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NY Jets: 4 players who could pull a Shohei Ohtani and play both ways

NY Jets, Bryce Hall
NY Jets, Bryce Hall / NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY NE
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NY Jets, Braden Mann
NY Jets, Braden Mann / Kevin Wexler-USA TODAY Sports

1. Braden Mann, P --> LB, NY Jets

Yes, this one is technically cheating a little. Braden Mann is a punter, and we aren't projecting him to play both offense and defense. But come on, who doesn't want to see Braden Mann laying down the hit stick on running backs as a linebacker?

Mann, himself, sure does.

The Texas native planned on playing linebacker in college despite his success as a specialist in high school. Mann was ranked as the No. 2 kicker coming out of high school, but he still dreamed of patrolling the middle of the defense as a linebacker.

Those dreams came crashing down after he fractured his back twice — once in seventh grade and once as a sophomore in high school. That and that fact that he never grew beyond 5-foot-11, 205 pounds.

"I wanted to play middle linebacker in college, but clearly I’m a little smaller than your average linebacker. (But) I still wanted to play college football, so I figured I would just switch to kicker and punter."

Braden Mann

That hasn't stopped Mann from living out his childhood dream on the football field in the only way he knows how. By making every tackle count.

Mann became known as the hardest-hitting kicker/punter in college football and he carried over that reputation to the NFL where he led all specialists in tackles a rookie.

Braden Mann is never going to be an NFL linebacker. But how fun would it be to see him lining up alongside C.J. Mosley for one snap in a blowout?

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Until he gets that chance, however, he'll continue to live vicariously as a pseudo-linebacker on special teams.

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