Drafting polished football players who fit your scheme over athletes with greater potential is the safest way to build an NFL roster, but there are always those athletes who are so naturally talented they can make teams abandon that approach. There are even those in other sports who can spark debate about whether they could successfully transition to football.
It's hard to say how well Los Angeles Clippers F Blake Griffin would read defenses, run routes and cover up defenders as a blocker if he had played tight end, but it's easy to imagine what else might have happened had he chosen football.
Griffin's frame (6-foot-10, 250 pounds) could allow him to develop into an effective blocker, and he has the burst to separate from coverage and the leaping ability to come down with every jump ball a quarterback would throw his way. Imagine teams trying to defend Griffin in the red zone.
Here are five players from this year's NCAA tournament -- one from each No. 1 seed, plus one from a lower seed -- who figure to play prominent roles and could very well be preparing for the NFL draft right now had they taken a different athletic path, and a 2011 NFL prospect with a similar skill set.
Let's be clear: This is simply a scout having a little fun with the tournament field. We certainly do not expect any of the basketball players below to switch to the gridiron.
Which Big Ten big man could be a good tight end? Who are the Big East guards with intriguing wide receiver skills? How might big guys from the Big 12 and ACC translate? Become an ESPN Insider to find out.