NBA to NFL Crossover: Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried

Manimal built to make things miserable for quarterbacks
by Aaron Lopez

Nicknamed the Manimal, it’s easy to envision Kenneth Faried in pursuit as quarterbacks scurry for safety.

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

While we pegged former college cornerback Nate Robinson as a defensive back, imagine his 6-foot-8 teammate Faried terrorizing offensive linemen with his size and speed as a third-down blitz specialist.

NFL Position: Defensive end

Faried is one of fastest power forwards in the NBA from rim-to-rim, and his non-stop effort and energy would translate perfectly to the gridiron.

At 6-8, 230 pounds, Faried has the armspan to deflect passes at the line of scrimmage and the speed to elude blockers en route to the quarterback. He rarely takes a play off, and quarterbacks would never be able to exhale when he enters the game.

NFL Counterpart: Jason Pierre-Paul

Like Faried, Pierre-Paul is a former first-round draft pick who thrives on his strength and speed with the New York Giants.

After dealing with back and shoulder injuries last season, Pierre-Paul saw his production drop considerably from 2011 and 2012. Healthy again, the 6-foot-5, 280-pound pass rusher already is talking about chasing Michael Strahan’s NFL sack record (22.5).

Final thought:

Faried is a longtime Giants fan who grew up in Newark, N.J. He celebrated when Pierre-Paul recorded 16.5 sacks in 2011 and helped New York beat the New England Patriots the Super Bow that season. Comparing Faried to anyone who doesn’t play for the Giants is not an option.