Thanks to players like Tony Gonzalez, Antonio Gates and Julius Peppers; more and more NFL teams have taken flyers on former college basketball players over the years. On Monday, the Cleveland Browns continued that trend with the signing of former Texas Tech forward Marcus Santos-Silva.
Per Ian Rapoport, "The Browns signed TE Marcus Santos-Silva, a 6-foot-6, 261-pound forward who played hoops for Texas Tech the last two seasons. Now, he’ll make the switch to football."
Given the athletic traits it takes to play high-level college basketball marry well with tight end and edge positions; it's not surprising to see the Browns give Santos-Silva a shot.
6-foot-6, 260-plus pounds (with mobility) doesn't exactly grow on Cleveland, Ohio trees.
The most recent examples of teams looking to the hardwood for tight ends are the Colts' Mo Alie-Cox, and the Cowboys taking a chance on former Baylor basketball star Rico Gathers.
The latter didn't work out as imagined. And while Alie-Cox has carved out a very nice niche for himself in Indy's offense, he hasn't exactly turned into Antonio Gates.
That said, paired with David Njoku, the Browns could possibly have one of the more athletically-gifted TE rooms in the NFL if Santos-Silva hits.