After some struggles on offense in week one of the XFL 2023 season, the D.C. Defenders have acted quickly, adding Iowa WR Brandon Smith to their active roster. Smith signed as an undrafted free agent with the Dallas Cowboys and recently finished the 2022 season on their practice squad.
The 6’2, 220lb Smith is a big target with an impressive catch radius—something he has displayed in preseason action with the Cowboys and back in college.
The raw WR, who had modest production in his collegiate career, has flashed some elite upside and traits in his limited action in the pros thus far.
Wide Receiver is a great need for the Defenders, who are coming off a game where the team threw for under 100 yards. D.C.’s leading receiver was Lucky Jackson, who had four catches for just 25 yards. The team lost KD Cannon and Jazz Ferguson to injuries in training camp. And late pickup Chad Hansen missed week one and could also miss week two.
The Defenders could be leaning more on young NFL veteran Josh Malone this weekend at Vegas. The former fourth-round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals had one catch last week for 18 yards; that was D.C.’s longest pass play against Seattle last Sunday. The addition of Brandon Smith and the further inclusion of Malone should give the Defenders a much-needed boost in their passing game.
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