Philadelphia 76er Joel Embiid revealed his additional sporting aspirations, stating how his “ball-hawk abilities” would make for a perfect NFL cornerback.
It’s difficult to imagine Joel Embiid doing anything besides dominating downcourt for the Sixers, but truthfully, it’s something that Embiid himself has pondered over.
If Embiid ever did try his hand at American football, the towering 7-foot big man already knows which position he’d play: cornerback.
“I always said that if I played American football that I’d be a cornerback, so I used my ball-hawk abilities.”
Joel Embiid believes he’d make a great NFL cornerback
While height offers an advantage in particular positions such as quarterback and wide receiver, today’s cornerbacks are expected to be shifty as they follow wideouts in their rapidly-changing routes.
There’s no question that Embiid would excel in passes defended, and it’s not unreasonable to imagine that he’d nab a few picks if he played cornerback. The real question is whether or not the seven-foot athlete would be able to keep up with a speedy wide receiver like Tyreek Hill or a quick-cutting route runner like Antonio Brown.
Still, there would certainly be room for Embiid to cover the NFL’s taller, slower receivers: having him block Mike Evans could neutralize the red zone threat that Tom Brady’s deep pass option presents.
If Embiid did play, he would tie the standing NFL record for the tallest player. Richard Sligh stood at seven feet as well, playing only eight games for the Oakland Raiders in the late 1960s.
Others who top the list are Ed “Too Tall” Jones, who was 6-foot-9, and Morris Stroud, who was 6-foot-10.
Stroud was so tall that he was used to swat field goal attempts — and the NFL had to make up a rule just to prevent Stroud’s ability to pull this off.
If Embiid ever did grace the football field, NFL defenses would be able to find a unique place for this renowned basketball ballhawk — although unfortunately, he could never swat away shots the way he does in the NBA.