Imagine showing up to practice in the NFL and it being your first football practice that you attended since middle school. It must feel strange right? Indeed, it will for tight end (or should I say power forward) Rico Gathers. For those of you that do not know Rico Gathers, he is a former Baylor forward who still had a year left of college eligibility however opted to declare for the NFL draft. It seems Rico will, in fact, be making this incredible leap from NCAA basketball to pro football for the 2016 NFL season because he was the No. 217 overall pick by the Dallas Cowboys.
So why would a team take a chance on a guy that hasn’t even played football since middle school is the question everyone is probably asking. The reason is that this guy is an absolute beast. He is 6-8 and 275 pounds, making him an ideal tight end. Furthermore, this is not the first time a basketball player decided to play in the NFL and, more specifically, entered as a tight end. Antonio Gates, Tony Gonzales, and Jimmy Graham are all former basketball players who are very elite tight ends in the NFL. There is no doubt in my mind that Rico Gathers will be successful in the NFL, especially with the benefit of learning from veteran pro bowler Jason Witten.