Best NFL Players Drafted By MLB Teams

Russell Wilson, Cleveland Indians V Texas Rangers
Russell Wilson, Cleveland Indians V Texas Rangers / Gregg Forwerck/GettyImages

There are a ton of incredible athletic players in the NFL, and given how many of them played other sports in high school, it's not surprising some of them starred in more than one. In fact, a number of current NFL players were selected in the MLB draft at some point during their careers. Here's a look at the best current NFL players who were drafted by MLB teams.

Russell Wilson Baseball

Wilson is a nine-time Pro Bowler, but he was actually selected twice by MLB teams. The Baltimore Orioles took him in the 41st round of the 2007 draft as a high school senior, and the fourth round of the 2010 draft during his final year at N.C. State. He played minor league ball as a second baseman in 2010 and 2011, slashing .229/.354/.356 with five home runs and 26 RBI in 93 games.

The Rockies traded Wilson to the Texas Rangers in 2013 and he went to spring training in 2014 and 2015. Texas traded him to the New York Yankees in 2018 and he had one spring training at-bat. That seemed to end his flirtation with baseball.

Kyler Murray Baseball

In high school, Murray was the first player ever selected to the Under Armour All-America Baseball Game and the Under Armour All-America Football Game. He played two seasons on the baseball team at Oklahoma, and in 2018 he hit .296 with a .398 on-base percentage, 10 home runs, 47 RBIs and 10 stolen bases. The Oakland A's banked on being able to convince Murray to give up football and selected him with the ninth pick in the 2018 MLB Draft. Oakland gave him a $4.66 million signing bonus and agreed to let Murray continue to play quarterback at Oklahoma in 2018. That's when things took a turn.

Murray blew up during his junior season, winning the Heisman Trophy and solidifying himself as a legit NFL prospect. Previously, many scouts thought that at 5-foot-10 he was too small to succeed professionally. The Cardinals took him with the first pick in the 2019 NFL Draft and his baseball playing days were over.

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Tom Brady Baseball

Brady is the greatest quarterback of all-time but many don't know he was actually a heck of a baseball player for Junipero Serra High School in San Mateo, CA. A left-handed hitting catcher with power, Brady's skills attracted the attention of MLB scouts. He wound up being selected by the Montreal Expos in the 18th round of the 1995 MLB Draft. The Expos were serious about adding him, as they offered him far more money than someone taken at his draft slot would typically receive. Brady decided to turn the money down and attend Michigan to play football.

I'd say that decision worked out for him.

Patrick Mahomes Baseball

Mahomes could have followed in his father's footsteps and played baseball if he wanted. He was a starting pitcher with a fastball that sat in the low to mid-90s and a big curveball. He even had a 16-strikeout no-hitter on his resume. Everyone knew Mahomes wanted to play football at Texas Tech, which hurt his draft stock coming out of high school. The Detroit Tigers wound up selecting him in the 37th round of the 2014 MLB Draft. He almost certainly would have gone higher without his commitment to the Red Raiders.

Jameis Winston Baseball

Winston attended Florida State, in part because he would be allowed to play baseball. He was a 15th-round pick by the Texas Rangers out of high school in 2012 but opted to be a two-sport star at FSU. He played two seasons of baseball, and though he only hit .209 in 158 at-bats, he was excellent on the mound. Winston made 41 appearances and boasted an ERA of 1.94, a WHIP of 0.91 and 52 strikeouts in 60.1 innings. He was named a preseason All-American before the 2014 season.

Winston obviously starred on the football team, winning the Heisman Trophy as a redshirt freshman in 2013 and leading the Seminoles to an undefeated regular season in 2014. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected him with the first pick in the 2015 NFL Draft and he was done with baseball.

Shaq Thompson Baseball

Thompson was a multi-talented athlete at Grant Union High School in Sacramento, CA. He was an All-American football player, a track & field star and was good enough to get drafted in baseball. According to MaxPreps (which may or may not be fully accurate), Thompson hit .305 with one home run as a senior. Given his insane athletic prowess, the Boston Red Sox selected him in the 18th round of the 2012 MLB Draft. While he was committed to Washington to play football, he did opt to play rookie ball for the Sox in 2012. It didn't go well.

Thompson played 13 games in the Gulf Coast League and went 0-39 with 37 strikeouts. At that point he opted to end his baseball career. It was a good decision, as he became a first-team All-American in 2014 and the Carolina Panthers selected him with the 25th pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.