Take it from an American: Valentine Holmes has the ability to make it in the NFL.
Jason Taumalolo and Valentine Holmes are trialling with a number of NFL clubs this week, so it raises the question – where could or, in the event of them scoring a contract, should they play?
As Jarryd Hayne learned, finding the best position on the gridiron for a code-hopper is far from a perfect science – but by looking at a player’s dimensions, skill set and weaknesses you can start to get a rough idea of where they might fit in.
The Dally M winner’s dimensions line up pretty nicely with an NFL-level tight end.
Coming in at 6’3″ and 113kg, he comes in three inches shorter and seven kilograms lighter than the man-mountain that is Rob Gronkowsi, but more-or-less the same as the San Diego Chargers’ Antonio Gates and Tenessee Titans’ Delanie Walker.
He’s potentially got the explosive speed and brute strength to gain yards after contact, as well as a soft pair of hands for hauling in receptions.
A source told The Roar that Taumalolo was also being looked at as a running back, but he’d certainly have to buck current trends if he’s to slot into the backfield.
Taumalolo has 13kg on Marshawn ‘Beast Mode’ Lynch, and 7kg on the heaviest current running back, Eddie Lacy.
It’s not completely without precedent though, dual Super Bowl champion Larry Csonka was one of the finest power backs the game’s ever seen and weighed in just a few kgs below the New Zealand league star.
Electrifying speed, dazzling footwork, enviable aerial abilities?
Sounds like a wide receiver to me!
The Cronulla Shark probably wouldn’t have the requisite strength to find a spot as a running back, but it’s not that difficult to imagine him burning cornerbacks and taking screamers in the end zone.
He’s got almost the exact same dimensions as Pittsburgh Steelers wide-out Antonio Brown, but while the NFL’s stock of talented wide receiver is low at the moment, chances of Holmes being able to actually lock down such a complex and integral position in an NFL team would be incredibly difficult.
He might have to settle for punt returner, the position where Jarryd Hayne looked most comfortable.
Very similar to his preferred position of fullback, Holmes’ speed, vision and footwork could prove to be devastating in open space and broken play.
Of course, as Hayne found out, the step up to NFL is an almost insurmountable one.
Learning the intricacies of such a complicated game is challenging enough in and of itself, but the step up in athleticism and professionalism as well could prove telling.
Which positions do you think the pair have their best shot at? Let us know in the comments.