Three of the four starting quarterbacks remaining were drafted by MLB teams, and the one who was not — the Denver Broncos' Peyton Manning — was backed up in college at Tennessee by someone who would go on to become an All-Star: Colorado Rockies legend Todd Helton.
It's fascinating to look back and play the what-if card with Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick and Tom Brady. What would have happened had they considered baseball over football, and how good of players would they have made?
Let's take a look at the diamond options the three quarterbacks had available to them.
The Seahawks quarterback played A-level ball for the Colorado Rockies as a second baseman in the 2010 and 2011 seasons, overlapping his college career at North Carolina State (prior to transferring to Wisconsin) and he has admitted that he still thinks about his love for the sport. In fact, Wilson's rights still belong to the Texas Rangers after he was selected in baseball's Rule 5 draft in 2013.
* * *Colin Kaepernick
87 mph fastball before a game this past June. Showoff!
* * *Tom Brady
Even Manning played baseball as a youth. He was a shortstop, and a pretty good one, but there are not too many great tall shortstops (Manning is 6-foot-4) in baseball history, save for Cal Ripken and Alex Rodriguez. Not that Manning ever was in their zip code of talent, anyway ...
In all four cases, it would be hard to argue that any of them made a poor career choice. After all, look where they are now. Perhaps Kaepernick with that golden right arm could have become a staff ace somewhere over time, and maybe Wilson had the goods and the grit to make it to the big leagues.
But we're talking about four of the NFL's best quarterbacks — two surefire Hall of Famers on the AFC side, and two budding franchise quarterbacks on the NFC side of the ledger. We'll go ahead and say they made wise choices unless someone can convince us otherwise.