03.82
Height: 1.79m
Weight: 91kg

Dan looks like he could be a WR but I would have him first and foremost as a K/P. Though he has speed and would perhaps be better suited as a special teams player on KR and a second or third tier WR.
Position: K/P/KR/Special Teams
Team: Chicago Bears [Just lost their kicker to New England]

Name: Corey Flynn
Position: Hooker
Date of Birth: 15.01.81
Height: 1.84m
Weight: 108kg

Speed and size are assets for Flynn. He has the classic inverted triangle build and would suit a linebacker role with ease. His scrummaging means you could put him in the O-Line him for gadget plays as well.
Position: ILB
Team: Oakland Raiders [Need a good linebacker badly]

Name: Richard McCaw
Position: Loose Forward
Date of Birth: 31.12.80
Height: 1.87m
Weight: 106kg

See notes on Chris Masoe. Could be the next John Lynch. As a plus he already wears headgear.
Position: SS
Team: Buffalo Bills [Suffering after the loss of Lawyer Malloy to the Falcons]

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