Now that the XFL draft is all wrapped up and teams are now beginning to get players together for the 2023 season we can now look at rosters and see a few similar faces from the IFL. The IFL had 17 players selected in the XFL draft, but there are 3 faces that are most likely going to make a difference to teams in 2023.
KD Cannon (Wide Receiver/ DC Defenders):
Starting off this list is the 27 year old Wide Receiver KD Cannon who was drafted to the DC Defenders in Round 3 with the 17th Pick in this year’s XFL draft. Before getting drafted to the DC Defenders his college career began at Baylor. In his college career (2014-2016) KD combined for 195 Receptions, 3,113 Receiving Yards, and 27 Receiving Touchdowns.
KD was named 2014 Freshman All-American, 2016 All Big 12 First Team (Coaches, Phil Steele), 2016 Motel 6 Cactus Bowl Offensive MVP. At the combine KD ran a 4.41 40 yard dash and was considered “College Football’s Most Explosive Player” by NFL analysts. KD has been on 4 different NFL teams but started with the 49ers (2017), Jets in 2017, 2018 he was picked up by the Rams and then the Cowboys. He then moved on to the CFL and played for the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2018-2019 and only played 3 games and caught 16 passes for 220 receiving yards but no touchdowns.
The former Baylor wide receiver has come back to the XFL after playing with 2 separate teams in 2020. KD was drafted by the Los Angeles Wildcats in 2019, he was then waived by the team because of the stacked team of receivers and KD happened to find himself being the odd man out when it came down to roster cuts.
He was then picked up by the Seattle Dragons and they put him on their 9-man practice squad, he never played a snap for them and his contract was then terminated when the XFL was shut down in early 2020. KD’s last experience of football came in 2021 in the IFL when he played for the Vegas Knighthawks and recorded 33 Catches, 422 Receiving Yards, and 10 Receiving Touchdowns.
Jaquan Artis (Defensive End):
Jaquan Artis was drafted to the Houston Roughnecks in Round 11, Pick 84 in the 2022 XFL draft. The 24 Year old DE played at Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics from 2017-2019 and recorded 29 total sacks, 216 total tackles, and 5 forced fumbles. Jaquan played for Northern Arizona Wranglers and won DPOY, DROY, and All Defensive 1st Team in his rookie season.
In just 1 rookie season in Northern Arizona Jaquan had 9.5 sacks, 17.5 TFL’s, and 40 tackles which is why he had so many selections for awards at the end of the season. While there during his rookie season he helped their defense win a championship in 2022 and won the championship MVP for getting an impressive 2.0 sacks, 2 TFL’s, and 5 total tackles to end the game. The Roughnecks just got what could be a steal due to him being 24 this move provides long term depth on the D-line.
Santos Ramirez (Safety):
In the 7th round with the 52nd pick the DC Defenders chose former Arkansas safety Santos Ramirez. Santos, who is 26 years old, started his journey with Arkansas and played there from 2015-2018. Ramirez recorded 229 total tackles, 3 INT’s, and 1 defensive touchdown during his time there and was elected captain in 2018 for his senior season.
Santos was then signed to the Jets in 2019 and didn’t play a snap but rather got drafted to the XFL for a better shot at showing what he could do. He played for the Seattle Dragons in 2020 but only got to play 5 games and in those games got 9 total tackles to end his XFL stint. In 2021 he decided to join the IFL and played for the Frisco Fighters where he got to show what he could really do when given the chance. 50 total tackles, 6 INT’s, and 5 Pass breakups is why the DC defenders chose the Arkansas safety with the 52nd pick.
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