A top-10 list before the return of the XFL season? This may be one of the least controversial articles that’s come out of on XFL News Hub in a while. With that being said, as we do with every subject relating to Alt-Football, it was only a matter of time before the members of XFL News Hub discussed who are some of the Top-10 players coming into the XFL season. Like with the “Way Too Early QB Rankings of 2023” this is subject to change prior to the end of the season.
10. Jordan McCray Center San Antonio Brahmas
McCray is a seasoned veteran of all things alt-football playing in the NFL, AFL, AAF, XFL, IFL, USFL and now back in the XFL 3.0. He’s earned All-Arena honors (2018), been a three-time champion (IFL, USFL, AAF), has been graded as the highest rated lineman by PFF (AAF), and earned 1st-Team All-XFL by PFF as well. Wherever McCray has went he’s succeeded and accomplished great things, so it’s only fitting that the 30-Year Old Center comes into 2023 as a Top-10 player based off his pedigree.
9. Cameron Hunt Offensive Guard Arlington Renegades
Hunt comes to the XFL after an All-USFL performance for the Championship Birmingham Stallions, after bouncing around the NFL since 2017, Hunt reunites with Offensive Line Coach Jonathan Himebauch and is primed to continue his dominance in his second alt-football season.
8. Garrett McGhin Offensive Guard Arlington Renegades
McGhin is another All-USFL player now joining Jonathan Himebauch in Arlington. A veteran of two NFL games, McGhin is a fringe NFL player who only looks to improve in his second Alt-Football Season like Cameron Hunt.
7. Martavis Bryant Wide Receiver Vegas Vipers
Between Josh Gordon and Martavis Bryant, I give the edge to Bryant. Why? It’s simple Bryant is hungry and knows this is his last shot at the NFL. After off the field issues, a stint in the CFL, the former Clemson star rebuilt his brand in the FCF and is primed to use his top tier talent to breakout with the Vipers in 2023.
6. Will Likely Cornerback Houston Roughnecks
How Will Likely did not garner a training camp invite is beside me but coming off an All-USFL performance with the Houston Gamblers in 2022, Will is set to continue his dominance in Alt-Football. Will joins the XFL for the second time after getting cut by the DC Defenders in 2020, but has spent 2021 (Spring League Jousters), and 2022 (USFL’s Houston Gamblers), improving his game and earning the endearing term as a Ballhawk.
5. Abram Smith Running Back DC Defenders
The number one overall skill position draftee has to make this list right? After an All-Conference performance at Baylor, Smith was a late training camp cut by the Saints in August of 2022. Smith isn’t the flashiest runner, nor the fastest but he does possess the innate ability read blocks, has above average vision and great footwork to maneuver his way for big gains to keep the chains moving. Look for Smith to be a Top-4 runner in the XFL in 2023.
4. Sal Cannella Tight End Arlington Renegades
Another All-USFL player Sal Cannella was the USFL’s Top Tight End in 2023 and is reunited with his Breakers Quarterback Kyle Sloter. With the Renegades strong Offensive Line, and Sloter back at Quarterback, Cannella is primed to add to the accolades he began compiling from the USFL.
3.Donald Payne Linebacker Arlington Renegades
The leading USFL tackler, was robbed of an NFL opportunity for whatever reason. Payne was the USFL’s top linebacker after spending 2017 to 2021 in the NFL. Payne is an NFL caliber Linebacker and is set to continue to dominate in the XFL in 2023. Look for Payne to be one and done in the XFL which sports a favorable schedule for those looking to catch on to NFL rosters after the draft.
2.Jordan Ta’amu Quarterback DC Defenders
The number one Quarterback on my “Way Too Early Quarterback Ranking” makes his way to number two. Ta’amu’s rushing ability adds to his worth, as he’s been a Top-10 rusher in both the USFL and XFL in his first two Alt-Football Seasons. Primed with weapons and solid Running Back Room Ta’amu is set to earn an All-XFL team nod and be one of the leagues stars.
1. Marcell Ateman Wide Receiver St. Louis Battlehawks
A bit of a wildcard but I may be biased. After talking with Coach Anthony Becht via Zoom, the conversation regarding receivers was centered around Ateman. Not the fastest guy in the league, but Ateman is able to win contested catches constantly and looks to be Becht’s WR1 for 2023. Ateman also brings a lot of NFL experience and will benefit from the experience and leadership from AJ McCarron under center, throughout the XFL season.
With just over two weeks left until opening kickoff we will see if these predictions hold weight going into the season. Moving forward the staff at XFL News Hub would love to know what your thoughts and if missed some who was it. As always you can reach out to me via Twitter to let me know what I got right and what I got wrong.
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