Pick Six  

 

Can Jeff Demps match these NFL legends?


This has been a big week with sprinters and the NFL. Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson -- among others -- said he could beat Usain Bolt in a race. Now former Florida Gator Jeff Demps hopes to play in the NFL this season.

Before we're too quick to dismiss Demps, please note there have been a number of world-class sprinters who have successfully made the transition from the track to the league. In fact, here are the six best success stories in NFL history.

And without further ado ...

  • Ron Brown

    Brown was a gold medal winner on the U.S. 4 x 100m relay at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles before he made the move down the road to play with the Los Angeles Rams a year later. Brown made his first and only Pro Bowl during his rookie season in 1985 as a kick returner, but Rams fans will always lament the touchdown pass he dropped from Dieter Brock in the 1985 NFC Championship Game.

  • James Jett

    Jett won the gold medal in the 4 x 100m relay at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona and then started a career with the Los Angeles Raiders. Jett had arguably his best season in 1997, hauling in 46 passes for 804 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns. Jett also scored the Raiders' only touchdown in the famed "Tuck Rule" game.

  • Willie Gault

    Gault was an accomplished sprinter and a member of the 1980 Olympic team that boycotted the games in Moscow. Gault was a member of the 1985 Chicago Bears squad which won Super Bowl XX. And you could probably, without looking, recite his line from the Bears' "Super Bowl Shuffle" video.

  • Michael Bates

    Bates was a bronze medalist in the 200m at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. He then became one of the most feared kick returners in NFL history, and was selected to five Pro Bowls during his career with the Seattle Seahawks, Cleveland Browns, Carolina Panthers, Washington Redskins, Dallas Cowboys and New York Jets.

  • Darrell Green

    I hesitated to add Green to the list because he didn't have any Olympic credentials, but he routinely defeated those Olympians during the NFL's Fastest Man competitions in the 1980s and certainly wasn't shy about saying how fast he was during a recent visit to the Dave Dameshek Football Program. So he's No. 2.

  • Bob Hayes

    Bullet Bob won gold medals in the 100m and 4 x 100m relay at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo. Hayes was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the seventh round of the 1964 NFL Draft. He changed the face of the NFL with his ability to stretch the field with his speed and was selected to three Pro Bowls. He received the NFL's highest honor when he was selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009.

 

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