QBs – Top of the Draft

Scott Milanovich – Chosen 1st Overall

(31 October 2000) – Six QBs were chosen in First Round of XFL Draft The management of all eight XFL teams sent out the same message on draft day: If you want to win a football game you need a good quarterback.

This is why the first seven out of nine selections were quarterbacks. Scott Milanovich, a 6-3, 220-pound quarterback, was the first player taken by the XFL. He was the all-time leading passer at Maryland and spent four seasons as a backup for the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Last year, he played for the Berlin Thunder of NFL Europe.

Many other QBs were drafted from southern colleges. Casey Weldon, the No. 2 choice by the Birmingham Thunderbolts was “stellar” at Florida State and even finished second in Heisman Trophy voting during his senior year. But in eight seasons in the NFL, he played in just 31 games. The Memphis Maniax took Marcus Crandell of East Carolina, the Orlando Rage grabbed Jeff Brohm of Louisville and the Las Vegas Outlaws selected Chuck Clements of Houston.

The San Francisco Demons went against the grain by selecting running back Vaughn Dunbar of Indiana. However, the New York/New Jersey Hitmen returned to the pattern by selecting Charles Puleri of New Mexico State.

The Chicago Enforcers closed the first round by choosing running back John Avery of Mississippi. The Enforcers started the second round by taking a quarterback of their own, Paul Failla of Indiana (Pa.).

It wasn’t until the Hitmen’s second pick and 10th overall that a defensive specialist was selected. They chose Jermaine Smith, Linebacker, Gerogia State.

It wasn’t until the 206th pick, on the third day of the draft, that the Memphis Maniax selected much touted Rashaan Salaam, RB, Colorado. Another player that went later than expected was Jim Dunkenmiller, QB, Virginia Tech, who was taken 78th overall, also by Memphis.

The XFL.COM PASS Tracker

The PASS tracker at the official XFL web site worked well, but it gave the results to the draft a little slowly and laboriously. A user had to refresh the tracker to see the latest results. Unfortunately the tracker started from the first pick as soon as it was refreshed.

On Monday 30 Oct 00, with 340 picks made by XFL teams, the tracker became unmanageable for most users to see the picks in a timely fashion. The XFLBOARD.COM web site, which posting the day 3 results listed on a simple page, served out over 20,000 page views of the day 3 results alone.

Mark Nelson – XFLBoard Editor

The XFL Draft

(25 October 2000) — The XFL draft may prove to be one of the more exciting events that the XFL has staged on the road to its inaugural game on the 3rd of Feb 2001.

Over the weekend of 28-30 October, 2000, a total of 560 players will be picked from a draft pool reported to be over 1500. If you do the math you will see that unfortunately the draft will also prove to be a disappointment for over 900 players who will not be picked in this years draft.

Actually the draft has already begun with the territorial picks that happened last week. Each of the eight XFL teams was able to pick up to 11 players – with no team allowed to protect more than two quarterbacks.

The territorial draft schools for each team are as follows:

  • Birmingham: Alabama, Auburn and UAB
  • Chicago: Illinois, Northwestern, Notre Dame
  • Las Vegas: BYU, UNLV, Nebraska.
  • Los Angeles: San Diego State, S. California, UCLA
  • Memphis: Tennessee, Memphis, Mississippi State
  • New York: Penn State, Rutgers, Syracuse
  • Orlando: Florida, Miami and Central Florida
  • San Francisco: Cal, San Jose State and Stanford

Once the picks are validated, the territorial players claimed by each team will be removed from a draft list that now exceeds 1,500 players.

The real XFL draft action begins Saturday in Chicago, with 10 rounds scheduled. A total of 80 players will be selected on Saturday.

The remaining rounds will be selected by teleconference during the next two days, with each team choosing a final total of 70 players for its preseason roster.

XFL
Draft: The Numbers Game
Draft
Picks
Per
Team
Total
Players
Territorial
Picks prior to 28 Oct
11
88
28
Oct Draft Day
10
80
29-30
Oct – Teleconferencing
49
392
Totals:
70
560

Mark Nelson XFLBoard Editor

Butkus Proves It

(20 October 2000) — Did the XFL lie to it’s fans?

After all, there are many fans who have stepped forward to support the Chicago Enforcers and even some who bought season tickets simply because Dick Butkus was going to be on the sidelines. Most XFL fans bought into the whole concept of Dick Butkus as a Head Coach. Were they lied to?

As fans learned yesterday, Butkus would not be coaching the Enforcers after all. He has stepped “up” into a job as the Director of Football Competition. Meanwhile a far more experienced coach, Ron Meyer, has taken his place at the Chicago sideline.

It was reported that Butkus was sullen during the press conference. Is this the attitude of somebody that just got promoted? It was also reported that this was a better fate for Butkus, rather than firing him in mid-season, which would be a bigger blow to fans. Is the league trying to tell us that it was just not working out? Did they say that they made a mistake and that they are going to correct things? No, they told us that Butkus was getting a promotion.

Simply stated, the XFL did not lie to it’s fans. The league never made any promises that Butkus would be “coach for life”. Anybody who knows sports can tell you that coaches come and go like the wind. However, the league has come across as liars to some.

This is mainly because the XFL markets everything so hard-core. When they have marketed their league, the sound bites and the rhetoric have been unyielding. When Butkus was hired, the press release went on at length to practically proclaim him “king”, the Head Coach of the Chicago Enforcers.

At the time it was exciting and fun, the fans ate it up. Looking back now, it now looks more like a steaming load of manure.

The marketing gurus at the league would have you know that this is the way things are done. It is their responsibility to take advantage of every opportunity to build up some PR for this new league. Fans and proponents of the XFL would have to agree with them. The XFL has a huge mountain to climb when it comes to gaining respect, every avenue to build hype should be explored.

Marketing. This is why the league sported an article called “Butkus Proves It” since July 22nd on the X-Zone, at the XFL web site at http://www.xfl.com,. It was an article about Dick Butkus, saying how he is going to be a such a hard-nose, smashmouth coach, just like Chicago is accustomed to… yada yada yada.

Marketing. Also the reason that the league hired a cessna to buzz soldier field during a Bears game with a banner declaring “Butkus is Back”. This was a good stunt, and worthy of the Butkus the fans came to know – Head Coach of the Enforcers.

Then, this week, Head Coach Butkus was no more. The much celebrated article, “Butkus Proves It”, was removed from the official web site on the day of his “promotion”. Butkus was given a new job: enforcing the rules – because he is such a good enforcer, since his playing days with the Bears, yada, yada, yada…..

Give us a break.

The XFL is going to make mistakes. It is only natural to expect some mistakes when you think of the magnitude of what they are attempting. The big questions is why don’t they admit to their mistakes?

Instead they state that they gave Butkus a “promotion”.

It’s unfortunate, with this type of guerilla marketing the casualties have been the fans. Butkus proves it.

Mark Nelson – XFLBoard Editor

The Final XFL Player Selection Process

(16 October 2000) — The XFL draft is coming up in two weeks. It is time to take a breather and reflect on how the final months of preparation will be for the XFL teams.

The question that many people have been asking is this: How will the XFL go from where they are now to having eight fully staffed teams?

In the next two weeks, each team will be identifying their territorial players. Each XFL team has been assigned a total of three schools from which they may automatically claim players. Before the actual draft, each team will probably have already selected between 10-15 players.

The XFL league meeting is scheduled for Chicago on 26-28 October 2001. On the 28th of October the draft will take place. At the end, a total of 70 players will be selected by each XFL team.

The XFL has tentatively scheduled two mini-camps for each XFL team this fall, to be held in their respective cities. These camps will be held on 13-20 Nov 2000 and 11-18 Dec 2000.

XFL Training camps will run from January 2nd, 2001 until January 28th, 2001. From the 70 players that were initially drafted the teams will cut to 63 players on January 14th 2001 and then to 55 players on January 21st, 2001. On January 28th, 2001, final XFL rosters will be announced with 38 active players and 7 practice squad players.

XFL Player Selection Overview

  • Prior to 28 Oct 00 – Protected players from territorial schools selected.
  • 28 Oct 00 – XFL Draft. Each team to pad rosters to 70 players.
  • 13-20 Nov 2000 – XFL Mini-Camp #1
  • 11-18 Dec 2000 – XFL Mini-Camp #2
  • 2 Jan 2001 – Training Camp Starts.
  • 14 Jan 2001 – Rosters trimmed to 63 players.
  • 21 Jan 2001 – Rosters trimmed to 55 players.
  • 28 Jan 2001 – Final XFL rosters announced with 38 active players and 7 practice squad players.

Mark Nelson – XFLBoard Editor