Lots of NFL players are ridiculously great athletes. Their speed, strength, and agility would make them successes in any number of different athletic pursuits that they might have put their mind to; but they chose football and are therefore elite football players instead of being elite in something else.
However, lots of other NFL players are not what someone would describe as great athletes. Offensive and defensive linemen get called things like "big uglies," and while often those nicknames are inappropriate (for example, the Packers' interior offensive line starters are actually quite athletic by comparison to their linemen brethren), there are still a handful of players who look like they would be more at home in a buffet line than on the line of scrimmage.
One way that athletes of all shapes and sizes can put their abilities to the test is on American Ninja Warrior, which is starting up its new season shortly. The Packers have a couple of tangential connections to the show - former Packers punter Jon Ryan (now of the Seattle Seahawks) competed last year and one of the co-hosts of the show is Akbar Gbaja-Biamila, the younger brother of Green Bay's all-time sack leader Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila.
With the show starting up soon, SB Nation has recently launched a new blog all about the show - American Ninja Warrior Nation is your prime place for all the news related to the show. Along with that launch, we're going to have some fun; we want you to tell us which current Green Bay Packer you would most like to see take on the obstacle course and also which player you think would perform the best. Of course, those may or may not be the same player, so let us know what you think in the comments.
While you deliberate, here are a few possibilities to get you started.
OLB Clay Matthews
Matthews would put on a terrific show, and would likely be one of the more successful Packers on the course. Outside of football he tends to stay under the radar, but he's one of the more entertaining interviews for pre- and post-game comments and would likely bring a fun attitude to the competition.
DE Mike Daniels
Imagine the passion and fire that Daniels plays with on the field, but now he's taking out that intensity on the Ninja Warrior course. That would be must-see TV for Packers fans.
LS Rick Lovato
The "everyman" storyline is often thrown around on the show, and no player exemplifies this better than Lovato, who was working in a sandwich shop when he got the call from the Packers to replace Brett Goode late in 2015. Now he goes into 2016 as the only player at his position on the roster, and he would be the perfect candidate for a fun background story.
WR Jeff Janis
Yep, we're going with the Hype Train here. Janis' height (6'3"), speed (4.42 40), agility (6.64 3-cone), strength (20 bench reps at 225 pounds) and leaping ability (37.5" vertical, 10'3" broad jump) make him a logical pick as one of the most likely Packers to succeed on the show. His long arms also would help him in some of the obstacles he would likely face.
OLB Julius Peppers
Age is just a number, and by all accounts Peppers continues to be in incredible physical shape. He has always been a remarkable physical specimen, and 36 is hardly too old to compete on the show - in 2015, two men completed the final stage, one at age 33 and one at 36. Sure, Peppers would be carrying a little more weight than most competitors on the course, since he is listed around 287 pounds, but that's a solid 287 on his large 6'7" frame.
CB Sam Shields
Shields has incredible straight-line speed, but his agility and leaping ability are among the best of any player on the Packers' roster as well. Though he's neither the strongest nor the biggest, his overall athleticism should more than compensate and allow his explosiveness do much of the work.
So who are your picks for the Packers who would be most entertaining to watch or who would fare the best on the course? Let us know in the comments below and head over to American Ninja Warrior Nation for more on the upcoming season.