Videos by OutKick
Athletes know how to turn failure into opportunity. One former second-round pick is turning his shortly-lived NFL career into a bridge to basketball. Devin Funchess, drafted out of Michigan as a wideout in 2015, has made the necessary sacrifices to stay an extra season or two in the NFL.
The 6-foot-4 receiver, who changed his position to tight end at the end of his last run in the NFL with the Detroit Lions, spoke with Bally Sports’ Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson to announce that he’s pursuing a path to the NBA.
No matter the work, he’s serious about becoming a pro hooper, admitting that he’ll happily play overseas to work his way into an NBA rotation.
“I know I’d have to go overseas and play to get some film, but after that, my dream growing up was to play in the NBA,” Funchess told Scoop. He shared footage of a practice session where he was draining mid-range shots, showing off handles and slamming the ball at the rim.
“So that’s my main goal. That’s what I’m going to make happen.”
Funchess also shared that he’s been vetted by three teams for a return to the NFL, hinting that the Philadelphia Eagles are in the mix.
At 6-foot-4 and 225 lb., Funchess possesses the physical tools to walk into a small forward’s position.
It’s long become a troupe in the NFL that the best tight end talents hail from basketball backgrounds (see Antonio Gates and Jimmy Graham). But can Funchess handle the pressure and the rock at an NBA level?
Funchess wouldn’t be the first athlete to play in both leagues. In the 1950s, former Eagles first-round pick Bud Grant went on to play for the Minneapolis Lakers, winning a championship with the 1950 championship team. Grant averaged a mere 2.6 points in the league. Famed Browns quarterback Otto Graham played for the National Basketball League, winning a championship in ’45.
The sky’s the limit, Devin.