There have been a number of notable MLB players who have also been selected in the NFL draft. The Los Angeles Dodgers can count four of them from within their ranks.
Originally drafted by the New York Yankees as a second-round pick back in 2001, Brandon Weeden has made appearances in both the MLB and the NFL. In 2004 he was traded to the Dodgers where he spent two seasons as a largely unsuccessful pitcher.
He decided to try his hand at professional football instead and later, in 2011, became a member of the Oklahoma State Cowboys football program where he saw many more successes. Ironically, he was also a Cowboy in the NFL with Dallas’s franchise.
Although Weeden has retired from the NFL, his old team the Dallas Cowboys are currently leaders in the Eastern Conference and may even have a shot at a Super Bowl title according to expert NFL picks at OLBG.com. The proud former Cowboy also played for several other teams including the Cleveland Browns, Houston Texans, and Tennessee Titans. One thing’s for certain: his NFL record outshines his baseball one as he excelled in his college and professional football career.
You may know him as a star running back for various football teams from the Cincinnati Bengals and the Chicago Bears, to the Texas Longhorns and the Green Bay Packers, but before his fruitful NFL career, Cedric Benson was a 12th round draft pick for the Dodgers and their Rookie League Club back in 2001. His baseball journey was less than successful with only 5 hits from 25 at-bats.
However, he proved his worth on the football field with over 6,000 yards rushed and 32 touchdown competitions during his time in the NFL. Tragically, Benson was killed in 2019 when his motorcycle crashed with a minivan while traveling in Austin, Texas. The former running back is known for his vivacious personality and great contribution to the overall success of the Cincinnati Bengals organization during his time as a running back there.
The now-retired professional football and baseball player Kirk Gibson is a great example of one athlete who excelled in both sports. The former Michigan wide receiver was drafted by the Dodgers in 1988 and was one of the biggest reasons why the team won that year’s World Series championship against the Oakland Athletics as he brought in three crucial points with a home run in the fifth inning.
The outfielder was subsequently awarded an NL MVP for his excellent, game-saving performance. Gibson is currently a sports broadcaster for the Detroit Tigers and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2017. If this Dodger had chosen the NFL over the MLB, the outcome of that classic Fall game may have been quite different.
Brooks Bollinger was drafted twice in 2000 and 2001 by the LA Dodgers in the 50th round but ultimately chose football in place of baseball, becoming a member of the Jets, Vikings, Cowboys, and Lions throughout the course of his NFL career.
The North Dakota native retired from football in 2010 after a short stint in the United Football League, playing for the Florida Tuskers. The former NFL quarterback later went on to be a coach for the University of Pittsburg football team as well as for several other Minnesota-based high school teams.