I do not think there is a better option in the NFL than to take Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill. He is arguably the best wide receiver in the league and is considered one of the fastest players we’ve seen. His run-after-catch ability is so unfair that he already has 902 yards on 53 catches this season. We are not even halfway through the season yet. You do not need a quarterback at the NFL level on your dream flag football team. You can have him run a quick slant route and he will be gone instantly. No one on the defense would get within a foot of his flag. He is that fast. He has averaged 14.2 yards per catch throughout his career and would make a massive difference in a flag football game with his run-after-catch yardage.
With quarterbacks like Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert, Joe Burrow and many others who are more established then Texans rookie CJ Stroud, this pick may not make the most sense right now in 2023. But with the debut of flag football in the summer Olympics not until 2028, the landscape of talent in the NFL will look completely different five years from now. Stroud without a doubt has been the best rookie quarterback through seven weeks of the season. The former Ohio State Buckeye is averaging 276 yards per game along with nine touchdowns and just one interception for a Texans team that won just three games the season prior. With Stroud looking this dangerous as a rookie in 2023, we can only imagine how elite Stroud could be come time for the Olympics.
I doubt whoever coaches the United States’ flag football Olympic team will allow their offensive stars, especially the quarterback, to also play defense. Keeping that assumption in mind, if I were the head coach of a flag football team, I would want Seattle Seahawks rookie cornerback Devon Witherspoon roaming the secondary. I could have chosen Seahawks cornerback Riq Woolen or free safety Quandre Diggs here, but Diggs is already 30 and Woolen’s career may start to decline in five years at 29. The 2023 fifth overall pick sits fourth on the team with 31 tackles after six career games and has a pick six, but his intimidating presence makes him look like a five-year veteran on a dangerous defense. He may be just a rookie, but by his fifth year, the Illinois product’s name will be in the same sentence as New York Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner as the league’s best cornerback. Mark my words, Witherspoon will catch the game-sealing interception in the gold medal game at the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California.
When I am picking a flag football team, I am looking for who gives me the most versatility. Who is a matchup nightmare no matter where he lines up? The answer is simple: Christian McCaffrey. The Stanford alumnus is the best running back on the planet, leading the league in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns. He’s also a threat in the passing attack, possessing a high ability to turn two-yard checkdown passes into 10-15-yard gains. In case you have forgotten, McCaffrey is an elite passer, too; last season, he threw a perfect ball to Brandon Aiyuk for a 34-yard score, so he is a threat for any head coach daring to implement trickery. McCaffrey also has the elite speed to outrun just about anyone. In Week 2 against the Los Angeles Rams, McCaffrey broke a run for 51 yards where he reached a top speed of 20.92 mph. McCaffrey is the best option, and if I were starting a flag football team, the reasons are endless for why he’s my first call.
Associate Sports Editor
If there’s a quarterback in the league that I think can be an absolutely dominant option on the flag football field, it’s Lamar Jackson. He’s still just 26 years old and easily one of the biggest mobile threats in the entire league currently. Imagine the thoughts from opponents when they have to keep Jackson from embarrassing them, whether through deadly throws or making opponents miss with some sneaky juke moves. While it will matter what the talent level will look like from the men around him, he’s going to be able to make noise no matter what. He’s already a tough cover in the NFL, but on the flag football field, I know that he can be just as great, if not better than his current skill level in the league.