'Mortal Kombat' meets the 2021 NFL Draft
By RJ Young
FOX Sports College Football Writer
With the "Mortal Kombat" movie dropping Friday and the NFL Draft beginning Thursday, I thought about which pro prospects would be most like some of the canon characters in the "MK" franchise.
Using their varied background, lore and abilities in the tournament, as well as physical traits in the gridiron, here are the comparisons I drew.
Now, imagine these guys in a video game:
Shang Tsung: Kyle Pitts
Shang Tsung can take on whatever form is necessary to win the fight. Pitts is much the same.
While Pitts is listed as a tight end, he can be a slot receiver, a possession receiver on the numbers or a deep threat capable of taking the top off the defense. What’s clear, though, is that like Tsung thinks of himself as a sorcerer, Pitts thinks of himself as a tight end first and foremost.
His high school coach at Abington Senior High School outside of Philadelphia wanted him to play quarterback.
"I didn’t really like it at all," Pitts said. "I asked them, could I, like, try to go tight end? He said, ‘OK, well, get in a three-point stance.’ I did that, and then he said, ‘You’ll never make it.’ So that’s when I came here, and I’m showing now that I can make it at tight end."
Pitts transferred to Archbishop Wood, where he became not only a tight end but also perhaps the best athlete in this draft.
Jax: Micah Parsons
With cybernetic upgrades to his arms, Major Jackson "Jax" Briggs has perhaps the best grip in Earthrealm. When Parsons gets his hands on opposing ball carriers, it’s almost as difficult to escape his grasp as it is to outrun Jax’s Ground Pound.
In just two years at Penn State, Parsons notched 191 tackles and earned All-America First Team selection as a sophomore. He’s the kind of sideline-to-sideline linebacker who is perfect for a nickel defense, with the ability to line up in a nine-technique on third down and in pass-rush situations.
Raiden: Trevor Lawrence
Raiden was the first protector of Earthrealm, and he gave rise to some of the most capable warriors and defenders of the realm the tournament has ever seen.
Lawrence, like Raiden, is more than likely to become a legendary first for Clemson. He’ll be the first player in school history selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft.
Like Raiden, he can call lightning from the sky in the form of touchdown strikes, and his teammates want to follow him. It’s one thing to be a gifted player. It’s quite another to be a gifted leader. Raiden and Lawrence are both.
Liu Kang: Justin Fields
Kang is the tournament’s Grand Champion and Earthrealm’s greatest warrior. That is what Fields has the chance to be not just for Ohio State but also in the NFL.
He’s one of the most athletic quarterbacks to enter the draft since Kyler Murray, and he’s perhaps OSU’s best quarterback ever. Like Kang, who succeeded where other Shaolin monks had failed, Fields will likely be just the third Buckeye QB drafted in the first round since Art Schlicter. Then his tournament truly begins.
Scorpion: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah
Like Scorpion when he tosses a metal chain tipped with a Kunai across the room, Owusu Koramoah has range. Although entering the draft as a linebacker, the Notre Dame star is more than capable in coverage, and what he sees, he hits. And the man I nicknamed the Wu Assassin doesn’t miss much.
Sub-Zero: Devonta Smith
Smith is just cold — like, cold-blooded. Sub-Zero is too. Not just because he can manipulate water to form almost anything — usually a sharp thing — made of ice but also because he is the grandmaster of the Lin Kuei.
The Lin Kuei are a clan of assassins and the most prominent group in Mortal Kombat. Along with Smoke, Sektor, Frost and others, they are perhaps the most formidable group in the tournament.
With Smith at the front, you might say the same about Alabama’s receiving corps over the past three years, which includes Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs and Jaylen Waddle.
Shao Kahn: Nick Saban
As the leader of Outworld and one of the tournament’s most powerful fighters, Shao Kahn declared war on Earthrealm, which is exactly what I think Nick Saban did at Alabama in 2007.
After learning he could win as a head coach in the South, Saban left the NFL realm to return home to where he knew he could conquer. And he has laid siege to this college football realm for nearly 15 years.
Like Kahn, he leads an army of the sport’s best and rarely experiences defeat. If you come at Nick Saban and Alabama, you better know it’s a boss battle.
RJ Young is a national college football writer and analyst for FOX Sports. Follow him on Twitter at @RJ_Young. Subscribe to "The RJ Young Show" on YouTube. He is not on a StepMill.