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Ranking the Top XFL Players Who Play in the NFL

a special year for the league, but as we all know, COVID-19 happened. With the pandemic in the mix, the XFL was forced to shut down its operations, and players had to find another platform to show their chops.

Thankfully, the National Football League was willing to accept the best talents in the XFL provided they met the right criteria. The XFL hasn’t resumed since then and was initially planning a 2022 relaunch. However, the return date has been pushed forward to 2023. As we wait for an official resumption date, we decided to rank the top XFL stars who have featured or currently play in the NFL.

Donald Parham Jr.

Current Team: Los Angeles Chargers

Position: Tight End (TE)

The 24-year old Lakeland native signed with the Detroit Lions as an undrafted free agent but got waived two days later. He also had a short spell with the Washington Redskins practice squad.

He was a 9th round pick during the 2020 XFL draft and made his league debut with the Dallas Renegades.

Parham currently plays for the Los Angeles Chargers who have the sixth best NFL Super Bowl odds going into the new season.

Taylor Heinicke

Current Team: Washington Commanders/Football Team

Position: Quarterback (QB)

Heinicke did not have the best of starts to his pro ball career. He kicked off by signing with the Minnesota Vikings as an undrafted free agent. He was released after two years after struggles with injuries and later signed with the New England Patriots squad.

He didn’t make the cut and was later released after two months. Yet to make an NFL debut, Heinicke signed with the Houston Texans and would finally feature in the league against the Steelers. Unfortunately, he suffered a concussion and was waived by the Texans.

The Carolina Panthers would eventually sign Heinicke off waivers in 2018, but his injury woes continued to haunt him. After featuring in only six games, he suffered an elbow injury, and although he signed a new contract with the Panthers, he was later released in 2019.

He would later get drafted to the St. Louis Battlehawks in 2019, but wouldn’t feature in any league game due to the lockdown. However, his dream NFL career would later become a reality after he was signed to the Washington Commander’s practise squad and promoted to the team’s active roster.

P.J. Walker

Current Team: Carolina Panthers

Position: Quarterback (QB)

Coming off an outstanding college year for the Temples when he was named the MVP at the American Athletic Conference Championship Game, Walker’s eyes were set on the NFL. He would sign with Indianapolis Colts as an undrafted free agent in 2017 and after a series of signings and waiving, was finally released in 2019.

The Houston Roughnecks selected Walker during the 2020 XFL Draft and immediately made his mark. He was named the league’s first ever Star of the Week and led the XFL in passing yards and passing touchdowns. The Roughnecks were 5-0 before the league’s premature ending

with Walker leading the charge.

He signed a 2-year deal with the Panthers in 2020 and has played backup behind Teddy Bridgewater, Cam Newton, and now Sam Darnold. Walker resigned from a one-year contract extension with the Panthers in January 2022.

Josh Johnson

Current Team: Denver Broncos

Position: Quarterback (QB)

Josh Johnson has played for 15 NFL teams (yes! 15), most of which he played a backup role. He started his pro-ball career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the 160th overall pick.

In 2020, he made his XFL debut for the Los Angeles Wildcats and was named the highest-rated quarterback in the league. He returned to the NFL after signing with the Jets for a second stint.

Johnson is currently under contract with the Denver Broncos after signing a one-year extension in March.

Storm Norton

Current Team: Los Angeles Chargers

Position: Offensive Tackle

We reserve the top spot for none other than Storm Norton who has played 22 games in the NFL and 17 as a starter. His pro ball career began with Detroit Lions where he was signed as an undrafted free agent. He also signed with the Arizona Cardinals and Minnesota Vikings as a practice squad member but couldn’t make the active roster.

Norton was selected first overall by the Los Angeles Wildcats in phase 2 of the 2020 XFL Draft. He was subsequently named the highest-rated offensive lineman in the league that same year.

He signed an NFL contract with the Chargers, four days after his XFL deal was terminated, and will be looking to help the team to its first Super Bowl win.

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