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Published: June 3, 2015 at 10:50 a.m.

15 for '15: NFL players who would make for good CFB coaches

» Complete 15 for '15 series

CFB 24/7 continues its "15 for '15" series with a look at current NFL players who would be able to make the transition into coaching at the college level.

15 Photos Total

  • The offensive lineman seems perfect for the role of college coach. He not only knows the game well based on his play in the trenches, but his easy-going nature should translate perfectly if he were to grab a clipboard and don coaching gear. He's not afraid to make fun of himself (a key trait for many coaches) and his humor should work well with 18- to 24-year-olds. 15

    Scott Boehm/Associated Press

    15. Nick Mangold, C, New York Jets

    The offensive lineman seems perfect for the role of college coach. He not only knows the game well based on his play in the trenches, but his easy-going nature should translate perfectly if he were to grab a clipboard and don coaching gear. He's not afraid to make fun of himself (a key trait for many coaches) and his humor should work well with 18- to 24-year-olds.

  • Johnson isn't the most vocal player, but he has an aura of confidence and years of experience playing at the highest level possible. He has great name recognition in talent hot-beds (Miami and Houston), and also would bring plenty of knowledge when it comes to the intricacies of playing wide receiver and the modern offensive game. 14

    Zach Bolinger/Associated Press

    14. Andre Johnson, WR, Indianapolis Colts

    Johnson isn't the most vocal player, but he has an aura of confidence and years of experience playing at the highest level possible. He has great name recognition in talent hot-beds (Miami and Houston), and also would bring plenty of knowledge when it comes to the intricacies of playing wide receiver and the modern offensive game.

  • Sherman is one of the game's biggest personalities, but there's much more to him than <a href="http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-films-sound-efx/0ap2000000285239/Sound-FX-Richard-Sherman" target="new">simple soundbites</a>. A coach has to have some swagger, and the cornerback brings that, as well as one of the brightest minds at his position. 13

    Aaron M. Sprecher/NFL

    13. Richard Sherman, CB, Seattle Seahawks

    Sherman is one of the game's biggest personalities, but there's much more to him than simple soundbites. A coach has to have some swagger, and the cornerback brings that, as well as one of the brightest minds at his position.

  • Smith has the credentials as a former No. 1 overall pick who went on to a long NFL career. As one of the smartest quarterbacks in the league, he should have the Xs and Os covered. He's also one of the more down to earth and relatable stars you'll find -- two qualities that would come in handy when coaching a college program. 12

    Tom Puskar/Associated Press

    12. Alex Smith, QB, Kansas City Chiefs

    Smith has the credentials as a former No. 1 overall pick who went on to a long NFL career. As one of the smartest quarterbacks in the league, he should have the Xs and Os covered. He's also one of the more down to earth and relatable stars you'll find -- two qualities that would come in handy when coaching a college program.

  • It seems like Brees would be a perfect fit as a statesman head coach who balances smart game planning and good recruiting with the ability to woo donors to build a big new football facility. Plus, we know <a href="http://www.nfl.com/videos/new-orleans-saints/0ap2000000102827/Drew-Brees-gets-hyped-up" target="new">he's a great motivator</a>. 11

    Aaron M. Sprecher/NFL

    11. Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints

    It seems like Brees would be a perfect fit as a statesman head coach who balances smart game planning and good recruiting with the ability to woo donors to build a big new football facility. Plus, we know he's a great motivator.

  • The tackling machine is already known for being a cerebral and instinctive player, two traits that could instantly make him a great college coach on the defensive side of the ball. Not only could he be a top-flight teacher, but his competitive nature would drive him to success. 10

    Kevin Terrell/Associated Press

    10. Luke Kuechly, LB, Carolina Panthers

    The tackling machine is already known for being a cerebral and instinctive player, two traits that could instantly make him a great college coach on the defensive side of the ball. Not only could he be a top-flight teacher, but his competitive nature would drive him to success.

  • Winston's effusive personality might not be universally appreciated, but he's been well-liked by nearly every teammate and coach he's been associated with, and that's something he could continue to use as an asset as a coach. <a href="http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000472988/article/steve-mariucci-jameis-winston-most-astute-xs-and-os-guy" target="new">He's a sharp football mind</a> who understands the game and certainly knows a thing or two about navigating off-the-field issues. 9

    Cliff Welch/Associated Press

    9. Jameis Winston, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    Winston's effusive personality might not be universally appreciated, but he's been well-liked by nearly every teammate and coach he's been associated with, and that's something he could continue to use as an asset as a coach. He's a sharp football mind who understands the game and certainly knows a thing or two about navigating off-the-field issues.

  • The big-play machine would enter a college program with sterling credentials as an NFL veteran and he's the only defensive player to win the Heisman Trophy (beating out Peyton Manning to boot). With that background, he should be able to find success in the coaching game. 8

    Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    8. Charles Woodson, DB, Oakland Raiders

    The big-play machine would enter a college program with sterling credentials as an NFL veteran and he's the only defensive player to win the Heisman Trophy (beating out Peyton Manning to boot). With that background, he should be able to find success in the coaching game.

  • Fitzgerald is a top talent, and also one of the game's most thoughtful players. He can connect with people on multiple levels, and understands the game remarkably well. His memory is super-sharp and he knows much more than football -- a key attribute sometimes overlooked for college coaches, who have to deal with a variety of issues. Those qualities would make for a top-notch recruiter as well as a quality coach. 7

    Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

    7. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals

    Fitzgerald is a top talent, and also one of the game's most thoughtful players. He can connect with people on multiple levels, and understands the game remarkably well. His memory is super-sharp and he knows much more than football -- a key attribute sometimes overlooked for college coaches, who have to deal with a variety of issues. Those qualities would make for a top-notch recruiter as well as a quality coach.

  • Coaching might be Tebow's most productive career path after his playing career concludes. He's one of the best players in college football history and his motivational techniques are second to none. Plus, few might enjoy shaping the lives of young men as a college football coach more than Tebow. 6

    Matt Rourke/Associated Press

    6. Tim Tebow, QB, Philadelphia Eagles

    Coaching might be Tebow's most productive career path after his playing career concludes. He's one of the best players in college football history and his motivational techniques are second to none. Plus, few might enjoy shaping the lives of young men as a college football coach more than Tebow.

  • Chancellor was a quarterback in high school and used knowledge gained from that experience as he became one of the best safeties in the league after an overlooked career at Virginia Tech. Although he's known mostly for his tough play and big hits, he's a smart player who checks off a laundry list of boxes you want to have as a coach. Teammates like Earl Thomas could also easily fill this spot, but Chancellor's personality as the big brother of the "Legion of Boom" might be best suited to coaching. 5

    Aaron M. Sprecher/NFL

    5. Kam Chancellor, S, Seattle Seahawks

    Chancellor was a quarterback in high school and used knowledge gained from that experience as he became one of the best safeties in the league after an overlooked career at Virginia Tech. Although he's known mostly for his tough play and big hits, he's a smart player who checks off a laundry list of boxes you want to have as a coach. Teammates like Earl Thomas could also easily fill this spot, but Chancellor's personality as the big brother of the "Legion of Boom" might be best suited to coaching.

  • Few take the game as seriously as Watt, who has succeeded in dedicating himself to becoming the best at his craft. One figures he'll want to stay connected to the game after his playing days are over and coaching seems like a natural avenue. He probably could give a great speech to fire up his players and come up with a good game plan, too. 4

    David J. Phillip/Associated Press

    4. J.J. Watt, DE, Houston Texans

    Few take the game as seriously as Watt, who has succeeded in dedicating himself to becoming the best at his craft. One figures he'll want to stay connected to the game after his playing days are over and coaching seems like a natural avenue. He probably could give a great speech to fire up his players and come up with a good game plan, too.

  • Chances are Brady could recruit just about anybody to a college football program. Plus, he has plenty of experience navigating controversy and adversity. He's one of the most cerebral QBs in the game, too. We don't know if he would want the job, but Brady certainly has the look of a future Michigan head coach. 3

    Perry Knotts/NFL

    3. Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots

    Chances are Brady could recruit just about anybody to a college football program. Plus, he has plenty of experience navigating controversy and adversity. He's one of the most cerebral QBs in the game, too. We don't know if he would want the job, but Brady certainly has the look of a future Michigan head coach.

  • Wilson is in many very similar to his energetic head coach, Pete Carroll. It will be years before Wilson even needs to start thinking about what he'll do after his playing days conclude, but he already checks off plenty of boxes as a charismatic player on and off the field and a smart Xs and Os guy. His history of overcoming doubters would probably serve him well as a coach, too. 2

    Ric Tapia/NFL

    2. Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks

    Wilson is in many very similar to his energetic head coach, Pete Carroll. It will be years before Wilson even needs to start thinking about what he'll do after his playing days conclude, but he already checks off plenty of boxes as a charismatic player on and off the field and a smart Xs and Os guy. His history of overcoming doubters would probably serve him well as a coach, too.

  • Manning is an obvious choice for the top spot given how detail-oriented he has been throughout his career. While everybody concentrates on Manning's intelligence, his fiery nature as a competitor and good sense of humor would also be assets in connecting with and motivating younger players. Tennessee fans probably wouldn't mind if he were named the head coach of the Vols as soon as he retires from the NFL. 1

    Jack Dempsey/Associated Press

    1. Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos

    Manning is an obvious choice for the top spot given how detail-oriented he has been throughout his career. While everybody concentrates on Manning's intelligence, his fiery nature as a competitor and good sense of humor would also be assets in connecting with and motivating younger players. Tennessee fans probably wouldn't mind if he were named the head coach of the Vols as soon as he retires from the NFL.