On June 16th, the XFL will be conducting their first rookie XFL draft, so in the lead up, we’ll be looking at the top 5 (plus one wildcard) players for each position. As per the XFL requirements, these will be players that were eligible for the 2023 NFL Draft and are not under contract by a professional team. Today, we will start with the available quarterbacks.
Wildcard) Charlie Brewer, Liberty
To kick things off, we have one of the bigger high risk, high reward options in the draft. Coming out of high school in 2017, Charlie Brewer was the AP Texas Player of the Year thanks to racking up 54 touchdowns, a national high school record 77.4% completion rating, and leading Lake Travis High School to the state championship. Charlie had committed to SMU before the start of his senior year, but decommitted to Baylor after the championship.
He showed off his natural skills during his first three years at Baylor but following a concussion in the 2019 Big 12 Championship game, his promising college career started falling apart. His productivity dropped off in his senior year and he chose to cash in an extra year of eligibility by hopping to Utah. However, after three games with the Utes and only notching 3 TD-3 Ints, he was demoted to back up. This led Charlie to flat out leave the team for the rest of the year. Brewer tried to get draftable numbers by transferring to Liberty for his last year, but after breaking his hand in the first quarter of his first game he’d have to settle for 0 TDs, 1 interception, and 52 total passing yards.
By all rights, his career should be done and using a draft pick on Brewer could easily be a waste, but the urge to resurrect a once promising career is catnip to aspiring QB Whisperers. Earlier this month Brewer got signed to the CFL Ottawa Redblacks with that goal in mind. Granted, that ended after 12 days, but if someone feels they can bring him back to his pre-concussion quality, then he would be worth a late round flier.
5) Kyle Vantrease, Georgia Southern
In 2020 the NCAA offered an additional year of eligibility to anyone who played during the Covid-shortened season. Kyle Vantrease used this extra year to boost himself from undraftable to a late round option. His first five seasons were spent with Buffalo, during which he would be the starter from 2019-21. Those years weren’t exactly statistical wonders.
Kyle would never get more than 8 passing touchdowns in a season and his most passing yards would come during the Covid-shortened season. That said, he did show off some rushing mobility and had three games where he was the primary punter. In 2021, he used the transfer portal to end up as the starter at more pass friendly Georgia Southern. In his sole grad season, Kyle would set the school record for passing touchdowns in a season and had the 5th most passing yards in the entire FBS. This resulted in minicamp invites by the Buccaneers and Colts.
In the right scheme, Kyle could thrive. He is more of a traditional pocket passer and holds a lot of faith in his line to keep him protected. This patience leads to more middle and deep balls with an aggressiveness he couldn’t showcase in his beginning years.
However, scouts note that his big problems involve staring down receivers while waiting for them to get open and his inaccuracy can lead to players having to adjust mid-run. But if a team is low on QB depth and could use an emergency punter, then he’s a solid option.
4) N’Kosi Perry, Florida Atlantic
N’Kosi Perry began his career with the expectation that he would become the Miami Hurricanes’ quarterback of the future, but, thanks to a couple of personal mistakes, that would not be the case. His college career began by missing the first game for violating team rules due to flashing a ton of money on Snapchat. Missing the game wouldn’t be the biggest deal since he was intended to backup Malik Rozier for a year. This back-up status lasted a full five weeks until N’Kosi and Malik played musical chairs with the starting spot for the rest of the season.
N’Kosi would get the final three starts for the year and was all set to lead the team in the 2018 Pinstripe Bowl. That was until his Snapchat got him in trouble again. Instead of showing off his cash, this time N’Kosi released a ten-second sex clip. He wouldn’t be kicked from the program, but he would lose the starting spot for the bowl game and become second string behind Jarren Williams in 2019 and DC Defender D’Eriq King in 2020. With King returning to Miami in 2021, N’Kosi entered the transfer portal to become a Florida Atlantic Owl. N’Kosi put his Snapchat drama behind him, overcame a crowded QB room, and became the full starter for two seasons. In his final season, he would score 25 touchdowns and gain 2,712 yards in passing.
While Perry has a bit of a rocky start and generally fine passing stats, what he brings is a skill set that proved invaluable to XFL quarterbacks this last year: being a dual-threat runner. Over his career, N’Kosi scored 13 times on foot and has shown he can run at least 100 times a season while still putting up decent pass stats. In the XFL, he could work as a mid-round pick that mimics Cole McDonald: capable of passing when needed and valuable for extra points.
3) John Matocha, Colorado School of Mines
This pick probably feels like someone selecting a small-school QB to show off, but John Matocha has the intangibles that could make him an incredibly interesting XFL starter. In what is apparently an abnormality for this list, John has played his whole career for the Orediggers. He would start his freshman year with 29 touchdowns to 5 interceptions, 2,825 passing yards, 598 rushing yards, and 11 rushing scores.
He was nominated for the Harlon Hill Trophy (the D2 analog to the Heisman), but he wouldn’t win that year. In 2022, it would be a different story. He upped his production to 52 touchdowns (to only 8 interceptions), a Division II leading 4,778 passing yards, and a completion percentage of 68.8%. And apparently those are the kind of stats you need to win the Harlon Hill Trophy.
The big hits on John is that at 5’11” he considered a bit short for the position and the level of competition is far lower than the prospects we’ve already mentioned. But the XFL has proven to be an excellent home for at least one previous Harlon Hill Trophy winner: the Renegades’ Luis Perez. It is important to note that Luis does have four inches on John, but John’s production is enough to at least give him a shot. If it works out, then the league gains an extremely mobile version of Luis Perez.
2) Lindsey Scott, Jr., Incarnate Word
Meanwhile in the FCS, Lindsey Scott, Jr. has had the best statistical career in the whole NCAA. He’s also had the longest college career, which comes to a close after seven years. After winning Louisiana Gatorade Player of the Year in high school, Lindsey was offered the chance to play at Maryland, Syracuse, Rutgers, and Tulane, but he’d spurn them all to play for LSU in 2016. He would redshirt his first year there, but following the firing of head coach Les Miles, he decided to transfer to Last Chance U, East Mississippi Community College.
He led the Lions to an NJCAA National Championship in 2017, then entered the transfer portal again, this time ending up at Missouri. He’d play on the scout team but would be knocked out for the season with a meniscus injury. He transferred again, sitting out the 2019 season, to start for Nicholls State. For the first time, he would play for more than a season at one school and utilized his medical redshirt from the meniscus injury to stay on at Nicholls for a 6th year. But, since he played during the Covid Season, that meant he got one more year of eligibility. He entered the portal one last time and arrived at the University of the Incarnate Word to be their 7th Year starter.
In turn, he put up the gaudiest numbers in the whole NCAA. In addition to a 70.9% completion percentage, he would get 4,686 passing yards (2nd highest in the FCS), and 60 touchdowns (highest in the entire NCAA & an FCS season record) to 8 interceptions. He also had 712 rushing yards & 11 touchdowns and won the Walter Payton Award (the FCS equivalent to the Harlon Hill Trophy).
To say the least, Lindsey has been in demand post-graduation. He has received minicamp invites from the Buccaneers & Jets and was the 2nd overall pick in the USFL Draft. Which leads to the question, would Lindsey Scott, Jr. pick the XFL over the USFL? So far, that seems to be a yes. He was picked by the Pittsburgh Maulers and the quarterback play between Troy Williams and James Morgan has been inconsistent at best and abysmal at worst.
Just this last week Morgan was demoted to the inactive list in favor of giving 3rd string QB Connor Sampson a shot. Scott could easily have a chance to start for the rest of the Maulers’ season but has yet to sign. It could be a risk but with years of experience, and comparisons to Kyler Murray, Lindsey Scott, Jr. would be an excellent early or even first round pick.
1) Chase Brice, Appalachian State
Finally, we have the biggest victim of depth chart talent and the top QB draft pick. Chase Brice began his career at Clemson in 2017. He would redshirt his freshman year and join the official roster just in time to meet his newest teammate, Trevor Lawrence. Chase would sit behind Lawrence but did lead Clemson in a comeback victory against Syracuse in 2018, saving the team’s championship year.
The thing though is Lawrence was clearly going to be the starter at least until 2021, so if Brice wanted to play, he had to transfer. In 2020, he would move to Duke as a grad transfer and start, but after going 2-9, Brice transferred one last time to Appalachian State. Chase would start two seasons for an incredibly fun Mountaineers team and led them to a huge upset of #6 Texas A&M in 2022. In his final season, Brice threw for 27 touchdowns (to 6 interceptions), gained 2,921 yards, and had a career high completion rate of 62.8%
Chase has been described as more of a checkdown/time management quarterback, but due to his quick release he doesn’t get stuck in multiple 4 and outs. Just like Lindsey Scott, Jr., Chase has been in equally high demand. He’s been invited to minicamps by the Commanders & Falcons and was a 1st Round Pick in the USFL Draft by the Houston Gamblers.
The big difference here is that there’s not much of a reason for Chase to rush to the Gamblers. The quarterback play hasn’t been perfect, but Kenji Bahar is entirely in control and Terry Wilson has proven himself to be one of the better backups in the league. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Brice drafted in the XFL first round and to contribute early to wherever he lands.
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