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XFL Draft Phase 1 Standouts, Cook. Michael, Coates & More

For the full list of XFL players drafted in the Phase #1 Skills Players.

Washington Defenders

Rashard Davis – WR – James Madison

Rashard Davis went first overall to the Washington Defenders, and they’re clearly looking to translate his electric return ability into playmaking on offense.

He flashed a wide skillset at JMU as a wideout, return man, rusher and even a passer. I’d classify him more as an offensive weapon than strictly a WR, and I fully expect Defenders coach Pep Hamilton to play him all over the field.

Tyree Jackson – QB – Buffalo

Tyree Jackson is a massive, athletic prospect who turned alot of heads in the football world this offseason. His mechanics need some work, but with his size (6’7″ 249) and speed (4.59) and cannon for an arm, he has all the tools coaches drool over.

Houston Roughnecks

Connor Cook – QB – Michigan State

Connor Cook is the name on everyone’s lips since the XFL Draft Pools dropped last week. The former Spartan won big in college, but never got a real shake to prove himself in the pros.

Even though the Roughnecks were assigned Phillip Walker as a tier 1 player, they couldn’t resist taking Cook 2nd overall in the first round, which speaks to his untapped talent.

Sammie Coates – WR – Auburn

Coates had a great career at Auburn, hauling in 82 receptions for 1757 yards and 13 scores. He also put up an impressive 21.7 YPC, showcasing his abilities as a deep threat. At 6’1 with a 4.43 40 time, he’s got an ideal size/speed combo to work with.

Though he got buried on the Steelers depth chart behind Antonio Brown, Juju Smith-Schuster, Martavis Bryant and Markus Wheaton, he still managed to produce there.

New York Guardians

Tanner Gentry WR – Wyoming

The 6’2″ receiver was the 3rd wideout picked by New York, but i find him the most impressive by far. His senior season alone, he had 72 receptions, 1326 yards and 14 TD’s playing with Josh Allen. His production, frame and deep threat ability (4.46 40) earned him a spot with the Bears, where he saw some playing time. I think he’s only scratched the surface.

Marquise Williams – QB – North Carolina

He’s a touchdown machine. With 99 scores in college through the air and on the ground, he’s always had an affinity for the endzone. After signing with the Packers out of college, he’s since played in the CFL and AAF, where he recently completed 73.5% of his passes for a TD and no picks.

Dallas Renegades

Jeff Badet – WR – Oklahoma

The Oklahoma-Bob Stoops connection grows in the XFL, but the Badet pick was no fluke. He had a productive career at both Kentucky and Oklahoma, with 1851 yards from scrimmage and 10 TD’s. The real point of interest here is his insane 4.27 40 time. With blazing speed like that, and a proven QB like Landry, Stoops has a lot to work with.

Cameron Artis – Payne – RB – Auburn

The 5’10” 220 pound back had a fantastic senior year, earning All-SEC honors for his 1755 yards from scrimmage and 13 TD performance. A good combine performance got him drafted in the 5th by Caroline, where he produced 577 yards from scrimmage and 5 TD’s in reserve action behind Jonathan Stewart and Christian McCaffrey.

Tampa Bay Vipers

Nick Truesdell – TE – Grand Rapids CC

Truesdell had bad luck in college, after tearing his ACL in his very first game. However, the 6’7″ Tight End prospect took an alternate route, hiring an agent to land him a job in the pros. He’s spent time with the Bengals, Titans, Packers, Colts and Vikings. He ran a 4.47-4.60 40 at the veteran combine in 2017 and got 9 contract offers.

His most impressive showings, however have been Arena football, where he’s hauled in 38 touchdowns over the years.

Quinton Flowers – RB – USF

The converted quarterback had a great career at USF, throwing for 8124 yards and 71 TD’s while rushing for 3,672 and 41 on the ground. After time on the Bengals and Colt’s rosters, he didn’t get to see any playing time, but has great tools to work with as a highly versatile offensive weapon.

St Louis Battlehawks

Christine Michael – RB – Texas A&M

After a productive career at A&M (2791 yards, 34 TD’s), Christine Michael was taken in the 2nd round by the Seahawks. He continued his solid and consistent ground game there, rushing for over 1000 yards, scoring 8 times and winning a Super Bowl ring. At 28, he hasn’t had too much wear on his tires, and is perhaps the most proven and reliable back in the draft.

Matt Jones – RB – Florida

A massive RB prospect at 6’2, 239, Jones gives the Battlehawks a great two headed rushing attack alongside Michael. He figures to be more of a power back, but has also been reliable as a passing option. With 1,071 yards from scrimmage and 8 scores, he’s a fantastic addition to this backfield, and I think we’ll see a lot of 2 back sets from the Battlehawks.

Seattle Dragons

Jace Amaro – TE – Texas Tech

The former second round pick had a wildly productive career at Texas Tech, with 106 receptions for 1352 yards and 7 scores in his senior year alone.

At 6’5″, 265 he ran a 4.60 40 at his pro day, and went 49th overall in 2014. His rookie year he made good progress, with 38 receptions and two scores, but a torn labrum derailed his sophomore season and time with the Jets. At just 27, he’s got plenty in the tank.

Trey Williams – RB – Texas A&M

The 26 year old back has garnered loads of interest from the NFL over the years, but has yet to crack a starting lineup. Time with the Redskins, Cowboys, Patriots, Colts and Steelers led to him signing in the AAF, where he had 40 carries at a 5.12 average and one TD.

Los Angeles Wildcats

Elijah Hood – RB – North Carolina

Hood had an outstanding 2015 season at North Carolina, with 1463 yards at a whopping 6.7 average and 17 TD’s. He was drafted by the Raiders in the 7th round, but never caught on. The hulking 230 pound back also had ~4.5 speed to complement his game, and after 3 years in the NFL is ready to get on the field.

Rashad Ross – WR – Arizona State

The 29 year old wideout is a legit NFL vet, and has a lot to offer this team. He has been on 10 NFL teams, and flashed as a WR/Returner with 3 TD’s. He also led the entire AAF last season with 583 rec yards and 7 TD’s. With a wealth of experience in the pros, he’ll be a weapon on offense and special teams as well as an asset in the locker room.

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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.

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