NBA to NFL Crossover: Nuggets guard Ty Lawson

Speed, elusiveness compare to Philadelphia running back Darren Sproles
by Aaron Lopez

Accelerating from baseline-to-baseline, he is a Formula One car personified. With superior handling, he has open-court moves that make defenders look silly.

He can stop on a dime and leave 5 cents change.

If Ty Lawson were to take his speed to the NFL, he would be a multipurpose threat who could carry the ball 10 times a game, catch passes out of the backfield and return punts and kickoffs.

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.

With Nate Robinson and Kenneth Faried filling spots on the defensive side of the ball, Lawson seems perfectly suited to provide instant offense.

NBA Position: Running back

At 5-foot-11, 195 pounds, Lawson has a unique combination of speed and strength that allows him to absorb contact and still finish near the rim. Sometimes the contact never comes as Lawson simply beats defenders down the court for easy buckets.

Those skills are fun to watch on a 94-foot court. Imagine what he could do if he operated on a 100-yard field.

NFL Counterpart: Darren Sproles

Standing 5-6, Sproles weighs 190 pounds and he uses his low center of gravity to elude defenders in the open field. Much of his damage is done making catches out of the backfield; since 2007, he leads all NFL running backs in total catches (375), receiving yards (3,371) and touchdown catches (27).

Sproles also is a solid return specialist. In his nine NFL seasons, he has five career return touchdowns – three on kickoffs and two on punts.

Final thought:

After three seasons with the New Orleans Saints, Sproles is preparing for his first year with the Philadelphia Eagles, who run the equivalent of a fast-break offense under former University of Oregon coach Chip Kelly. Lawson will enter his sixth NBA season as the leader of Denver’s uptempo offense. Both should be fun to watch again in 2014-15.