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XFL 2023 Supplemental Draft Recap: Seattle Sea Dragons Add Former NFL WR Josh Gordon & Bolster The Trenches

The XFL held their supplemental draft on New Year’s Day, ringing in the New Year with all 8 teams filling out most of their roster spots.

The Seattle Sea Dragons selected 13 players in the supplemental draft, including former NFL wide receiver Josh Gordon and some familiar faces from other alternative football leagues. Besides the addition of Gordon, The biggest takeaway from Seattle’s supplemental draft appears to be the focus on bolstering both the offensive line and the defensive front seven.

Players selected in the supplemental draft include those who were in the player pool but not selected in the league’s initial draft, those who recently graduated from the NFL Alumni academy, those who were recently cut by NFL teams, and players from other alt leagues who’ve recently become available.

Current NFL practice squad members were off-limits in the supplemental draft. However, while XFL training camps are in progress, XFL teams can add players who don’t accept or are not offered NFL futures deals.

While teams are finished drafting for the year, there are several reasons rosters won’t be finalized for some time. Changes are inevitable between potential injuries, failed physicals, players not showing up or arriving late to camp, leaving camp, or getting cut before the league kicks off in February. Additionally, players from the NFL Alumni Academy who were not selected in either draft will be assigned to XFL teams ahead of training camp.

All 8 of the XFL’s teams will hold training camps in Arlington, Texas, with players set to report on January 6th at the latest for the league’s onboarding process and medical testing. Training camp practices will officially begin on January 14th, with the league’s kickoff set for February 18th.

Teams will fly out to play in their respective cities on gameday, but all teams will reside and practice in Arlington, Texas, throughout training camp and the entirety of the season.

Seattle Sea Dragons Supplemental Draft Picks

Round 1 – OT – Kai Absheer – 6’5″

College: Florida International University (2014 – 2018)

Pro Experience: Ottawa RedBlacks (CFL, 2020), New Orleans Breakers (USFL, 2022)

After redshirting the 2014 season, Kai Absheer played four seasons at Florida International University, appearing in 44 games (35 starts) at offensive tackle for the Panthers.

Absheer helped his offensive unit set multiple school records, including the 3rd most rushing yards in school history (1,783) (2016), the most passing yards in school history (3,031) (2017), and a school record low of 8 sacks allowed as a unit all season (2018).

During his senior year, Absheer helped the FIU offense achieve a conference-best ranking in points per game (34.6), total touchdowns (58), total points (450), 3rd-down conversion percentage (46.8%), and 4th-down conversion percentage (65.2%).

His contributions on the offensive line helped fuel a run game that accounted for 175.8 rush yards per game and 27 total rushing touchdowns, both of which ranked third overall in C-USA.

After graduating from FIU, Absheer went undrafted in the 2019 NFL Draft and later signed with the CFL’s Ottawa RedBlacks in 2020. He was on track to earn a starting job for the RedBlacks, but unfortunately, the season was canceled due to the covid-19 pandemic, and Absheer didn’t play in a game for the CFL franchise.

In 2022, Absheer signed with the USFL’s New Orleans Breakers, helping the team earn a 6-4 record and a playoff berth in the team’s first season.

Round 2 – OT – Ryan Pope-Williams – 6’7″

College: Long Beach City College (2014), San Diego St (2015 – 2018)

Pro Experience: Detroit Lions (2019), San Francisco 49ers (2019), Green Bay Packers (2020), Jacksonville Jaguars (2020), Arizona Cardinals (2021), Los Angeles Rams (2021), Birmingham Stallions (USFL, 2022)

Ryan Pope-Williams started his collegiate career at Long Beach City College in 2014 before transferring to San Diego State the following season. After a redshirt year in 2015, Pope played 3 seasons for the Aztecs, appearing in 36 games (23 starts) for the FBS program. He spent his first 21 games at right tackle before moving to the left tackle spot for the final 3 games of his collegiate career, and was named Second-Team All-Mountain West during his senior season (2018).

After not being selected in the 2019 NFL Draft, Pope signed with Detriot Lions as an undrafted free agent. Unfortunately, Pope was cut at the end of August 2019. Since then, he’s held brief stints with the San Francisco 49ers, Green Bay Packers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Arizona Cardinals, and Los Angeles Rams, not seeing any game action in that time.

In 2022, Pope signed with the USFL’s Birmingham Stallions after getting selected in the league’s supplemental draft. He’d help his team earn a 9-1 record and a Championship win over the Philadelphia Stars.

Round 3 – C – Jared Thomas – 6’4″

College: Northwestern University (2015 – 2019)

Pro Experience: New Orleans Breakers (USFL, 2022)

Jared Thomas is a center who played 4 seasons at Northwestern after a redshirt season in 2015. He appeared in 43 total games for the Wildcats and helped protect quarterback Clayton Thorson as he threw for 3,183 yards. Additionally, Thomas helped pave the way for the team’s first-year running back, Isaiah Bowser, who averaged 108 rushing yards over the last 8 games of the year.

Thomas went undrafted in the 2020 NFL Draft and signed with the IFL’s Massachusetts Pirates for their 2021 season. In 2022, Thomas was drafted by the USFL’s New Orleans Breakers and helped the team reach a 6-4 record and a playoff appearance.

Round 4 – DE/OLB – Shareef Miller – 6’4″

College: Penn State (2015 – 2018)

Pro Experience: Philadelphia Eagles (2019, 2020), Carolina Panthers (2020), Arizona Cardinals (2021), Atlanta Falcons (2021), New Orleans Breakers (USFL, 2022)

Shareef Miller is a defensive end out of Penn State who’s spent time with the Philadelphia Eagles, Carolina Panthers, Arizona Cardinals, and Atlanta Falcons. He most recently spent time with the USFL’s New Orleans Breakers in 2022 after being selected in the league’s supplemental draft.

Miller appeared in 39 games at Penn State (25 starts) and totaled 100 tackles (58 solo/ 42 assisted), 14.5 sacks, 31.5 tackles for loss, 1 forced fumble, and 2 fumble recoveries.

By the time his collegiate career was over, Shareef Miller had been named Third-Team All-Big Ten and was voted the team’s Co-Most Valuable Defensive Player (shared with Amani Oruwariye). Additionally, he’d earn multiple defensive player of the week honors throughout his time with the program.

Miller declared for the NFL Draft after his junior season and was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 4th round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Unfortunately, he only appeared in 1 game before getting waived in September 2020.

Miller went on to spend time with the Carolina Panthers, Philadelphia Eagles for a 2nd stint, Arizona Cardinals, and Atlanta Falcons but did not see much time on the field.

In 2022, Miller was selected by the USFL’s New Orleans Breakers in the league’s supplemental draft and helped the team earn a 6-4 record and a playoff berth in the league’s first season.

Round 5 – LB – Clarence Hicks – 6’2″

College: Hutchinson CC (2017 – 2018), TX-San Antonio (UTSA, 2019 – 2021)

Pro Experience: Cincinnati Bengals (2022)

After playing 2 seasons at Hutchinson Community College in Kansas, Clarence Hicks took his talents to Texas, finishing his collegiate career at UTSA. He played 3 seasons at outside linebacker with the UTSA Roadrunners, appearing in 38 games (21 starts), totaling 108 tackles (69 solo/ 39 assisted), 31 tackles for loss, 12.5 sacks, 2 interceptions, 7 pass deflections, and 3 forced fumbles.

By the end of his career as a Roadrunner, Hicks set the school record for single-season sacks (10.5), was named First-Team All-C-USA, earned honorable mention All-American, and earned 2 C-USA Defensive Player of the Week awards. Additionally, he’d play in the 2021 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.

In 2022, Hicks signed with the Cincinnati Bengals as an undrafted free agent but was waived at the team’s final roster cuts before the regular season. He appeared in 3 preseason games for the Bengals, totaling 5 tackles (2 solo/ 3 assisted), 0.5 sacks, and a QB hurry.

Round 6 – WR – Josh Gordon – 6’3″

College: Baylor (2009 – 2010)

Pro Experience: Cleveland Browns (2012 – 2018), New England Patriots (2018 – 2019), Seattle Seahawks (2019 – 2020), FCF Zappers (2021), Kansas City Chiefs (2021 – 2022), Tennessee Titans (2022)

Former NFL wide receiver Josh Gordon might be the most recognizable player in the entire XFL. After playing 2 seasons at Baylor and dealing with some off-field issues involving marijuana, Gordon was selected in the 2012 NFL Supplemental Draft by the Cleveland Browns. He was with the Browns for 6 seasons and quickly became known as one of the most dangerous receivers in the league.

Gordon was suspended for the first 2 games in his second season after violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, but that didn’t slow him down. Upon his return, Gordon led the entire league in receiving yards (1,646 receiving yards in 14 games), was named First-Team All-Pro, earned an AFC Pro Bowl roster spot, and was ranked the 16th best player by his peers on the NFL Top 100 Players list.

Josh Gordon “Flash” 2013 Season Highlights – YouTube

For the rest of his time with the Browns organization, Gordon repeatedly dealt with multi-game suspensions for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. In 2016, He’d leave the team to enter in-patient rehab after being suspended for the first 4 games of the season. He’d remain away from the team until the following year when he was reinstated to the NFL on a conditional basis. Unfortunately, Gordon continued to struggle with off-field issues, and the team decided to move on during the 2018 season.

Gordon spent most of the 2018 season with the New England Patriots after getting traded from the Browns. However, he decided to step away from football that December to focus on his mental health. He was again conditionally reinstated by the NFL the following year but found himself on IR with a knee injury and was later waived in October 2019.

The Seattle Seahawks claimed Gordon off waivers shortly after his departure from the Patriots but found himself suspended again for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. He was conditionally reinstated from suspension in early December 2020 and was moved to the Seahawks’ active roster on December 21st. One day later, the NFL determined that Gordon broke the terms of his conditional reinstatement and was suspended indefinitely.

In February 2021, Gordon made a move to the newly founded Fan Controlled Football (FCF) league, joining Johnny Manziel’s FCF Zappers while the season was already underway. In only 2 games for the Zappers, Gordon totaled 7 receptions for 100 yards and 3 touchdowns.

After his FCF appearance, Gordon again applied for NFL reinstatement. The league approved his reinstatement, and he spent the 2021 season with the Kansas City Chiefs, scoring his first NFL touchdown since 2019. He was waived after the season.

Most recently, Josh Gordon spent roughly 3 weeks with the Tennessee Titans to kick off the 2022 NFL season but was released in mid-October and has remained a free agent since.

Round 7 – C – Tejan Koroma – 6’0″

College: Brigham Young University (BYU, 2014 – 2017)

Pro Experience: Kansas City Chiefs (2018 – 2019), Houston Roughnecks (XFL, 2020), TSL Jousters (2021), Michigan Panthers (USFL, 2022)

Tejan Koroma played 4 seasons at BYU, starting all 51 games of his collegiate career. In his time with the program, Koroma was consistently graded as BYU’s best offensive lineman, earned Freshman All-American honors (2014), and was named to the Pro Football Focus All-America Second Team (2017). Additionally, he earned The Iron Man Award, Offensive Player of the Year Award, and Captains Award at the annual team banquet in 2018.

After his time at BYU, Koroma joined the Kansas City Chiefs as an undrafted free agent following the 2018 NFL Draft but spent most of the year on injured reserve and was waived in April 2019.

In 2020, Koroma was selected in the XFL’s Supplemental Draft by the Houston Roughnecks, who at the time were run by the same man currently making personnel decisions for the Sea Dragons, Randy Mueller. He’d stay with the XFL until the league suspended operations due to the covid-19 pandemic.

Most recently, Koroma spent time with the USFL’s Michigan Panthers in 2022.

Round 8 – WR – Jordan Veasy – 6’3″

College: Golden West JC (CA, 2015), California (2016 – 2017)

Pro Experience: Tennessee Titans (2018), Jacksonville Jaguars (2018), Indianapolis Colts (2019), Pittsburgh Steelers (2019), Buffalo Bills (2019), Washington Football Team (2019 – 2020), Houston Texans (2021), Las Vegas Raiders (2022)

After transferring from Golden West Junior College in 2018, Jordan Veasy joined the California Golden Bears for his final few seasons of college eligibility. In 2 seasons at Cal, Veasy appeared in 24 games (13 starts) and totaled 63 receptions for 797 yards and 9 touchdowns.

Veasy signed with the Tennessee Titans as an undrafted free agent after the 2018 NFL Draft, but was waived in early September that year. The BC Lions traded for his CFL rights shortly after, but he would not join the team.

Over the next few seasons, Veasy spent time with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Indianapolis Colts, Pittsburgh Steelers, Buffalo Bills, Washington Commanders, Houston Texans, and Las Vegas Raiders. Unfortunately, he never saw significant playing time outside of the preseason.

Round 9 – DB – Alijah Holder – 6’2″

College: Stanford (2014 – 2018)

Pro Experience: Denver Broncos (2019 – 2020), Detroit Lions (2021), Houston Gamblers (2022)

After a redshirt season in 2014, Alijah Holder played 4 seasons at Stanford, appearing in 37 games (31 starts) for the Cardinals. In that time, he totaled 132 tackles (86 solo/ 46 assisted), 6.5 tackles for loss, 2 interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), 28 pass deflections, and 5 forced fumbles.

By the end of his collegiate career, Holder earned three Pac-12 All-Academic Honors, including second-team (2017) and honorable mention (2016, 2018).

After the 2019 NFL Draft, Holder signed with the Denver Broncos as an undrafted free agent. He remained with the team through the 2020 season and saw some playing time later in his second season. Unfortunately, his time with the Broncos ended in February 2021.

Holder held a brief stint with the Detroit Lions in 2022 before signing with the USFL’s Houston Gamblers for their 2022 season.

Round 10 – OT/OG – Khalique Washington – 6’5″

College: Dodge City CC (KS, 2017 – 2018), Southern Miss (2019 – 2021)

Pro Experience: New Orleans Saints (2022)

After 2 seasons at Dodge City Community College in Kansas, Khalique Washington transferred to Southern Miss for his final 3 seasons of eligibility. In that time, Washington appeared in 33 games (28 starts), helping the Golden Eagles give up the 5th fewest sacks in C-USA during the 2019 regular season.

After the 2022 NFL Draft, Washington signed as an undrafted free agent with the New Orleans Saints but was released before the regular season.

Round 11 – OG – Zech Thomas – 6’4″

College: Pittsburg St-Kansas (2016 – 2020)

Pro Experience: NAZ Wranglers (IFL, 2022)

After a redshirt year in 2016, Zech Thomas played 4 seasons at Pittsburg St-Kansas as an offensive guard and made 30 career starts for the Gorillas. During that time, Thomas earned Second-Team All-MIAA honors in 2018 and was named a team captain in 2020. Additionally, he was invited to and played in the 2021 Hula Bowl.

After his collegiate career, Thomas signed with the IFL’s NAZ Wranglers in 2022, helping to earn a Championship in his lone season with the team. Most recently, Thomas was invited to the NFL Alumni Academy in October 2022.

Round 12 – DE – Chris Rice – 6’5″

College: Castleton St (2017 – 2021)

Pro Experience: Tennessee Titans Rookie Mini Camp (2022)

Chris Rice played 4 seasons at Castleton St University, appearing in 39 games for the Spartans. In that time, he totaled 228 tackles (110 solo/ 118 assisted), 69 tackles for loss, 26.5 sacks, 2 interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), 7 pass deflections, 8 forced fumbles, 3 fumble recoveries, and 4 blocked kicks.

Rice was named to the DIII All-Region Team in 2019 and 2021, earned Eastern Collegiate Football Conference Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2019 and 2021, and finished second in the nation in tackles for a loss in 2021.

Currently, Rice holds Castleton Football records in single-game sacks (3), season sacks (11.5), career sacks (25.5), season tackles for loss (23), career tackles for loss (69), season yards from sacks (74, ’21), career yards from sacks (202), career yards from tackles for loss (356), and season yards from tackles for loss (121, ’18).

Most recently, Rice was invited to the Tennessee Titans 2022 rookie minicamp but did not sign with the team.

Round 13 – FB/TE – Ben Beise – 6’5″

College: WI-River Falls (2017 – 2021)

Pro Experience: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2022)

Ben Beise may be one of the more interesting players to join the Sea Dragons for their 2023 campaign and could end up as an alt-football version of the San Francisco 49ers’ fullback Kyle Juszczyk.

Seattle selected Beise as a fullback in the supplemental draft, but he’s played the majority of his career as a tight end. However, he does have a bit of experience running the football.

Beise played 4 seasons at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and appeared in 19 games for the Falcons. He made a name for himself through the air and on the ground, totaling 42 receptions for 385 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 22 rush attempts for 93 yards and 4 touchdowns.

In that time, he was named 2021 All-WIAC First Team Tight End, 2021 Second Team All-Purpose Back, 2021 Second Team All-Region, and 2021 AFCA First Team All-American.

After not being selected in the 2022 NFL Draft, Beise signed as an undrafted free agent with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Unfortunately, he’d be waived during the preseason.

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Matt Lyons is a Writer/Contributor for XFL News Hub, USFL News Hub, & CFL News Hub, covering the XFL, USFL, ELF, and TSL since August of 2020.

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