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Standouts From XFL Open Draft Phase, Ealy, Oakman, And Others

Kony Ealy returns an interception in Super Bowl 50 (USA Today Sports)

Kony Ealy – EDGE – Houston Roughnecks

I think Kony Ealy is about to become one of the XFL’s biggest stars. The former 2nd round pick had 28 sacks at Mizzou, 15 in the NFL, and holds several Super Bowl records. He was a lone bright spot in Carolina’s loss to the Denver Broncos in SB 50, with 3 sacks, a forced fumble, and an interception.

His career fizzled in Carolina after that, but he’s primed to become one of the XFL’s premier pass rushers, and we’ll be seeing his name a lot come spring.

Ryan Broyles – WR – Dallas Renegades

Bob Stoops continues to show loyalty to his former Oklahoma players, pairing Landry Jones with one of his favorite targets from college. Jones and Broyles connected for 1157 yards and 10 TD’s in 2011.

Broyles had an incredibly prolific career at Oklahoma, reeling in 4,586 yards and 45 TDs for the program. He was selected in the 2nd round by Detroit in 2012 and had decent production his rookie year but injuries derailed his time with the Lions. At 31, he’s had plenty of time to rest his body and get back into shape.

Matt Elam – SAF – DC Defenders

Evan Habeeb USA TODAY Sports

The Defenders picked up a great addition to their secondary here, as Matt Elam looks to prove himself in the new league. A former first-round pick out of Florida, he racked up 127 combined tackles, 7 passes defensed and an interception in his first two years with the Ravens.

He fell out of favor with the Ravens staff after a torn bicep landed him on IR all 2015, and the Ravens did not re-up his contract in 2016. However, he’s still a great prospect with all the measurables (4.43 40) and experience one could ask for from a safety. Look for him to be a leader in this secondary.

Joe Callahan – QB – Seattle Dragons

Callahan was a legend at the D-III level in college and garnered enough interest to find his way onto 7 different NFL rosters. He’s yet to see significant playing time, but clearly football minds can see his potential. He threw 5,063 yards and 55 TD’s his senior year with marginal talent, and coaches hope to coax that type of play out of him in the pros.

Jim Zorn already has Brandon Silvers as his tier 1, but it’s too early to count Callahan out, and he’s a breakout candidate when he hits the field.

Victor Ochi – EDGE – New York Guardians

Nick KlopsisNewsday

I previously listed Ochi as one of my favorite players in the Draft Pool. I think he’s going to be a fantastic edge rusher in the XFL and just needed a shot to get more playing time.

In college, he had 32.5 sacks and 50.4 tackles for loss at Stony Brook. With the Ravens his rookie year, he had 2 sacks in limited preseason action. The Jets, Chiefs, and Titans have all taken an interest, but he hasn’t seen the field enough to flash that pass rush ability. He’s got an incredible motor, and an intense drive to finish plays.

Jalen Rowell – WR – Seattle Dragons

After serving his country for two years with the Air Force, Rowell is ready to play ball again. With 2,687 yards and 18 TD’s on his resume, with a 6’4″ frame and 4.53 speed, he’s got all the numbers one could ask for. Watching his tape is a blast, and he’s a legit deep treat for Jim Zorn to work with.

He reminds me of Broncos breakout WR Courtland Sutton, and the Dragons were lucky to have swiped him this late in the draft.

Shawn Oakman – DL – LA Wildcats


Oakman is a bit of an internet celebrity because of the above picture. He’s an intimidating presence, to say the least. At 6’9″ and 287 pounds, he’s a monster in the trenches. At Baylor, he had 17.5 sacks and 46.5 tackles for loss, but went undrafted and played Arena and Spring League football for a few years.

With all that height, he’ll have to work on his leverage in the trenches, but has the ability to overwhelm O-Lines and bust up whoever has the ball.

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Matt Nagashima has been covering the XFL since before the 2019 Draft, and has witnessed history being made as a Credentialed Reporter for the Dallas Renegades. While he is engrossed with the X's and O's, the roster building and more, it has always been his goal to keep the players first in mind in coverage, showing the human aspect of this sport behind all the action on the field. With Dany Garcia and Dwayne The Rock Johnson now at the helm, he's excited to see all the opportunities that this league will create for players to showcase their talent and make their dreams come true.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Nicholas Braxton

    October 17, 2019 at 9:30 pm

    Here is some more players that have been released that the XFL 2020 should teach out to asap alex mcgough,samjae perine, paul perkins, Stephen anthony, jordan veasey, bobo wilson,detrez newsome

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