The Key D’s for Dallas on Draft Day

The first day of the historical XFL Draft has come to an end with one more day of draft picks coming ahead for the 8 XFL teams on Wednesday. We saw a combination of former college stars, NFL starters, Alliance of American Football stars, and small school unknowns find homes.

Dallas Renegades head coach Bob Stoops and his staff came in with a plan and strategy on who they were going after and it was clear from their first pick in the draft. Here are the important D’s that were seen with their day one draft strategies.

D – Dash

It might be safe to say that Bob Stoops’ new nickname should be “Ricky Bobby” because he made it known that he wants his offense to go fast, fast, fast. There is a ton of speed at the running back and receiver positions.

It was clear this was their vision when three of their first four draft picks were wide receivers including Jeff Badet (4.27 second 40 yard dash), TommyLee Lewis (4.45 second 40 yard dash), and Stacy Coley (4.45 second 40 yard dash). Height was not a factor in Stoops’ decision as well as neither of those three players are taller than 6 foot 1 inches. Renegades offensive coordinator Hal Mumme is known for being the architect of his fast-paced air raid offense so it’s no surprise that they want speed and a lot of it. The height issues could be seen as a negative for the team, but it may not matter if these guys are flying past corners on deep balls. It’s safe to say though that new Renegades quarterback Landry Jones should be leading the league in pass attempts in general and pass attempts of more than 20 yards easily.

New running back Cameron Artis-Payne may not be as fast as he is more of a power back, but his new teammates, Lance Dunbar and Dimitri Flowers, may have other ideas about that. Dunbar being a familiar name for Dallas Cowboys fans know of his skill set as he was a reliable receiver out of the backfield so expect to see him on a lot of third down and long plays. While Flowers has surprising speed for a former fullback (4.45 second 40 yard dash) and will make for a nice complementary back that is more in between what Artis-Payne and Dunbar are.

D – Dependable

What do I mean by dependable? My definition is talking about the players that Stoops can rely on as his former players at Oklahoma. He drafted four of his former players that were impact players during their time in college.

Easily, the biggest name from his old school was his quarterback Landry Jones. Jones threw for over 16,000 yards under Stoops leading to him being drafted by the Steelers in the NFL. Badet, as mentioned before, was more well known for what he did at Kentucky before transferring to OU in his final year of college, but he displayed speed and should be a deep threat early for Jones. Flowers was also mentioned in the previous D as showed off great speed for a fullback and will make an impact in pass blocking for Jones. Defensive end Frank Alexander was dominate for Stoops in his last two years of college as he combined for 15 sacks in the 2010 and 2011 seasons so it would be no surprise that Stoops will look at him to be the leader on the defensive line.

D – Defenders

Apologizes to the DC Defenders for stealing your name, but it is fitting to talk about the draft strategy that was in the minds of Stoops and his defensive coordinator Chris Woods. Woods is known for running a 3-4 defense during his time at Texas State and fans got to see some of that influence in their picks of their front seven. Linebackers Jonathan Massaquoi, Tegray Scales, Greer Martini and Ray Ray Davison all come from backgrounds of being in 3-4 defenses. Davison is a converted defensive lineman to linebacker which is what you typically see in an outside linebacker whose primary responsibility is coming off the edge to get to the quarterback. Massaquoi is an NFL veteran who played several years with the Atlanta Falcons that was known for having a 3-4 defense so he should help with the younger linebacker’s development. Scales and Martini were with the Pittsburgh Steelers this past preseason and the Green Bay Packers in 2018 that also ran 3-4 defenses so they should be able to plug in easily and adapt to the pros.

As for the defensive linemen, they made sure to pick up that were big enough to plug the middle of the line to disrupt any offense’s running game. Look for 324 lbs defensive tackle Sealver Siliga have no problems holding his own in the middle and should have great push off the line of scrimmage. Despite the Renegades getting lighter defensive tackles (the other 3 drafted were under 270 lbs), they did find defensive ends that should bring plenty off the edge. Quarterbacks in the XFL should fear the duo of Frank Alexander and Hau’oli Kikaha.

D – Dropping Back

Stoops and Mumme were looking for offensive linemen who would block their defenders in pass protection since we suspect they will be “dropping back” to pass plenty of times. Lineman like Willie Beavers, Pace Murphy, and Alex Balducci displayed great pass blocking skills and should be evident in all their selections at line. This is one of the deeper lines in the draft and all should compete for starting roles with Balducci looking like the leader in the middle of the line. Expect these linemen to be ready to be pass blocking 60-70% of the time in the air raid offense.

D – Draft Picks

Below is the full list of the day one picks for the Dallas Renegades:

Skill Players

T1 – Landry Jones, QB
1. Jeff Badet, WR
2. TommyLee Lewis, WR
3. Cameron Artis-Payne, RB
4. Stacy Coley, WR
5. Sean Price, TE
6. Kelvin McKnight, WR
7. Philip Nelson, QB
8. Lance Dunbar, RB
9. Donald Parham, TE
10. Dimitri Flowers, RB

Offensive Lineman

1. Willie Beavers, T
2. Pace Murphy, T
3. Maurquice Skakir, G
4. Darius James, T
5. Alex Balducci, C
6. Josh Allen, G
7. Adam Bisnowaty, T
8. Salesi Uhatafe, G
9. John Keenoy, G
10. Justin Evans, T

Front Seven

1. Hau’oli Kikaha, DE
2. Sealver Siliga, DT
3. Wilson Craig, DT
4. Ray Ray Davison, LB
5. Greer Martini, LB
6. Gelen Robinson, DT
7. Frank Alexander, DE
8. Jonathan Massaquoi
9. Tegray Scales, LB
10. Izaah Lunsford, DT

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