Bo Jackson has never been considered a braggart. Humble isn't the word I'd use to describe him, either. He's always just come off as a much more matter-of-fact kind of guy. He's the rare jack of all trades, and also master of all the trades as well. He was great, he'll tell you what he was great at, and you believe him because you know it was true. Mostly because his contemporaries and everyone who grew up watching him describes him as more of a Greek god than a football player who also happened to crush dingers for the Kansas City Royals.
So when Bo appeared on 21st and Prime today and started talking about the modern state of both the MLB and NFL, I know I'm going to listen to the man. Because the thing about Bo is, he knows.
“When was the last time you watched a baseball game and saw a baseball game to where everybody is doing the basics? When was the last time you saw a hit-and-run? Everybody is swinging for the fence now. You either hit it out the park or strike out. Nobody practices base stealing, nobody practices hit-and-runs, hitting the cutoff man and so forth and so on and in football I’ll say the same thing. Nobody wraps up and tackles no more…If I played during this era I’d probably be averaging 350-400 yards a game.”
If legitimately anyone else in the history of the world said they would rush for 350 yards PER GAME I'd laugh in their face. I don't care how accomplished they were, how many records they broke, none of that. What a preposterous number. Bo Jackson says it and I'm like... yeah probably? Defenses are smaller now than they were back in his day, many more corners and safeties on rosters league wide, not as many four man fronts nor stuffed eight man boxes, I could see him easily running for 75 yards a quarter. But I think the more interesting thing to think about is how he would be discussed coming out of college during the predraft process if he was coming into the NFL today. That would be INSUFFERABLE.
He was the consensus number one overall pick by the Tampa Bay Bucs even *after* he told the Bucs he would never play for them. And I've never heard anyone say the Bucs made the wrong decision by drafting him. You think back a few years ago to the discourse surround Saquon Barkley and Zeke Elliott when they were both top five selections and I can't even imagine what the #takes would be about Bo. He'd be a third rounder at best, maybe even later due to the fact that he only averaged 10 receptions per year during his time with the Raiders, and a one dimensional back like that just isn't what the NFL is looking for nowadays. So yes, I agree Bo would absolutely demolish modern NFL defenses... once he got a promotion up from the practice squad he signed with after being an undrafted free agent.
Make sure you listen to the full interview between legitimately two of the greatest athletes of all time.