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XFL 2023 Supplemental Draft Recap: Vegas Adds A little More Bite to Their Roster

The Vegas Viper selected eight more players in the Supplemental draft. With any remaining holes filled the Vipers look ready for camp.

Looking back at the November draft class for the Vegas Vipers, many fans were satisfied with everything the team managed to accomplish. They added players like Martavis Bryant, and Vic Beasley, former NFL players looking to recapture their glory days once again, to big-names in the Alt Football world like Luis Perez, Matt Jones, and Jeff Badet to name a few, to rookies looking to carve out a name for themselves at the professional level. Looking at the roster before the supplemental draft it would appear there were still some areas to be addressed at the time.

Needs Heading into the Supplemental Draft

Quarterback had just two players. Luis Perez who had previously split time with the USFL’s New Jersey Generals, and Jalan McClendon who has never been a full-time starter at the college or professional level outdoors. This led very warranted speculation they weren’t done at quarterback. It was like the worst kept secret in alternative football league history that Bryan Scott would be joining the Vegas Vipers in the Supplemental draft. With Scott added to this room, suddenly it looks a lot more interesting.

Depth and competition on the offensive line is always something teams prioritize heading into training camp. Vegas was one of the few teams that selected an offensive lineman with all 11 picks in the offensive line portion of the initial draft. This didn’t prevent them from adding more pieces to that puzzle, and some intriguing ones at that. Having 13 offensive linemen heading into camp is not an astronomical number and should create the necessary competition to bring out the best in the current roster.

Linebacker saw two more players added. I was impressed with the players the Vipers came out of the draft with. Vic Beasley may be listed as a linebacker but he is more an edge rusher than he is a true stand up linebacker, the same could be said for Max Roberts, and Pita Taumoepenu, who was actually listed as a defensive end in college. This tips us off to two things, I expect to see a 3-4 front in Vegas, and pass rushers were the priority for Woodson and Dishman coming into the draft, which left inside linebacker on the back burner. I like Dj Calhoun and he certainly can be a capable starter inside in a 3-4. So are Paul Dawson, and C.J. Avery, but the vast majority of teams tend to carry a minimum of four inside linebackers and four outside linebackers into training camp.

Leaving coaches with eleven draft picks to fill out a training camp roster for the secondary made sense in terms of numbers for the draft’s case, but also left room for coaches to add more players later on. Given that the Vipers are ran by two former defensive backs themselves, it stood to reason they planned on adding to that room. Selecting yet another NFLAA member in Trey Dickerson, was one of the smarter moves of the supplemental draft. Dickerson is a veteran player who has been a part of two championship victories in his career. Not a bad flyer pick to make late in the draft. Having already addressed the Bryan Scott addition here, I will focus on the seven other selections.

OG Isaiah Williams, Akron

Williams is one of the few Vipers from the 2020 season tickets to return and represent the vipers once again in 2023. His career has been wide-ranging from stents in the NFL to the AAF, to the XFL in 2020, back to the NFL, and now has come full circle. 

Williams was able to secure a practice squad spot with the 49ers being elevated several times in 2020 after COVID caused the XFL to shut down. Then he continued this success into 2021. He fell through the cracks in 2022, and will now look to spring football to get him back to the NFL one more time. 

DT Destiny Vaeao, Washington St

Destiny Vaeao started his career as an undrafted free agent with the Philadelphia Eagles. He would spend three seasons in Philly, including the 2017 season when they won a Super Bowl. After the 2018 season, he would jump to the Jets where he wound up on their practice squad being elevated late in the season. 

He would have a brief stint with the Carolina Panthers before landing on injured reserve. He was later waived from the injured reserve. He wouldn’t resurface until the 2022 season when he would cross paths with Cris Dishman. Dishman was the defensive coordinator with the Generals of the USFL, before making a lateral move to the Vegas Vipers of the XFL. It seems he liked what he saw during their time together. 

LB Emmanuel Beal, Oklahoma 

Beal was selected by the Bandits in the draft returning to a team that represented Tampa Bay after spending the 2020 XFL season with the Vipers. Showboats have lost several key players in this supplemental draft class. Beal marks the latest. 

Beal had a solid performance last season in the USFL collecting 45 tackles and 1 sack. While he will no longer be representing Tampa Bay, he has returned to the relocated Vipers alongside former teammate Isaiah Williams. Can he make a bigger impact in the XFL this time around than the 7 tackles he had in 2020?

WR Cyrus Holder, Duquesne

Holder is a big wide receiver, standing 6’4 205 pounds. Originally beginning his career at Saint Francis University he would finish his career with Duquesne. During his time with SFU, he came into his own as a wide receiver. In his first 15 games, he had 15 receptions for 458 yards and 4 touchdowns. 

In his final season at SFU, he was allowed to start. He would reward them by putting up 47 receptions for 692 yards and 5 touchdowns. After this, he moved on to Duquesne where he played in 15 more games. Bringing his career totals to 40 games, 122 receptions, 2,270 yards, and 22 touchdowns. After college, he had brief stints with the Chicago Bears and Toronto Argonauts. He is hoping the XFL allows him the chance to showcase himself.

OL/TE Matt Cohen, Louisville 

A graduate transfer from Lehigh university, he decided that it was in his best interests to finish out college at Louisville. In college saw starting time at tackle, and guard. What’s interesting about Cohen is that he played most of his career at Lehigh weighing in at just 280 pounds before moving on to Louisville.

At Louisville, he bulked up to 300 lbs. Since leaving college. Shout out to Mike Mitchell for filling in some gaps in my info: Most recently Cohen was at the NFL Alumni Academy where he was listed as OG/TE. Perhaps this positional flexibility will increase his value for the Vipers, using him as a 6th offensive lineman/eligible receiver when needed in short-yardage situations. 

ILB Wes Bowers, Bowie St

Bowers is essentially a rookie. Beginning his college career at Georgetown he collected 190 tackles in three seasons with the team before COVID shut down the program in 2020. His most impressive season came in 2018 with 8.5 tackles for a loss, 4.5 sacks, 4 interceptions, 7 pass deflections, and a touchdown return. 

When things returned to normal, Bowers had moved on. He finished his career at Bowie State University. If anyone wondered if he could duplicate his play from 2018, were told loud and clear. He would manage 58 tackles, 10 for a loss, 2 sacks, and 1 pass deflected. Solid performance to end his college career. He would later participate in the HBCU Legacy Bowl where he would make an impression with a devastating hit on WR Shemar Bridges. Bowers also helped his XFL draft stock by participating in the NFL Alumni Academy. 

CB Trey Dickerson, Emporia St.

Dickerson is a 26-year-old cornerback making the jump from The Spring League in 2021, but he is no rookie when it comes to professional football. He has played in the AAF, and IFL as well. In 2019 Dickerson’s career began with the  San Antonio Commanders, a team that was stacked with former USFL coaches, yet he never ended up in the USFL. 

After the AAF folded, he moved on to sign with the most decorated IFL Franchise at the time the Sioux Falls Storm where he helped them win their 11th Championship and 6th straight. In 2020 he was able to garner some interest from the Raiders but wasn’t signed. This left him waiting for COVID to blow over. As soon as he could get back on the field he did so by joining The Spring League. Playing under Hal Mumme he would help the Linemen to a championship, his second win in as many seasons. Dickerson was another recent participant in the NFL Alumni Academy. 

Big Picture View on The Supplemental Draft 

Looking at how the team approached this draft I am not surprised in the slightest. We all expected to see more linemen picked in the supplemental draft after we watched most of the league pass on two or more selections in the offensive line rounds. It doesn’t shock me that the team opted to add another experienced defensive back in Dickerson who knows how Spring Football works given his time in the AAF, and TSL. 

Linebacker is always a solid position to go heavy into camp with. Many of these guys will be core special teams players, and will serve roles outside of just depth pieces on defense. There will be a fierce competition for snaps in this group. We could see a revolving door at linebacker in a good way with all the talent added in both draft classes. I am excited to see what Coach Dishman cooks up in 2023.

Bringing over players that have ties to Dishman from the Generals has always been a possibility, and Vaeao is a solid NFL-caliber defensive tackle that belongs at this level. More importantly, he gets to build on his success in 2022, under the same coach and scheme in 2023. The selection of another wideout was somewhat surprising given the group they drafted on 11/16/22. Having a guy who is very similar to Martavis Bryant in body type, and skill set is a smart play. To use a fantasy term this is the real-world version of a handcuff for Bryant if he doesn’t excel as he use to in the NFL. 


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