With the NFL playoff races heating up, and with me being done with school for 2009, I felt that this would be a great time to write a top 10. Feeding off my UFC top 10, I feel that video game characters would also do well in a number of other sports, none more prevalent though than football, more specifically, the NFL. Though it is not popular all over the world, football is a fantastic sport, and one that has a great, "brotherhood," feeling (though it is my personal opinion that Rugby is the ultimate, "brotherhood,"sport). Between varying body types (height, weight), or various skills (tackling, jumping), many video game characters are built like real NFL players (at least, in their respective games), and they exude the skills of real NFL players. Focusing on the defense, these characters will be (the majority of them anyway) bruisers, ones that can hit you hard, ones that are big and strong, that if places in the NFL, could do quite well. Seeing as I can only put ten characters (and a team consists of eleven players on the field at once), I will be eliminating either a Defensive Tackle, or an Inside Linebacker (depending on what defensive scheme you prefer), as well as a Safety, and I am including a Punter.

The master of kicks, Liu Kang starts off the list. I know what you're thinking, and no, I'm not that crazy. Liu Kang, the hero of the Mortal Kombat games, is known for his various kicks (flying, bicycle, etc), however as what is seen in his combos, and in films (Robin Shou), Liu Kang is a kicker through and through. Though his kicks are more of the all-out nature as opposed to more of a precision kick, Kang would fit better as a Punter. Though vital statistics do not matter for punters (current Philadephia Eagles punter Saverio Rocca is 6'5, whereas former Dallas Cowboys punter Toby Gowin, is 5'10), Kang stands at 5'10, and weighs 185 pounds. While he is not too big, his size does not matter, as his leg more than makes up for it.

Hayato is second on the list at Safety (be it either at Free Safety or Strong Safety, as he is qualified enough for both). At 6'3, 176 pounds, Hayato is considered a great height at the position (6'3 being among that tallest NFL safeties), however slightly underweight for the position (most safeties top out around 220 pounds, and bottom out around 190 pounds). A physical education teacher, Hayato is in great shape, and is super fast, speed being a very important weapon for a safety. What is not known however, is how good Hayato would be in covering receivers, as he has never had to do anything close to that in a game. When it comes to tackling though, Hayato would be great, as what can be seen from Project Justice, thus making Hayato a safety with a solid skill set.

The fast, quick, shifty Two P is next at the Cornerback position (specifically a, "cover," corner). There are basically two types of Cornerbacks; you have your physical, big hitting, ball hawking corner (guys who hit hard, and create turnovers), and you have what is called a, "cover," corner (guys who cover their man, and do not allow big plays). Two P would be perfect as a cover corner, as his modest size (6'0, 180 pounds) is perfect for the cornerback position. As a cover corner though, you have to be quick, and you have to get on your man (that is, defend your man) as quickly as possible, and Two P does a great job of that in Final Fight, as he can go from one end of the screen, to the other in a matter of seconds, and if your back is turned, he moves even quicker. If you want a video game character to be a cover corner, Two P is your man.

Jacky Bryant is the other Cornerback (specifically, the physical, "ball-hawking," corner) at number seven. Like Two P, Jacky is super fast, and his speed would be a great asset at the Cornerback position. Jacky does not, "cover," his opponents as well as Two-P does, however Jack has much more athletic ability, thus he is able to jump, spin, and create disruption with a reciever. Being a part-time Indy 500 driver, can no doubt aid Jacky's quickness, and his familiarity with North American sports. Furthermore, his frame of 5'11 1/2, and 165 pounds is nearly perfect (slightly underweight) for a Cornerback in the NFL.

Our first Linebacker is Guts, the hero from the Berserk games (and anime). Standing at 6'4, 220 pounds, Guts is slightly underweight, but otherwise a good choice for an outside linebacker spot. He is tall, he is fast, and he is solidly built. Rushing him at a Quarterback would be Gut's best attribute, as he is lightining quick at times. Furthermore, if being pestered too much by offensive linemen, Guts would unleash his, "Berserk," technique, causing him to maul the lineman, and hit the Quarterback (ok, ok, this probably would not happen, I know). In coverage on the other hand, Guts would probably be below par, as he needs his sword or weapons to deal with those who are not in his vicinty (and, of course, weapons are not allowed in the NFL), otherwise, he is a solid choice for a linebacker spot.

Getting hit by a shoulder charge from this brute would hurt indeed, Ax Battler is the middle Linbacker (ILB or MLB) of the list. Though he looks like Conan the Barbarian, Ax Battler has the size and skills of a textbook middle Linebacker, being 5'11, 224 pounds (200 pounds in some places). His infamous shoulder charge would knock running backs off their feet, and since a middle lineback is not required to be in coverage as much as outside linebackers, Ax Battler's value is not diminished (as he would probably be a liability in coverage, as he is not terribly fast). Finally, just taking a look at his fearsome self, all hairy and disheveled (hey, it works for Jared Allen), one would know not to mess with the Battler!

Chris Redfield has always been a big, burly-ish guy throughout the Resident Evil series, however when Resident Evil 5 came out this year, Chris now looked the part of a fearsome NFL Linebacker (all, "Roided-up," as some people call it). Being tough is Chris' MO; he can take more bites from a Zombie than Jill Valentine, he goes into hectic situations alone (or with a certain Alomar who is not necessary), and he has survived numerous fights with Albert Wesker. That being said, his toughness would be welcome in the NFL, and his stature (6'1, 235) would suit him well as an outside Linebacker. As an added bonus, Chris attended (or, we are to assume he attended) an NCAA school (Air Force), with a fairly good football program, thus Chris could have a background in football as well.

Our first Defensive End comes in the form of Leon from the Dead or Alive series of games. While being just a clone (pretty much) of Bayman from the first Dead or Alive game, Leon is much faster and quicker than Bayman, making him an ideal Defensive End. Anatomically though, they are quite different, with Leon being 6'3, 282 pounds (very similar to St. Louis Rams Defensive End, Chris Long), and Bayman being 6'2, 231 pounds (much more suited to a linebacker). Aside from the physical attributes, Leon would do well as a Defensive End due to the nature of the Sambo fighting style he uses (must have good dexterity, and be good with your hands), as hand placement and footwork are essential for a Defensive End.

Virtually identical to Cleveland Browns Defensive Tackle Sean Rogers in size (6'4, 375 pounds), Alexander the Grater comes in as the Defensive Tackle. Thugh a wrestler in the Saturday Night Slam Masters series, his biography states that he used to play football, and rugby as well, thus, having the background for football already, Grater's transition to the NFL would be an easy one. As with Leon, Grater has excellent dexterity, and good footwork, skills essential to member of a defensive line. Apart from these skills, Grater is also quite fast for his size, and has long arms, two attributes that would help him out as a Defensive Tackle.

King tops the list as the second and last Defensive End. As a wrestler (and a damn good one at that), King has many skills required of the Defensive End position (as already stated, footwork, and hand placement), and more than enough size to take on offensive lineman, at 6'7, 286 pounds. King is also quite speedy for his size, and his strength is unsurpassed (if you play him in any game, you will know what I mean). Size-wise, he is very similar to current NFL Defensive End Michael Johnson, though King is not similar in size to the two men he is based on (the Japanese wrestler, Tiger Mask, who quite diminutive in size, and the Mexican wrestler, Fray Tormenta, who is even smaller in size). With all of this going for him, it would not be surprising to see King do well in the NFL.

With the thousands and thousands of video game characters there are out there, many can be used in a sport, or situation, though there are many who seem like a good choice who are lacking in an area (such as Edmond Honda, who is a good size to be a Defensive End, however he is too slow) or have a disadvantage (such as Craig Marduk, who is a good weight, solid build, and a wrestler, however he just too tall to be a Defensive End or Defensive Tackle at 7'2). Also, this list is devoid of any real athletic types, or finesse players, and that can simply be attributed to the fact that the majority of Defensive players in the NFL are not finesse players; they are expected to hit, and hit hard. These ten characters (with exception to Liu Kang) would do that, and thensome, as they would do what we all love to see NFL Defensive players do; hit, force fumbles, and intercept throws. Oh and add a bit of smashmouth to that as well.

List by Truck_1_0_1_ (12/14/2009)

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