You just have to love this if you’re a real American. You think Team USA is pretty dominant in basketball? Can you even imagine what we’d do at the Summer Olympics if active NFL players are allowed to participate in flag football?
MY GUY JA’MARR CHASE getting the main-graphic treatment from FSO! Thanks, gents. This is very funny by the way — one of many great responses to the potential flag football/NFL situation at the ’28 Summer Games in LOS ANGELES.
I’m sorry but the thought of Ja’Marr Chase running a 9 route against a Lithuanian elementary school teacher in the Olympics has me dying https://t.co/1fS4OdgjBG
That’s right. LA28. NFL players destroying the international competition in flag football. This is actually going to happen. Or so it appears.
This is the closest real-life scenario I’ve ever seen to the premise of Dodgeball
I have a question right out of the gates: Can Tom Brady just be a training camp arm for somebody entering the 2028 season so that he can play? TB12 is the GOAT and an ambassador for the game line no one else. It’d be downright legendary to see him sling that pill on the Olympic gridiron at age 51. Please make it happen, Goodell.
I’d feel a little bad for the dudes who make a living as flag football professionals getting big-boy’d off the roster by NFLers. Maybe there could be like a cap limit on NFL players?
Let’s assume there isn’t. I’ll leave Brady out of the equation for now. Looking down the pipeline at incoming college talent, and taking into account the young studs in the NFL right now, let’s construct the most epic roster we possibly can for the 2028 Summer Games.
USA Flag Football Dream Team
If it’s me, I’m just getting athletes, athletes, athletes. We need maximum speed, maximum short-area quickness to dodge flag snatchers, and of course world-class talent on the field at all times.
Instead of a 53-man roster in the NFL, this will be a 23-man group. You’ll probably see most lists like these pull from players as if you were assembling the roster today. I’m acting as if dudes like Travis Kelce and so forth will be retired/no longer active in the NFL by 2028.
Thus, I’ll put approximate ages for the ’28 Summer Games in parentheses and give the squad reasonable depth in the context of a five-on-five format (per NFL Flag rules).
QB: Patrick Mahomes (32)-Caleb Williams (26)
RB: Kyler Murray (31)-Lamar Jackson (31)-Bijan Robinson (25)-De’Von Achane (26)
WR: Tyreek Hill (34)-Ja’Marr Chase (28)-Justin Jefferson (29)-Garrett Wilson (28)-Marvin Harrison Jr. (25)
RUSH: Micah Parsons (29)-Will Anderson Jr. (26)-Ivan Pace Jr. (27)
CB1: Sauce Gardner (27)-Devon Witherspoon (27)
CB2: Riq Woolen (29)-Christian Gonzalez (26)
SAF: Kyle Hamilton (27)-Jevon Holland (28)
Head coach: Mike McDaniel
Can you imagine a schematic brainiac like Mike McDaniel getting this collection of players at the Olympics?? Talk about licking one’s chops. Again, I obviously had to skew the roster toward today’s younger players, assume said players will remain healthy/productive, and of course throw in some guys who haven’t even played an NFL down yet.
You might be wondering why I have two QBs listed as running backs. That’s not meant to be a slight, even if folks were questioning whether Lamar Jackson should play another position when he entered the NFL.
Since we’re in flag football, if I were coaching Team USA — I’m sure my chosen coach Mike McDaniel would agree — it’d be a no-brainer to run a two-QB system. What does that look like? See for yourself in the video below.
Picture the likes of Lamar Jackson or Kyler Murray lined up in the backfield next to Patrick Mahomes or Caleb Williams. Or heck, put Lamar and Kyler in there at the same time. Now think about playing defense and being unable to tell who the ball will be snapped to.
Not sure I’ve ever seen someone at the collegiate level combine pure arm strength, off-platform throwing, athleticism and improvisational ability better than Caleb Williams. The USC quarterback is a must for the roster especially with the Summer Olympics being in Los Angeles. He’d be an absolute wizard and fake any defenders out of their shoes.
Add in the explosive element that Lamar and Kyler bring — again, health permitting — with the typical Mahomes magic we’ve seen throughout his career, and that’s quite a formidable lineup of interchangeable QBs.
When Team USA wouldn’t go with a two-QB alignment, how about feeding the likes of Bijan Robinson or De’Von Achane?
Speaking of Miami Dolphins playmakers and speed, you could trade out Tyreek Hill for Jaylen Waddle on this roster if you wanted to. Tyreek has stated in the past that he’ll retire once his current contract is over, which would be after the 2025 season.
However, it feels like Cheetah is too dominant and too explosive to hang up his cleats that soon. Even at age 34, he’s bound to be among the five fastest football players. There’s a gap between him and every other wide receiver right now. He seems pretty amped up about the concept, too:
As for the rest of the wideouts, yeah, it would just be straight-up unfair. Two 2019 LSU Tigers national champions in Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson are easy additions to the group. Jets star Garrett Wilson has some of the most insane ball skills and twitchiness you’ll ever see.
Then we have Ohio State stud Marvin Harrison Jr., who might be the best draft prospect at his position since at least 2011, when we got the 1-2 punch of Julio Jones and A.J. Green. Harrison has the pedigree, competitive mindset and raw skills to be an all-time great.
Yup. Put him on my Olympic team of tomorrow, please.
Snappers in flag football can effectively be another wide receiver. You could put one of the two running backs there, but I wanted to give some more players a shot at representing their country. That’s why I went with two of the best young tight ends we’ve ever seen in Kyle Pitts (fourth overall pick in 2021) and Brock Bowers, the Georgia standout who might go just as high as Pitts once did.
Another athletic freakazoid at that spot is Sam LaPorta from Tight End University aka Iowa. The rookie second-rounder has been sensational for the Detroit Lions and is well worthy of Olympian status if he maintains his current trajectory.
Jumping over to the defense, I feel like no single player is better built for flag football than Micah Parsons. He’s a rare combo middle linebacker-edge defender type who’d be a total terror for any opposing flag football “center” or QB to deal with.
Micah Parsons speed is INSANE
in the blink of an eye he gets from waaaay outside the LT to the QB's face absolutely nuts
Reigning No. 3 overall pick Will Anderson Jr. is lighting it up for the Texans and is a smooth athlete in space. Then you have undrafted (71st on my big board though lol) Vikings linebacker Ivan Pace Jr. — a more obscure name to be sure, but damn, is he ever a heat-seeking missile when he gets downhill.
The defensive backfield I’ve chosen is another youth movement of exceptional cornerbacks and safeties who’ve blossomed early. Two Seattle Seahawks made the cut in Riq Woolen and Devon Witherspoon.
Woolen runs a 4.26-second 40-yard dash at 6-foot-4, 205 pounds and had six INTs as a rookie in 2022. Witherspoon a legit Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate who, for some reason, isn’t the current favorite against a backup/rotational d-lineman in the Eagles’ Jalen Carter.
Finally, the safeties. McDaniel would get to coach another one of his own in Jevon Holland. I don’t know that you’ll find someone who can line up deep, in the box or in the slot as effectively as Holland can. Not sure how important that is in flag football, but the fact that he’s so interchangeable could create all kinds of confusion for opponents.
Then there’s Kyle Hamilton, who graded as PFF’s best safety in his rookie campaign and, despite getting ejected from this past Sunday’s game in London, is still in excellent form. I love his combination of size, football IQ and versatility. He’s kind of a plus-sized, less twitchy version of Holland in a way.
OK that’s a wrap! What do you think of this USA Dream Team for flag football at the 2028 Summer Olympics? Would love to hear everyone’s thoughts. Thank you for reading.