NBA to NFL Crossover: Nuggets forward Darrell Arthur

The defense never rests for veteran big man
by Aaron Lopez

Darrell Arthur is one of those unique players who can make an impact without ever taking a shot.

He is a disruptive force that would make a defensive coordinator proud.

With the NFL preseason in full swing, we thought it would be interesting to see where Arthur and some of his Denver Nuggets teammates would fit best if they traded their basketball gear for a helmet and shoulder pads.

So far, Kenneth Faried (defensive end), J.J. Hickson (linebacker) and Nate Robinson (cornerback) form the core of the defense. Arron Afflalo (quarterback), Wilson Chandler (tight end), Randy Foye (wide receiver) and Ty Lawson (running back) fill the skill positions on offense. Danilo Gallinari (placekicker) is the weapon on special teams.

Though Arthur has a nice mid-range shot, his overall skills can be put to good use on the defensive side of the ball.

NBA Position: Defensive end/Outside linebacker

On the ball or off the ball, the 6-foot-9, 235-pound Arthur is a cerebral player who has the physical skills to guard multiple positions. His feet are quick enough to stay in front of wing players, and he has enough strength to hold his ground in the low post.

Arthur also is great at reading and defending the pick-and-roll, which would serve him well as he tries to quickly analyze blocking schemes while finding a route to the quarterback.

NFL Counterpart: DeMarcus Ware

After 10 years making life miserable for offensive linemen and quarterbacks while playing for the Dallas Cowboys, Ware is entering his first season with the Denver Broncos.

The 6-4, 258-pound Ware spent his first nine NFL seasons as an outside linebacker before moving to defensive end in 2013. His size, strength and quickness helped him reach 100 sacks faster than anyone other than Reggie White in NFL history.

Only twice in his career has Ware recorded fewer than 11 sacks in a season. The productivity helped him earn seven straight trips to the Pro Bowl and four NFL All-Pro selections.

Final thought:

Arthur went through an adjustment period during his first season with the Nuggets in 2013-14 and chose to return after finding a comfort level in Denver. After being waived by Dallas last spring, Ware is out to prove that he still has plenty of sacks left in the tank.