Beauden Barrett Ten New Zealand rugby players who could make the adjustment to the NFL

Beauden Barrett These constituents are glamorous.

Beauden Barrett Kieran Read, left, and Sam Whitelock and the Crusaders played some gridiron at the team's captain's run late last month.

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Kieran Read, left, and Sam Whitelock and the Crusaders played some gridiron at the team’s captain’s run late last month.

OPINION: Could some of our best rugby players make it in the NFL?

Obviously, they couldn’t make the switch at the drop of a hat because the sports are so dissimilar. But there’s no doubt there are players in New Zealand who are gifted enough athletes. 

With the 2019 NFL season kicking off on Friday (NZT), here’s 10 who could play in the league, provided they were given time to learn the game and make the required adjustments. 

Beauden Barrett Sonny Bill Williams resembles the size of some of the best tight ends in the NFL.

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Sonny Bill Williams resembles the size of some of the best tight ends in the NFL.

Sonny Bill Williams (1.97m, 111kg) – tight end

Quarterbacks crave targets such as Sonny Bill Williams, who is of a similar mould to Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, the best in the NFL. Armed with lengthy limbs, and enough speed to give linebackers problems in coverage, the code-hopper has got red-zone target written all over him. 

Beauden Barrett Ardie Savea.

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Ardie Savea.

Ardie Savea (1.88m, 100kgs) – linebacker

The best player in Super Rugby could make for one hell of a linebacker. Savea has got the strength and explosiveness to combat offensive lineman and play the run, and blitz the quarterback. He’s got enough toe to thrive in pass coverage, particularly against tight ends and running backs sneaking out of the back field. He could even be lined up at defensive end to go after the quarterback. 

Beauden Barrett Owen Franks and the Crusaders played some gridiron at their captain's run ahead of the Super Rugby semifinal against the Hurricanes last month.

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Owen Franks and the Crusaders played some gridiron at their captain’s run ahead of the Super Rugby semifinal against the Hurricanes last month.

Owen Franks (1.85m, 122kg) – centre

He wasn’t wanted for the World Cup, but it’s not hard to picture the veteran tighthead prop mauling defensive lineman hungry for a piece of the quarterback, or clearing a path for his runn

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