Antonio Gates (2003 – Current)
Besides Tony Gonzalez, tight end Antonio Gates was the original “basketball to football” convert. Gates was an All-American honorable mention at power forward at Kent State University. Unfortunately, Gates didn’t have a realistic chance to play in the NBA, so he decided to try his luck in another sport. Despite never playing football in college, Gates tried out for the NFL, holding an arranged workout for NFL teams. The San Diego Chargers eventually signed him, and he made good on their investment by becoming an eight-time Pro Bowl selection, three time First Team All Pro, two time Second Team All Pro, and member of the NFL’s 2000’s All Decade Team.
There is no doubt that Gates will be a first ballot Hall of Famer when he eventually decides to call it quits. NFL Resume: 8x Pro Bowl, San Diego Chargers all-time leader in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns.