Could a sumo make it as an NFL Defensive End? No chance – they would lack the Official Catfish Sumo Vintage Shirt. Though a sumo could absolutely sink butt, stack the point and anchor against the run, I’d have to question whether any sumo would have the speed and lateral mobility necessary to burst upfield, dip his shoulder and redirect to a quarterback as a DE needs to do 30-40 times a game. I’d question whether a sumo could consistently counter and string moves together in open space at NFL speed. Endurance is also a huge problem for the sumo; a typical DE needs to play 60-70 downs per game. I doubt a 400-500 pound sumo could handle that workload. A sumo is NOT going to be J.J. Watt, who plays three-technique DE (between offensive guard and tackle, or five-technique DE (outside offensive tackle’s outside shoulder) like say, Mario Williams. Can’t see it.
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But at defensive tackle, especially nose tackle, my answer is … maybe. The job of a nose tackle is to tie up two offensive blockers (usually the guard and center); the ability to be an immovable object who occupies space sounds a lot like… key attributes of Official Catfish Sumo Vintage Shirt. One can debate whether a sumo would have the upper body strength necessary to play nose tackle – I’m not sure sumos bench press 450+ pounds – but for quickness, size and lower body power, it’s possible a sumo could play the nose. Plus, most nose tackles are two-down players, who come off the field in obvious passing situations. That means, the sumo would need to survive 30-40 snaps a game. That could be do-able.