Heading into training camp, most of each XFL team’s rosters are set. Coaches are getting a good idea of what they’re working with after minicamp, but the league is holding a second supplemental draft on January 2nd. Teams will be looking to fill out the fringes of their rosters, and we’ll take a look at team needs here.
Dallas Renegades: QB Depth
Bob Stoops and his star studded staff have put together quite the roster from top to bottom. Their defense is balanced all around, with no glaring weaknesses. With a high powered offense featuring Landry Jones, Cameron Artis-Payne, Jeff Badet, Donald Parham and a solid OL group, the only need I see here is a third quarterback on the depth chart. Right now they have Jones and Phillip Nelson.
Jones is primed to be one of the XFL’s star quarterbacks after years playing for Bob Stoops and in the NFL. Nelson offers upside, and improved his play after transferring to East Carolina from Minnesota. However he had limited success in college, and while he started in the AAF last season, he put up middling numbers with 513 yards with 3-3 TD/INT and a 58.4% completion rate.
Nelson could develop into a quality backup, but Bob Stoops would be wise to bring another arm in to compete for the job. A young QB like Eric Dungey – Syracuse or CJ Collins – SAGU would be a great fit here.
DC Defenders: Kicker
Hunter Niswander played exclusively at Punter in college. While he’s been getting work as the team’s placekicker, the Defenders might want to bring in a more experienced player to fill the position, or at least push Niswander as he grows.
Niswander may yet have the chops, but bringing in a dedicated kicker certainly couldn’t hurt. They could take an ex AAF kicker like Nick Rose (14/14, 54 Long), or shoot for an NFL free agent like Giorgio Tavecchio (80.8 FG%, 56 Long).
They also don’t have a listed Long Snapper, and I’m sure former Green Beret and Texas A&M LS Nate Boyer would be proud to play in the nation’s capital.
Houston Roughnecks: QB Depth
Connor Cook and Phillip Walker are squaring off for the starting job, but the Roughnecks would do well to add to their QB room here. Cook and Walker are relatively unknown quantities who were successful in college but struggled in the NFL. There’s potential with both, but adding some depth would help solidify the group.
Los Angeles Wildcats: TE
The Wildcats currently have Brandon Barnes, Cordon Moog and Johnny Stanton in their TE corps. Barnes is the most experienced Tight End in the group, with 13 receptions for 199 yards and 3TD in one season at Alabama State. The other two are new to the position. Moog was a rugby player from Baylor, while Stanton is a talented football player who played QB/FB/LB at UNLV.
This raw group could pay dividends, but getting at TE prospect with more experience would go a long way to helping this offense. Clay Harbor and Fred Davis are two 30 something NFL veterans in the XFL pool who would immediately upgrade the position, and give Wildcat’s QB’s quality targets over the middle.
New York Guardians: OL Depth
I’ve been high on the Guardians O Line all offseason, but it looks like the status of the touted Kouandjio brother is in the air. At Guard and Tackle, Arie and Cyrus would immediately be among the best in the league, but neither has been signed yet. In the event that they do not make the field, the Guardians should shore up that position.
There’s a number of linemen left in the XFL Pool who could offer value here, and there’s the potential for NFL free agents to make an appearance as well. Taylor Hearn was a surprising draft snub, and the former member of Clemson’s championship team offers value as a G/T.
Seattle Dragons: Running Back
Trey Williams was a dynamic runner at Texas A&M, but we haven’t seen anything out of him since the 2015 preseason. He could come in and flourish in the starting job, but he’s a relative unknown in the pros.
There remain a litany of successful pro running backs in the XFL Draft Pool, most notably Zac Stacy (1,713 Yards from Scrimmage, 10 TD’s), Brandon Oliver (1,182 YFS, 4 TD’s) and Jonas Gray (671 YFS, 5 TD’s). Bringing a veteran back into this group would help establish offensive rhythm and bring the younger guys up to speed.
St Louis Battlehawks: Defensive Line
The Battlehawks have a good pair of Edge Rushers in Andrew Ankrah and Will Clarke, but they could use some more established talent in the middle of the trenches. Casey Sayles should be a disruptive force, but he’ll need more depth behind and around him to hold down the defense.
There’s a lot of options still available here, but I’d love to see Ronald Ollie end up on the Battlehawks. He was a disruptive player in college with good quickness and burst for his size, and would immediately upgrade STL’s line.
Tampa Bay Vipers: Linebacker
The Vipers also only hold 2 QB’s on the roster, so more depth there would help, but they could shore up the LB group in the last supplemental draft. Terrance Plummer is their most experienced backer, and was a component of the Toronto Argonaut’s defense when they won the Grey Cup in 2017. Outside of that, the group could use more depth.
Emmanuel Beal flashed some skills at Oklahoma, but at 6’0″, 218 figures to be more of a dimebacker or box safety. Lucas Wacha and Reggie Northrup were both tackling machines in college, but the Vipers LB group is still bereft of proven NFL talent. Someone like Arthur Brown (a former 2nd round pick) would be hungry to prove themselves in the XFL.
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