Pick Six  


LeBron, Robinson among NBAers who could make leap to NFL


With LeBron James apparently gearing up for a run at the NFL (but to be honest, he would have college eligibility remaining and could probably make more playing at the University of Miami), here are six current NBA players who could make an immediate impact in pro football.

6. Kicker Steve Nash (Chargers)

Nash has all of the qualities that you want from a kicker -- he excelled at soccer and he was born outside of the United States. Nash has shown some fancy footwork in the past, and he could make an excellent replacement for Nate Kaeding. At least the 6-foot-3 Nash would be able to handle opposing kick returners without getting hurt.

Matt York/Associated Press

5. Wide receiver Matt Barnes (Titans)

Barnes was actually a prep All-American at Del Campo High School in Fair Oaks, Calif., and was recruited to play college football before deciding to pursue basketball. There were even whispers that he would give football a try when his NBA career was floundering. At 6-foot-7, he could be a Harold Carmichael-type receiver for the Titans, who could use some help after Kenny Britt was lost for the season.

Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

4. Tight end Dwight Howard (Buccaneers)

Standing 6-foot-11, Howard might be too tall to play in the NFL. But then again, that ample frame might make him an enticing target for Bucs QB Josh Freeman to locate running across the middle. If nothing else, it would be interesting to see him lining up to block field goals and PATs.

Paul Connors/Associated Press

3. Wide receiver Blake Griffin (St. Louis)

Again, 6-foot-10 might be a little too tall for an NFL player, but St. Louis could use some red zone help from Griffin. If nothing else, Griffin would be valuable enough to put out there near the goal line for a quarterback to lob some jump balls to in the end zone. He could grab at least a half dozen touchdowns a year.

Bret Hartman/Associated Press

2. Defensive back Nate Robinson (Steelers)

Robinson has the most impressive NFL credentials of anybody playing in the NBA right now, after playing at the University of Washington. A ball-hawking defensive back, Robinson has threatened to give the NFL a try during the NBA lockout. What's stopping him? Robinson could probably step right into the Steelers' defensive backfield right now and help a unit that is not creating any turnovers.

Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

1. Tight end LeBron James (Cowboys)

Of course, James would be the most intriguing because his size and athleticism would make him a monster tight end for the Cowboys. And not only would Tony Romo have an impressive target to throw to, there would be somebody on the roster who already carries the choker label, keeping that spotlight off the embattled Cowboys quarterback.

David J. Phillip/Associated Pres