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Five Red Sox of Yesterday and Today Who Could Have Made an NFL Team

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COMMENTARY | Though not uncommon for athletes to play multiple sports while they're younger, playing both baseball and football at a high level is almost unheard of.

The Chicago Cubs' Jeff Samardzija is one example of a footballer turned baseballer achieving success. It's rare to see the transition head in the other direction.

Nevertheless, here are five Boston Red Sox players that I would draft to my team:

Round 1: Roger Clemens, Quarterback

Clemens is arguably the greatest pitcher in the history of the club, so what better player to stick under center than one who has already proved his arm strength? At his size, he wouldn't outrun anybody but should be able to get the ball 50 yards downfield without a problem. His seven Cy Youngs indicate an exceptional degree of accuracy -- something every team covets -- so fitting the ball in a tight window wouldn't be a problem. And what NFL fan doesn't want his quarterback nicknamed "The Rocket"?

NFL Comparison: Matt Ryan

Round 2: Carl Yastrzemski, Wide Receiver

With 168 stolen bases in his career and the most doubles in Red Sox history, Yaz had a near-perfect combination of speed with a little bit of size to be one of the better wide receivers in the NFL. A seven-time Gold Glove winner in left field, Yaz was used to reading the ball from a distance and chasing it down for the out. He averaged just under four errors per season in the outfield, so there would be little concern about a crucial drop on a game-winning drive.

NFL Comparison: Reggie Wayne

Round 3: Jacoby Ellsbury, Defensive Back/Kick Returner

A talented defensive back in high school, Ellsbury was actually recruited to play at a high level in college as a kick returner. He possesses the size, speed and even experience to be an effective defensive back. As an outfielder, his leaping ability would come in handy if he had to swat away a deep ball.

NFL Comparison: Patrick Peterson

Round 4: Ted Williams, Middle Linebacker

Though not huge or exceptionally fast -- but having fought in two different wars -- Williams would provide the mean streak that any coach wants in a middle linebacker. His hitting prowess would carry over in his ability to dissect a play and react efficiently. An obsessive student of hitting and breaking down the strike zone would make him a valuable asset in the film room.

NFL Comparison: Ray Lewis

Round 5: Mo Vaughn, Running Back

During his 1995 AL MVP season, Vaughn displayed a bit of hustle in garnering 11 stolen bases. The hidden athleticism in a guy his size would make him a great fit for a bruising back. Vaughn -- known for intimidating pitchers and crowding the plate -- would take any linebacker head on without fear, giving "Beast Mode" a new meaning on 4th and goal.

NFL Comparison: Marshawn Lynch

Undrafted Free Agent: Nomar Garciaparra, Kicker

Nomar almost made his collegiate debut as a kicker, but scholarship issues kept him off the field. Still, he used to routinely hit 50-yarders in practice, something many NCAA kickers struggle with.

Andrew Luistro has been following the Boston Red Sox for over 20 years.

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