Which NFL draft prospects in 2023 have ties with baseball?

From baseball families to football stars meet the NFL draft prospects who followed a different path.

Which NFL draft prospects in 2023 have ties with baseball?

NFL Draft (Image via chartsports )

The NFL Draft is an annual event that attracts much attention from fans and analysts alike. In this year’s draft, many of the top prospects have connections to baseball. These connections range from former players to family members who played professional baseball. Take a closer look at some of the top NFL Draft prospects with baseball ties.

The players in query have a wide range of backgrounds in relation to baseball. Some dabbled in the game earlier than finding out to pursue soccer as a career, while others come from families with deep roots in the sport. It’s exciting to take a look at how their time spent at the diamond has impacted their football careers, shaping the whole lot from their gambling fashion to their physical attributes and skills.

For example, a former outfielder’s hand-eye coordination or a stolen base king’s speed can deliver them a part on the sphere. All of this adds as much as a captivating and numerous group of athletes who convey a sparkling angle to soccer.

As the NFL Draft continues, it will be interesting to see which of these baseball-connected players hear their names called. Will the teams that select them see the same potential and versatility as their baseball teams? Can they translate the skills they learned on the diamond to the football field?

These questions will be answered in the coming days and months as these players begin their NFL careers. Regardless of the outcomes, one thing is for sure – the connections between baseball and football run deep, and these players are a testament to that.

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David Durden, WR, West Florida

David Durden
David Durden ( Image via On3 )

David Durden is one of the top Division II prospects in this year’s draft class. Interestingly, Durden was drafted by the Red Sox in the 20th round in 2017 and played one season in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League. After one season, he left professional baseball to pursue a career in college football.

Jaren Hall, QB, BYU

Jaren Hall
Jaren Hall ( Image via Rams Wire – USA Today )

Jaren Hall played outfield for the Cougars for two seasons before focusing on his football career. He finished his career with over 6,000 passing yards and 52 touchdowns for the Cougars.

Stetson Bennett, QB, Georgia

Stetson Bennett
Stetson Bennett ( Image via Sports Illustrated )

Stetson Bennett was a star shortstop and leadoff hitter at Pierce County High School. He even threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Braves’ home opener this year. Bennett is now a top quarterback prospect in this year’s draft.

Max Duggan, QB, Texas Christian

Max Duggan
Max Duggan ( Image via Penn Live )

Max Duggan played varsity baseball at Lewis Central High School as an outfielder. Last season, he led the Horned Frogs to the national championship game and finished second in Heisman Trophy voting.

Hunter Luepke, FB, North Dakota State

Hunter Luepke
Hunter Luepke ( Image via From Big Blue View )

Hunter Luepke was a three-time all-conference center fielder in high school. He led NDSU to the FCS national championship last year and was named the Most Outstanding Player of the national title game.

Trey Palmer, WR, Nebraska

nebraska wr trey palmer 1
Trey Palmer ( Image via Sports Illustrated )

Trey Palmer played varsity baseball at Kentwood High School and helped lead the Kangaroos to the Class 1A state semifinals as a junior. He is now one of the top wide receiver prospects in this year’s draft.

Davis Allen, TE, Clemson

Davis Allen
Davis Allen ( Image via On3 )

According to Baseball America, Davis Allen was a star left-handed pitcher and first baseman at Calhoun High School before turning his attention to football full-time. He is now one of the top tight ends in the draft.

Ryan Hayes, LT, Michigan

Ryan Hayes
Ryan Hayes ( Image via Courier-Journal )

Ryan Hayes was an all-conference selection in baseball, football, and basketball at Traverse City West High School. He still holds the school record for wins, ERA, and strikeouts in baseball. Hayes is now a top left tackle prospect in this year’s draft.

Will Levis, QB, Kentucky

Will Levis
Will Levis ( Image via Courier-Journal )

Will Levis lettered in both baseball and football at Xavier High School. He is one of the top quarterbacks in the draft and is projected to be selected in the first round.

Grant DuBose, WR, Charlotte

Grant DuBose
Grant DuBose ( Image via Sports Illustrated )

Grant DuBose lettered in baseball at Park Crossing High School and participated in Baseball Factory showcases. He is now a top wide receiver prospect in this year’s draft.

Dee Winters, LB, Texas Christian

Dee Winters
Dee Winters ( Image via From Big Blue View )

Dee Winters played all four years on varsity as a standout center fielder at Burton High School. He had impressive stats, hitting .401 with 97 runs scored, 70 RBIs, and 60 stolen bases in his prep career. Winters is now a top linebacker prospect in this year’s draft.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State

Jaxon Smith-Njigba
Jaxon Smith-Njigba ( Image via NBC Sports )

Jaxon Smith-Njigba is the younger brother of Pirates outfielder Canaan Smith-Njigba. He is one in the Yankees’ system. Washington was a standout baseball player at Fort Bend Travis High School before focusing on football in college.

Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame

Michael Mayer
Michael Mayer ( Image via On3 )

Heralded as one of the most promising tight end prospects, Michael Mayer is a true standout in this year’s NFL draft. What sets him apart? Well, apart from his impressive size and athleticism, he comes from a family steeped in baseball tradition. Yes, you read that right. Mayer’s cousin is none other than Cincinnati Reds catcher Luke Maile, and his father played college baseball at Ohio.

Despite such a strong baseball pedigree, Mayer decided to forge his own path in the world of football. And what a path it has been! His ability to create mismatches in the passing game is unparalleled, making him a hot commodity for any team that selects him. So, expect Mayer to be one of the first-round picks in this year’s draft.

Travis Dye, RB, Southern California

Travis Dye
Travis Dye ( Image via Rams Wire – USA Today )

Travis Dye, the highly coveted running back of Southern California Trojans, hails from a family with a strong baseball background. However, his passion for football was so intense that he decided to pursue it despite his family’s roots in another sport. And he has certainly made a name for himself on the field! In 2021 alone, he rushed for over 1,000 yards and scored 11 touchdowns, solidifying his position as one of the most promising running back prospects in this year’s NFL draft.

With his impressive speed, agility and knack for evading defenders, Dye is an invaluable asset to any team’s backfield. It comes as no surprise that he is projected to be drafted in the mid-to-late rounds given his exceptional talent and potential.

Parker Washington, WR, Penn State

Parker Washington
Parker Washington ( Image via Penn Live )

Parker Washington, the dynamic wide receiver at Penn State, is a true standout in this year’s NFL draft. Though he has a cousin who plays minor league baseball, Tyler Tolbert, a shortstop in the Kansas City Royals organization, Washington chose to devote his time to football. And boy, has that decision paid off!

Possessing good size, speed, and route-running ability, Washington has become one of the top receiver prospects in this year’s draft. But what truly sets him apart is his strong hands, making him a reliable target in the passing game. As a result, he is projected to be selected in the mid to late rounds, where his versatility and playmaking ability could make him an absolute steal for any team that selects him.

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