Jarryd Hayne’s transition to the NFL has many NRL fans wondering if other current NRL players could make the switch. I don’t think any of the playmakers in the NRL could successfully become NFL quarterbacks, but I think some of the bigger NRL players could make it as a running back, punt returner, or in the case of the forwards, a linebacker, end or tackle. Here is a list of 5 NRL players that could don the pads and helmet and join the Hayne Plane. I’ve gone for players who have plenty of time left in their careers due to the time it would take to learn how to play NFL.
Sam Kasiano: At 196cm and 122 kg, Kasiano is one of the biggest players in the NRL and when he tackles someone, they stay tackled. The short, sharp bursts in the NFL would be perfect for Kasiano, as he charges at the opposing quarterback. His best position would be as a middle linebacker, up in the front line of the defence.
Daniel Vidot: Currently without an NRL club, the 105kg outside back has the raw power and strength that would make him a very effective running back. Give him the ball and watch him power through the defence and use his strength to carry defenders with him. I don’t think his catching is all that great, so running back would be his best spot.
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck: RTS will join the New Zealand Warriors in 2016 after lighting up the competition with the Sydney Roosters this year. He possesses amazing footwork, the like which isn’t seen in the NFL, which is more a power running game. He would destroy opposition defences as a kick/punt returner, with plenty of open space to utilise. He doesn’t have the strength or size to make it as a running back, but perhaps, with practice he could make it as a tight end or wide receiver.
Russell Packer: Off-field indiscretions may have stalled his career but the 112kg Packer will resurrect his NRL career with the St George Illawarra Dragons in 2016. Like Kasiano, he would benefit from the stop-start nature of the NFL and would make a great middle linebacker or tackle. Just ask Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs player Jacob Loko how it feels to be on the end of a hit from Packer after he was smashed by Packer earlier this year.
Daniel Tupou: Built for speed and grace across the ground, Tupou is one of the NRL’s best finishers. Standing at 195 cm and weighing in at 99kg, he has the height and power to be an effective tight end or wide receiver where he could use his height to great advantage and take the catch above his head.