We've already picked the best non-NFL athletes for our Backyard All-Pro Team featuring the likes of LeBron James, Justin Verlander and Lionel Messi. Now we're going to put together the best group of celebrity football players that we can.

In this case, we'll be choosing one 7-on-7 team to play both ways. The tough part here when it comes to choosing an actor is to separate a great performance playing an athlete with the actual athleticism of the actor himself. With that in mind, here is our squad:

Picking The Ultimate Celebrity Team For Thanksgiving Day Pick-Up Football Game Slideshow


QB/Safety: Josh Duhamel
(Transformers, Las Vegas)

Duhamel not only looks the part of the All-American quarterback, he has actual QB experience, having played the position at Minot State University in North Dakota. UCLA it isn't, but when it comes to actors (notoriously short) being athletic (usually not very), we'll take a 6-4, ex-college QB to run our offense and defense any time.


RB/CB: Nelly (The Longest Yard)

Nelly is a diehard St. Louis Cardinals fan and was a bona fide high school baseball star. He apparently got some interest from a few major league clubs, but chose to pursue the rap game instead of America's pastime. His status as a legit high school sports prospect gives him instant athletic credibility among this talent pool. His role in The Longest Yard remake also showed some real world speed.


Slot Receiver/CB: Mark Wahlberg (Invincible, The Fighter, Ted)

Wahlberg's performance as Vince Papale in "Invincible" is enough to get him on this list alone, displaying the physique, the attitude and the gridiron skills to successfully pull off a performance that required him to play lots of actual football. On this team, he'd be our Wes Welker, working the middle and catching five- and 10-yard slants all day long.


WR/LB: LL Cool J (Any Given Sunday, NCIS: Los Angeles)

Everyone knows LL Cool J is jacked -- he's got the magazine covers and the fitness books to prove it. His turn as a pro football running back in "Any Given Sunday" was convincing, and his 6-2 frame and top flight conditioning make him the ideal guy to run routes at 100 percent the entire game. Also, a live 'Mama Said Knock You Out' pregame performance will have your squad fired up and ready to roll.


TE/LB: Joel McHale
(Community, Talk Soup)

What? The guy from Talk Soup? Who would put a comedian on a football team? I would. At least I'd put this one on. McHale walked on and played tight end for Washington, where the 6-4 actor says he bulked up to about 250 pounds to be in game shape. We'll take a D-I athlete at his natural position on our team all day -- besides, Daniel Tosh wasn't available.


TE/LB: The Rock (Fast Five, WWE)

Probably the most obvious guy on this list. Dwayne Johnson played football at The U with a slew of NFL stars, including Ray Lewis. The Rock is 6-5 and upwards of 270 pounds, so we'd probably have to combine the athletic ability of half of Hollywood to equal The Rock's natural skills. Instead of going with a wide receiver here, we'd rather run a double tight end set like the Patriots. Hernandez and Gronkowski; meet The Rock and McHale.


Center/Defensive Line: Chris Hemsworth (Thor, Red Dawn)

The No. 1 job for a center in pick-up football is to be a roadblock for whatever pass rush comes at the quarterback. Standing at about 6-4 and weighing around 210 pounds, Thor would make for a pretty decent one-man offensive line. His background in Australian Rules Football is a promising sign that he'll be able to handle himself -- and facing the God of Thunder should make an opposing D-Lineman think twice.

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-- Follow Jon Finkel on Twitter @Jon_Finkel.

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