11 NBA Players Who Can Play in the NFL Right Now

Anthony Edwards? LeBron James? Jalen Suggs? We put together a list of current NBA that can play in the NFL and what position they would play.

Two basketball players in action during a game, one from Minnesota team dribbling past an Orlando player
David Berding / Getty Images

Former NBA player Austin Rivers ignited a back-and-forth debate this week when he went on television and said there are plenty of current NBA players that can play in the NFL today. 

"I can take 30 players right now in the NBA and throw them in the NFL," Rivers said on the Pat McAfee Show. "You cannot take 30 NFL players and put them in the NBA.”

Rivers' comment was met with criticism from the NFL world including former players JJ Watt and James Jones, who took it more personal than others. While this is not a new topic being discussed, it certainly jumpstarted a heated discourse online for sports fans this week and made people start analyzing if there were NBA players that could actually play in the NFL today. 

There are plenty of basketball players that were stars in high school football but as we all know, that doesn't guarantee they would cruise through college and eventually make it to the NFL. Rivers wasn't totally off with his statement as we've seen college basketball players like Rico Gathers get drafted without playing a single down in college. NFL teams see the potential of players based off their physical measurements and draft them with the hope they can developed into impact players. Of course, fans have always said LeBron James could play in the NFL with his generational athleticism at his size but who else in the NBA could switch leagues? 

To join the debate, the Complex Sports team put a list together of current NBA players we think could in the NFL. This list is meant to be fun and light-hearted. 

Two basketball players in action during a game, one from Minnesota team dribbling past an Orlando player

Anthony Edwards - Safety, Wide Receiver/TE

I do this man @SportsCenter pic.twitter.com/42Hwkv5ico

— Anthony Edwards (@theantedwards_) June 30, 2022
Twitter: @theantedwards_
Ant Edwards can probably play any position if he really wants to. He has that mentality. As he's always said, he'll do anything you need him to do. Baseball, tennis, lacrosse, or hockey, it doesn't matter. He would be "A1 from day one." It's hard not to believe his words as well. Realistically, you can see him at wide receiver, safety, or at tight end if he bulks up. He still has elite athleticism and would be able to go up and get it with the best of them.

This Anthony Edwards interview will forever be hilarious 🤣🤣🤣🤣 pic.twitter.com/ezkWWW9lJr

— Shannonnn sharpes Burner (PARODY Account) (@shannonsharpeee) August 21, 2023
Twitter: @shannonsharpeee

Zion Williamson - Defensive End, Tight End

An ex-LSU assistant coach said he offered Zion Williamson a football scholarship.

With an arm like this, that's no surprise ... (via @ZionW32) pic.twitter.com/jqDxnNAC9u

— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) November 15, 2018
Twitter: @ESPNCFB

LeBron James - Tight End

A man wearing a Dallas Cowboys cap prepares to throw an American football

LeBron James high school football highlights 🔥

(Via @MoveTheSticks)


— Timeless Sports (@timelesssports_) September 28, 2021
Twitter: @timelesssports_

Who remembers when LeBron faced KD in flag football during the lockout? 🤔😂 pic.twitter.com/gNeej2reft

— Hoops (@HoopMixOnly) May 7, 2024
Twitter: @HoopMixOnly

Jalen Suggs - Quarterback

Basketball players in action on the court during a game, with one in mid-pass and the other defending

View this video on YouTube


Luke Kennard - Quarterback

View this video on YouTube


Aaron Gordon - Tight End

Basketball player mid-air reaching for a slam dunk during a game

Russell Westbrook - Safety

Basketball player resting on the court sideline with towels in front of him

Julius Randle - Defensive End

A basketball player in a New York Knicks uniform dribbles the ball during a game

Kenneth Lofton Jr. - Offensive/Defensive Tackle, Tight End

Two basketball players in action during a game; one defending, the other dribbling the ball

Kenneth Lofton Jr. dropping 42 PTS in his only career start for the Grizzlies.

Won’t be the last time we see him getting buckets in the league. Go well Junior… pic.twitter.com/7zz8GhIWpD

— Steven Adams Stats (@funakistats) December 17, 2023
Twitter: @funakistats

Andre Drummond - Offensive Tackle

Chicago Bulls player in white uniform prepares to shoot a basketball during a game

Victor Wembanyama - Special Teams (Field Goal Block)

Two basketball players mid-air, one blocking a shot, during an indoor professional game

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