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Film Friday: Welcome to the NFL Denver Nuggets

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NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Denver Nuggets Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

If you’re not familiar with Film Fridays, each Friday, I’ll be looking at some recent Denver Nuggets’ games, lineups or something else from a film aspect to try and bring you a piece of content that you’re not getting somewhere else. Feel free to give any feedback positive or negative in the comments or find me on Twitter.

The first round of the 2020 NFL draft is in the books. The Denver Broncos grabbed Jerry Jeudy to bolster their wide receiving room, and the Denver Nuggets are still chilling waiting for basketball season to get back under way. With the draft being the center of attention for the sports world right now, I was curious what position the Nuggets would play had they gone into the world of football instead.

Each of them has freaky size and athleticism, and they have the requisite footwork to be on the field. The only difference is they played one sport over another one. Oftentimes, in high school, they likely played both sports, but they focused on basketball. I think that was the right choice. However, we’ve gone over a month with no new film, so we gotta work to keep things fresh around here.

Point Guard Jamal Murray - Wide Receiver

Jamal is a sweet shooter that always has a focus on the offensive end of the floor. At 6’4” & 200 pounds, he’s the prototypical size for modern receivers in the NFL. He wouldn’t ever run over opponents like a linebacker, and I think there is too much finesse in his game for him to play anywhere on defense. He reminds me of a player like Davante Adams from the Green Bay Packers.

He’s got decent size, but it’s all in the footwork. He’s not the fastest guy on the floor, but he always finds a way to get to the hoop or get to his spot. When matched up against a cornerback, Murray would beat press on a regular basis by getting his man twisted up at the line trying to keep up with his movement.

Shooting Guard Gary Harris - Cornerback

This one was easy. Gary has the nose for the ball on defense, and he’s never afraid to take on a difficult assignment. In football, there’s nowhere to hide on defense. If you’re matched up with the top wideout, you have to get in his jersey and slow him down. Gary has the confidence to take on those difficult assignments.

Just like Murray, he’s got the modern size that teams are looking for on the outside, but he’s also a better athlete than Murray. He could turn and run with receivers on the way down the field. He’s never been the best on offense, which is exactly why he’s the yin to Murray’s yang in this instance.

Small Forward Will Barton - Free Safety

Could I have easily made this pick another wide receiver? Absolutely. I felt that would be lazy of me, so I went a different direction. Barton’s got good speed and range on the floor, and I could see him roaming the back part of the defense waiting for quarterbacks to make a mistake with one of their throws.

He’s give me some Ed Reed vibes with his size and length, and I think that he’s got the penchant for going after the big play that most safeties have. You’re going to see Barton get a little overzealous going after a pick, and he’s going to get burned on that. Young ballhawking safeties always want to make the big play. He’ll be in the right spot more often than not, but you’ll have to forgive the mistakes.

Power Forward Paul Millsap - Tight End

This one was one of the more difficult decisions to make. Paul would be great on defense with his ability to call out coverages, but he wouldn’t fit well as a modern middle linebacker. Instead, we’re going to put him at tight end where his natural size will be complemented by his brain down in the red zone. He would become a touchdown machine with his natural ability to get open along with his size at 6’7” & 250 pounds.

Tight ends are one of the more under appreciated positions in football unless you get one that makes defenses drastically alter how they defend you. Millsap has the potential to bring that to an NFL team. He’s a little long in the tooth, but that savvy is going to come in handy when he’s scoring 10+ touchdowns a year because he just knows how to get open repeatedly.

Center Nikola Jokic - Quarterback

First things first, I wanted Jokic to play tight end. It made way too much sense. The problem comes down to his lack of cardio, and I don’t know how he would do with having to sprint down the field repeatedly. Instead, I’m going to put him in the most important position on the field where he can distribute the ball to the guys around him. The best part is that he already does that on the basketball court.

Jokic would instantly become the largest player in the NFL, and he’s got the arm strength to make any throw necessary. Similar to Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers, taking him down on a sack is going to be next to impossible. Jokic is going to be a pocket passer, and it’s unlikely that we ever see a designed run for him unless it’s a wide-open scenario.

For those of you that are still here, remember to leave your feedback in the comments or over on my Twitter, and have a fantastic film-filled Friday.