The best offensive players in the XFL Draft Pool by position

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MikeMitchell
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The best offensive players in the XFL Draft Pool by position

Post by MikeMitchell » Sat Oct 12, 2019 1:03 am

This is just my own personal list. A selection of some of the nearly 1,000 players that have their names in the XFL Draft Pool. Over 400 of the players officially named will not be drafted. The overall list of players is good, especially for a first year league. The XFL is most likely a year away from being able to obtain stronger talent. The disadvantage of being a startup league in a field that is littered with utter failure. The XFL is a prove it first league. Which kind of fits the type of player that the league is going to have. The entire league is a proving ground.

Important to note that the league is not finished with their talent search, specifically at the quarterback position. The league is going to continue to talk to agents and players who are currently on NFL rosters and the players who come off the practice squads in January. As Oliver Luck stated on the XFL Show, The 8 Quarterbacks assigned will not be the "end of it".

Here's my best players by position. I am only going by names that have been officially announced and this is not by any particular order. Just draft pool players. I will do the offense first.

Quarterbacks

Connor Cook, Joe Callahan, BJ Daniels, Tyree Jackson, Zach Mettenberger, Tanner Mangum, Phillip Nelson, Jake Heaps, Marquise Williams, Darron Thomas, Austin Allen, Taylor Cornelius & Tanner Lee

- With most teams carrying no more than 3 quarterbacks per roster. It will essentially be a league with 24 total quarterbacks max. There are currently 35 quarterbacks listed as being in the pool. I think Cook might end up being a starter. He never really got a fair shot in the NFL. Daniels has great roster value as a backup. Callahan despite breaking records in college, has never really gotten a fair chance either. I like the upside of Jackson and Mangum. Some team will fall in love with Tyree's size (6'7) and athletic ability. Mangum is a high character guy who seems like an ideal #2 QB.

Running Backs

Cameron Artis Payne, Christine Michael, Matt Jones, JaQuan Gardner, Branden Oliver, Andre Williams, Donnell Pumphrey, Kelvin Taylor, Terron Ward, Jhurell Pressley, Dominick Bragalone, Lance Dunbar, Jonas Gray, Trent Richardson, Akeem Hunt, Storm Johnson, Aca 'Cedric Ware, Trey Williams, Trey Watts, Dimitri Flowers, Jacques Patrick & Taku Lee,

- This is a pretty strong group. Some quality names, I left off. There's not a lot of tread on the tires of these backs who are all in that 25 to 28 year old range. Normally backs in that age frame are almost nearly broken down by that point. I am a big fan of Jaquan Gardner. He has power and breakaway ability. Think young MJD. The player in this group that, I hope gets a shot is Bragalone. He has all the tools. He just needs a shot. Sentimental favorite is Taku Lee. This kid has great agility and open field moves.

Fullbacks

Aaron Ripkowski, Tommy Bohanon, JD Moore & Marquez Williams

- I wish that more teams would utilize the fullback position. The Pats rode James Develin's lead blocking to another championship last year and Kyle Juszczyk, before being injured was paving streets of gold for the entire 49ers ground game. Ripkowski and Bohanon are two quality lead guys who could still be playing in the NFL, if not for the deemphasizing of that position the last few years.

Wide Receivers

Demarcus Ayers, Taivon Jacobs, Tre McBride, Jalen Rowell, MeKale McKay, DeMornay Pierson-El, L' Damian Washington, Ryan Broyles, Reece Horn, Nelson Spruce, KD Cannon, Keith Mumphrey, TJ Jones, KJ Maye, Rannell Hall, Donteea Dye, Dontez Ford, Sammie Coates, Jacoby Ford, Armanti Foreman, Mikah Holder, Daniel Williams, Jalen Saunders, Kasen Williams & Terrance Williams

- I didn't include Robert Meachem, because I don't know how much he has left in the tank. His veteran leadership is worth it's weight in gold but I don't see him as a premiere player anymore. This is the diamond in the rough area. Unknowns will emerge and become stars because of the style of the league's play and it's coaching staffs. Be on the lookout for anyone that June Jones picks. He has a long history dating back to the Gamblers of finding hidden gems. If Jones puts his stamp on a receiver. That player is going to catch a lot of passes. My sleeper is Jacobs. He's very polished with elite speed.

Tight Ends

Khari Lee, EJ Bibbs, Clay Harbor, Weslye Saunders, Adrien Robinson, Evan Rodriguez, Orson Charles, Gerald Christian, Cam Clear, Scott Orndoff, Colin Jeter & Connor Davis

- This position is littered with small school gems. Guys who were very productive in college but fell under the radar. The kid who intrigues me is Connor Davis. He has great size and hands. It remains to be seen how many of the teams emphasize the tight end position. We know that Houston won't but Davis is a diamond in the rough from Stony Brook.

Offensive Tackles

Donald Hawkins, Korren Kirven, Bruno Reagan, Michael Bowie, Andrew McDonald, Randall Harris, Daniel Cooney, Kendall Calhoun, Tayo Fabuluje, John Kling, Voghens Larrieux, Lanard Bonner, Kevin Bowen, Brandon Hodges, Cyrus Kouandjio, Javarious Leamon, Matt McCants, Storm Norton, Kelvin Palmer, Dwayne Wallace & Avery Young

- This is a solid group at an extremely hard position to fill especially in secondary football leagues. This is where the scouting department comes in handy. LA's decision to pick first in this group intrigues me. I wonder who Joey Clinkscales has in mind. The disadvantage of picking first in a snake style draft, is that you don't pick again for a long time. You have to hit with your first pick. I expect Hawkins to be drafted early. He can be a blindside protector in the league. Will he go first? I think Korren Kirven is an ideal RT and instant starter but can he play on the left side? Reagan and Norton have a chance to go early in the phase two draft.

Offensive Guards

Brandon Washington, Nico Siragusa, Kirk Barron, Alex Balducci, Venzell Boulware, Marcus Applefield, Leon Brown, Tre Jackson, Sean Hickey, Lamar Mady, Brian Folkerts, Arie Kouandjio, Robert Myers, Ian Silberman & Damien Mama,

- This is a good group. Especially at the top. Barron and Boulware can be NFL starters in the future. They can both play other positions on the line if necessary.

Centers

Jordan McCray, Patrick Lewis, Alec Oberle, Dillon Day, Oni Omoile, Demetrius Rhaney, Jon Toth, Austin Golson & Michael Montero

- McCray should be in the NFL. He graded out as the AAF's best lineman and yet he is still available. Patrick Lewis has a ton of experience and will be starting in the league if healthy. Omoile has raw ability and very good upside.

Kickers

Nick Novak, Roberto Aguayo, Elliott Fry, Greg Joseph, Cole Tracy, Andrew Franks, John Baron & Ty Rausa

- Aguayo will be the most interesting kicker to follow. He had a massive case of the yips and never recovered, despite his high draft pedigree. Can he salvage his career? Novak is a solid vet. Very reliable. Fry has been on the NFL workout circuit since losing the kicking competition in Chicago. Fry most recently tried out for the Pats.

Long Snappers

Tanner Carew, Nate Boyer, Drew Ferris, AJ Hantak & Scott Daly

- This can be considered a defensive position as well. The position plays a big factor on field goals and punts. No extra point kicks in the XFL. The league has surprisingly or unsurprisingly, depending on how you look at it, invited 18 long snappers into the draft pool. The league needs at least eight quality snappers. The position, you only notice when something goes wrong. Carew and Boyer are two accomplished veterans who are very good at their jobs.

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LeoNY
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Re: The best offensive players in the XFL Draft Pool by position

Post by LeoNY » Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:37 am

Great post.

I am extremely fascinated and excited about the draft format and the strategy for which it entails.

One of the interesting aspects is how the league rules haven’t been made public yet but you figure that they will shape how teams draft.

Different strokes for different folks. I am not sure what style of play The Guardians will play. Kevin Gilbride has run and shoot roots but he’s originally a defensive coach who has shown versatility in playing a base offense. I would like to see New York draft Tyree Jackson to backup and potentially take the spot over who is initially assigned to them at the spot.

I am still surprised that Hakeem Nicks is not a part of the draft. It’s easy to see how someone like Andre Williams could end up with Gilbride again in New York.

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Re: The best offensive players in the XFL Draft Pool by position

Post by PA_XFLFAN » Sat Oct 12, 2019 11:11 am

Has it actually been said/on record that Houston will not be drafting TE’s? I’ve seen that said a couple times now but is that just an assumption made based upon June Jones CFL history?

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Re: The best offensive players in the XFL Draft Pool by position

Post by GregParks » Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:20 pm

Great analysis, Mike. Enjoyed reading that.
@gregmparks

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johnnyangryfuzzball
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Re: The best offensive players in the XFL Draft Pool by position

Post by johnnyangryfuzzball » Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:57 pm

I also note that Austin Rehkow, he of the 67-yard field goal in high school, capable of both kicking and punting, is on the list. I'd certainly consider him as one of the top prospects in either category.

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Re: The best offensive players in the XFL Draft Pool by position

Post by steinerfhc » Sat Oct 12, 2019 2:26 pm

I love this Mike, great break down of the players by position. Kind of sad not seeing Hakeem Nicks on the players list. Would loved to see him play again and he would be a name fans know as a SB WR that would have drawn interest. I feel he may not because there was not promise he be on the NY team which seems like that was the only team he play on.

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Re: The best offensive players in the XFL Draft Pool by position

Post by MGB01 » Sat Oct 12, 2019 5:29 pm

johnnyangryfuzzball wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:57 pm
I also note that Austin Rehkow, he of the 67-yard field goal in high school, capable of both kicking and punting, is on the list. I'd certainly consider him as one of the top prospects in either category.
Another note of, um, note: Brett Rypien was the opposing QB in that game.

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MikeMitchell
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Re: The best offensive players in the XFL Draft Pool by position

Post by MikeMitchell » Sat Oct 12, 2019 11:40 pm

PA_XFLFAN wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 11:11 am
Has it actually been said/on record that Houston will not be drafting TE’s? I’ve seen that said a couple times now but is that just an assumption made based upon June Jones CFL history?
Jones doesn’t utilize the tight end. Perhaps he can make an exception but even his staff doesn’t have a Tight Ends coach on it. It’s not a position he normally utilizes. I have seen him use an extra offensive lineman line up as a TE on occasion.

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MikeMitchell
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Re: The best offensive players in the XFL Draft Pool by position

Post by MikeMitchell » Sat Oct 12, 2019 11:46 pm

steinerfhc wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 2:26 pm
I love this Mike, great break down of the players by position. Kind of sad not seeing Hakeem Nicks on the players list. Would loved to see him play again and he would be a name fans know as a SB WR that would have drawn interest. I feel he may not because there was not promise he be on the NY team which seems like that was the only team he play on.
Thanks. There is a lot of stuff that has gone on behind in the scenes the last month and a half. Out of respect for info shared in confidence. I can’t divulge everything. There are a lot of players that got invites and wanted to accept but were advised to “hold off” for now by their agents. Some players turned down invites because they are holding out hope for The NFL this year.

There are a few quarterbacks who were on the verge and XFL bound before injuries changed the landscape in the NFL.

Nicks is in a good spot. Veteran with his money saved. A lot of his issues are quality of life because of all the injuries he has had during his career. His medicals are not great. It would be great to see him with Gilbride in New York. I wouldn’t rule him out in the future but it’s not in the cards right now.

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MikeMitchell
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Re: The best offensive players in the XFL Draft Pool by position

Post by MikeMitchell » Sat Oct 12, 2019 11:49 pm

johnnyangryfuzzball wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:57 pm
I also note that Austin Rehkow, he of the 67-yard field goal in high school, capable of both kicking and punting, is on the list. I'd certainly consider him as one of the top prospects in either category.
It doesn’t hurt if someone can do both. Kicking and punting. Can Rehkow double his salary if he plays both? Probably not. I go back to the original XFL where Noel Prefontaine was LA’s punter and doubled as the teams third string quarterback, so that he could get a QB salary.

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