NFL Draft Prospects as GoT Characters
The final season of Game of Thrones comes out on Sunday, and with the NFL draft starting only two weeks later, I thought this would be the perfect time to make some outlandish comparisons. Unfortunately, some of our favorite (or most hated) characters didn’t make the cut because I couldn’t find a comp for them in the draft. Tyrion has no physical acumen, the Mountain is too cruel, and Melisandre gives birth to shadow babies. No matter how good a player is, I don’t think they have that trait. However, I think I managed to cut through the red tape and give y’all the GOT comparisons they deserve. I’m pretty much making this up as I go, so if you agree/disagree, feel free to let me know on Twitter!
Daenerys Targaryen – Nick Bosa
Daenerys hails from the Targaryen family, who have ruled Westeros for hundreds of years. This makes her the supposed heir to the Iron Throne (or number 1 pick)
Nick Bosa, comes from a blue chip family as well. His father and brother were both first round picks. That’s some ELITE pedigree there.
That Bloodline Causes Some Concerns
The Targaryens have the unusual habit of marrying within bloodlines, meaning their offspring often dies early, or has mental or physical abnormalities. They say when a Targaryen is born the gods flip a coin: Madness or Greatness. Daenerys’ father, the Mad King, unfortunately fell into the former category. Daenerys, while she has freed a ton of people, appears to have a propensity for burning things as well.
The Bosas, while incest-free, do struggle with injuries. Joey has sat out 14 games of his young NFL career already, and Nick pulled out of Ohio State with a core injury earlier this year. These injuries are definitely something NFL teams will consider when drafting the youngest Bosa
Just look at Daenerys’ full title, it pretty much says it all. Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Protector of the Seven Kingdoms, the Mother of Dragons, the Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, the Unburnt, the Breaker of Chains. You don’t acquire a title like that without accomplishing some feats.
Nick Bosa, first of his name, came into Ohio State as a five star recruit after dominating Florida High School football. He then played in all thirteen games as a true freshman before breaking into the starting lineup as a sophomore. That year he was a unanimous First Team All-Big Ten selection, and also took home the Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year honor. While injuries kept him out of the majority of his junior campaign, and he pulled out of the team, I would argue that he has accomplished all he had to be considered for the number one pick already.
Jon Snow – Kyler Murray
Torn Between Two Worlds – Twice
Fans of the show will know Jon Snow is a bastard, meaning he is not recognized as an official child of Ned Stark. Because of this (and because Cat couldn’t love a motherless child), he ends up transferring from Winterfell to the Night’s Watch. Once there, he has to earn the respect of his new peers and assume leadership. Even after that however, he is not completely done with choices. He has to then FREAKING DIE, come back to life, and eventually becomes a reluctant KING OF THE NORTH. However, it is clear he is torn between serving the Night’s Watch and the whole North. Of course, we later find out he is the TRUE heir to the Iron Throne.
Kyler started his college football career in College Station at Texas A&M, before wisely deciding to transfer to Oklahoma. While there, he had to assume leadership of an elite team and eventually ascended to become the Heisman Trophy winner. Even after being named the best college football player in the country, he still had to decide between football and baseball. Of course, Kyler declared for the NFL draft. He will likely be drafted number one, and win the GoT.
If you remember when Jon first got to the wall, he absolutely demolished the other recruits with a sword. While this no doubt has to do with the fact that Jon received top notch training when he was young, he is also widely considered one of the best swordsmen in the land. Not many people could have killed a White Walker, a being with enhanced speed and strength. In addition to his natural skills, he has one of the only valyrian steel swords on the show (longclaw), and the only remaining direwolf (I don’t count Nymeria). These two weapons make him even more dangerous.
Like Jon, Kyler Murray likely had a ton of sport-specific training early in his life, given that his dad was a former Texas A&M quarterback. He also has one of the most dynamic skill sets we’ve ever seen out of a Quarterback. His arm strength, accuracy, and speed come together in ways I haven’t seen in a while. You don’t make your franchise consider you for the number one overall pick, AFTER they took a highly regarded QB in the first round last year, unless you have some uncoachable abilities. Watching him tear through defenses was one of the joys of the 2018 college football season.
Originally everyone thought that Jon Snow was a bastard of Ned Stark. While Stark blood is definitely elite, it sucks that he was a bastard and cast out by the matriarch of the family. However, by now the audience knows that he not only has Stark blood, he also has Targaryen blood as well. His true father is Rhaegar Targaryen, son of the Mad King. His mother is Lyanna Stark, sister of Ned Stark. This of course makes him the true heir to the Iron Throne.
Like Nick Bosa, Kyler comes from a family of professional athletes. His father Kevin played Quarterback for A&M before Kyler, and was one of the best in the school’s history. Unfortunately, injuries prevented him from having a successful professional football career. Kevin’s brother Calvin played Major League Baseball for several years as well. With family like this, it’s not shocking that Kyler ended up dominating at two sports, being a top fifteen pick in both.
Arya Stark – Josh Jacobs
Underrated and Overlooked
Arya is definitely an afterthought for most of the show. In season one she’s just the tomboyish sister of Sansa, good for some comedic relief. However, in the first show you can see her potential when she shoots an arrow right in the bullseye (showing up Bran). When she arrives in King’s Landing you can start to see some of her inner badass growing, specifically when she starts learning about the sword with Syrio (RIP). Once shit hits the fan after Ned is executed, she is thrust on her own, with only Gendry and Hot Pie as support. This event starts her on the path of badass faceless assassin.
Jacobs’ life in High School was rough: he spent nights on couches, in motels, and in his father’s car. He had zero stars until his senior year of high school, even though he thoroughly dominated. As a senior he averaged almost fifteen yards per carry. Once at Alabama, he struggled to fight for playing time through injuries, and he even considered transferring. He ended up staying, and the rest is history.
Once Arya completed her training as a faceless man, she wasted no time in putting her murderous ability to work. Her first order of business was eliminating the Frey family, first killing Walder’s sons, then feeding them to Walder himself before slitting his throat. I’m not sure what the equivalent of Josh Jacobs’ truck against Oklahoma is in Westeros, but that’s damn close. After dealing with that spot of bother, she ends up returning to Winterfell and helping Sansa FINALLY kill Littlefinger.
Once Jacobs earned playing time, he made the most of it. His power, elusiveness, and awareness were all on display this year. He racked up 887 yards from scrimmage and fourteen touchdowns, while splitting time with Damien Harris. He especially performed against Oklahoma, a revenge game against his hometown school that was late to offer him. This impressed the NFL enough that he is likely to be the first running back off the board in the draft, maybe even in the first round.
Arya’s mentor is Jaqen H’ghar, an assassin for the faceless men. They are a cult/assassin’s guild that has a reputation for success and high prices. I don’t get the vibe that a servant of the many-faced god turns out a ton of duds.
Jacobs was mentored by a god himself: Nick Saban. Under Saban, Alabama has consistently churned out high draft picks that turn into successful NFL players. Like Jaqen, Alabama doesn’t produce many duds.
Khal Drago – Quinnen Williams
Standing at six foot four, 234 pounds, Drogo TOWERS over the other citizens of Westeros. His physical presence is thrust into the spotlight when we first see him: without speaking, he manages to convey that he is the badass of the show. I mean the dude’s just cut out of marble. In addition to his staggering size, Drogo has the speed and footwork of a guy that has been a warrior his whole life. The Dothraki don’t strike me as a particularly democratic people, so you’ve got to be a badass to lead them. Drogo fits the mold.
At six foot three, 302 pounds, Quinnen Williams towers over most normal people. However, as we all know, NFL defensive linemen are not normal people. So to be elite, you can’t just be big. You’ve got to have something else. Fortunately, Quinnen is not just freakishly large, he is freakishly fast, quick, and agile. His footwork is elite as well. All these things add up to a three hundred pound man that moves far too fast for his size.
At Daenerys’ and Drogo’s wedding, Viserys makes sure to point out Drogo’s hair. Apparently the Dothraki cut their hair after defeat, but Drogo’s hair extends past his waist. This indicates an undefeated record. At first, I was skeptical. Then I saw Drogo in action. Watch this if you are in doubt: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HqdSjdtPAQ
Quinnen Williams only started one year on Alabama’s defensive line but he made the most of it, tallying seventy one tackles and eight sacks. He was a consensus All-SEC, All-American and won the Outland Trophy for college football’s best interior lineman. In addition to traditional accolades, he was also Pro Football Focus’ highest graded defensive player in 2018. If these things don’t indicate dominance, I truly do not know what does.
While Drogo started as a sort of villainous character, watching him and Dany fall in love was one of the best story arcs of the first season. He has the scary exterior of badass warrior who could kill you with his bare hands, but he also has a soft spot. Especially for Dany. Unfortunately because George R.R. Martin is a serial killer, we never get to see them live happily ever after. Hopefully Quinnen has a better NFL career.
Quinnen has the face of a fourteen year old, which somehow makes him seem less intimidating (without a helmet). He also has a great personality, evidenced in his interviews throughout the draft process. Constantly smiling and laughing, Q is definitely one of the easiest players to root for in this draft. Expect him to go in the top four, and whoever drafts him will get a fan favorite for years.
Tormund Giantsbane – Devin Bush
Tormund is a wildling, meaning he lives north of the Wall. For those that don’t know, that is a barren, frozen, unforgiving terrain. So it’s basically exactly like Michigan.
Devin was a Wolverine, meaning he lived in Michigan. For those that don’t know, that is a barren, frozen, unforgiving terrain. So it’s basically exactly like north of the Wall.
Early in the show, Mance Raider is the head of the Wildlings, but Tormund is about as close to a second in command as you can get in their chaotic power structure. After Mance dies, Tormund briefly becomes the leader of the Wildlings, leading them on raids south of the Wall. After allying with the Night’s Watch, Tormund eventually becomes Jon’s second in command and a member of the King of the North’s Council. Now I don’t know about you, but you don’t earn the respect of Giants, Cannibals, and raiders without being a fierce warrior. Everywhere he’s gone Tormund has become a leader and earned respect the hard way.
Michigan’s defense has three potential first round picks on it this year, and yet Bush was voted team captain. He absolutely has the credentials for that: two-time Walter Camp All-American (first team, 2018; second team, 2017), two-time Associated Press All-American (second team, 2018; third team, 2017), and two-time first team All-Big Ten. His teammates and coaches rave about his leadership, but his style is very different from Tormund: “I’m more of a positive leader,” he said. “I’m always smiling. I’m always a guy with energy.”
If you’ve watched Tormund fight, you know he always leaves it all out on the battlefield. I’m guessing you don’t get the title “Giantsbane” by being soft. When the wildlings assaulted Castle Black and were rebuffed, Tormund was the last wildling standing and was only captured because he had about seven arrows in him. At Hardhome, he stood by Jon and fought the Wildlings until he had no choice but to flee. His face seems to be permanently grimacing, and his face gets as red as his hair when he shouts during battle. This is completely beside the point, but if I had to pick one GOT character to put on an NFL team right now, I would pick Tormund at Middle Linebacker.
Devin Bush plays at 100% intensity all the time. He is one of the fastest linebackers in the draft, and you can tell on tape. Tormund would definitely have been proud of his desecration of the Spartan before the Michigan State game, and probably prouder of his attempt to fight the entire MSU team at midfield. For what it’s worth, I wouldn’t have bet against Bush in that fight. A 3-4 defense with Tormund and Devin in the middle would be the most feared in the NFL, and I’m so here for it.
Jaime Lannister – Chase Winovich
I mean, I think the hair speaks for itself.
Jorah Morant – Will Grier
Jorah, forty four years old, is super old in relation to his love for Dany, which seven seasons in is still super creepy.
Will Grier, at 24 years old, is super old in regard to the NFL draft. Prospects are usually about twenty one or twenty two years old.
Exiled, then Redeemed
Jorah was exiled from Westeros for engaging in the slave trade. After arriving in Essos he was primarily a mercenary before serving in Daenerys’ court. Even after working for Dany for several years, Jorah was exiled again after contracting grayscale. Against all odds, he survived and found his way back to her. Now he is again one of her most trusted advisors.
Will Grier started his career as a Florida Gator and was one of their best Quarterbacks in recent memory before being suspended for a year. He was suspended for using PEDs (definitely not as bad as being exiled for slavery though). After transferring from Florida to West Virginia, Grier played his way into the Heisman race and is now primed to be a mid round pick in the 2019 NFL draft.
Brienne of Tarth – Jonah Williams
For her entire life, Brienne of Tarth has been doubted. As a young girl, she was made fun of and ignored because she was not the best looking maiden in the seven kingdoms. Being unnaturally tall and strong for a woman, she ended up eschewing the normal life of a highborn lady to become a knight. Even after becoming a knight, she is doubted because she is a woman. Poor Brienne just can’t win.
Jonah Williams has started on the best team in the country for four years. His freshman year he held down the Right Tackle position before switching to the Left side for his remaining three years. However, despite being a solid four year starter, teams are doubting him because his arms are an inch or two too short. I’m looking for Jonah to take the Brienne approach and prove everyone wrong in his rookie season.
If you know what the Kingsguard is in GoT, you know it’s basically the King’s personal offensive line. If offensive linemen were given full armor and broadswords. It takes an immense personal sacrifice to become Kingsguard, as they are expected to devote one hundred percent of their life to the King, so far as to swear off having children. Brienne is unique as well, because even after she was relieved of her Kingsguard oath, she continues to serve as a protector. She ends up becoming Sansa’s personal bodyguard, helping her escape Ramsey.
Offensive Line is not the most fun position in the NFL. It actually may be the least fun, from an objective point of view. If you do your job well, no casual fan notices you. The only time you really get noticed is if you make a mistake, and then everyone’s pissed. Playing offensive line truly requires the player to put the team before himself. There’s a nobility in it, much like being in the Kingsguard. As far as I know however, NFL offensive linemen can have children.
Random Side Point
I think Brienne and the Hound’s fight in the finale of season four is the GOT equivalent of Clelin Ferrell vs Jonah Williams. Just brutal, non stop action where neither fighter had an extreme upper hand. Granted, Clelin got the better of Jonah in the game (barely), but I still like the comparison.
Oberyn Martell – Noah Fant
Oberyn Martell’s nickname is the Red Viper. I don’t know how many readers have seen a Viper in person, but they are not slow animals. In fact, their attacks are so quick you can barely see them. Oberyn fits that description very well. While we only see him fight once, he manages to dance around the Mountain with agility and footwork, and some impressive spear handling.
Noah Fant moves at a speed that should not be possible for a man of his size. In college, he was a huge deep threat downfield for the Hawkeyes. So everyone knew he was fast. At the Combine he blew scouts away. I mean look at these stats:
Despite Oberyn’s reputation for a quick temper and fighting skill, he actually spent several years studying to be a maester (think of them as professors). He actually forged a couple links (think degrees) in his chain, specializing in poisons. Generally only the brightest in Westeros are accepted into the Citadel, so its apparent Oberyn is a smart guy.
While at the University of Iowa Fant studied sports medicine, with the goal of becoming an orthopedic surgeon after football. He did the same thing as Oberyn. He studied for a while, then decided the life of a warrior (NFL player), may be more fun and profitable so decided to go that route. Hopefully, unlike Oberyn, Fant gets to accomplish those dreams.
The Night King – Trevor Lawrence
2021 is coming.