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XFL Players

Best Of Both Worlds: XFL Draftees Now On NFL Rosters

The NFL season has reached the midway point. As expected, injuries have mounted, forcing teams to look for healthy replacements to keep a full roster. Thanks to the fanfare of the XFL draft, several players enjoyed the good fortune of signing with an NFL squad. The effects of our new league have no doubt had a positive effect by raising player profiles that get noticed by each of the 32 NFL teams.

Below is a list of ten players currently on an NFL roster; some were actually signed the same day they were drafted by the XFL. The St. Louis Battlehawks represent the majority of “dual citizens”. As players wait for game day action, they have the advantage of being ready to step in at any time to showcase their potential while looking forward to continuing their careers after the season ends by sliding over to the XFL.

Kyle Murphy

Sep 10, 2017; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers offensive tackle Kyle Murphy (68) during the game against the Seattle Seahawks at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Drafted in the sixth round by the Packers in 2016, Murphy made his first start in 2017 at right tackle. Showing average quickness, trouble with strong pass rushers and a tendency to jump before the snap, he still managed to stay on the first team for three games until suffering a foot injury which led to his release. He was waived by the Rams after being on the practice squad for a few months in 2018-2019.

The day after he was drafted by the Washington Defenders, Murphy was signed to the Houston Texans practice squad.

Wes Saxton

Undrafted out of South Alabama in 2015, Saxton bounced around the practice squads of five NFL teams, playing in one game for the Jets before signing with the Birmingham franchise of the AAF. He has good hands and quickness, but struggled as a blocker. Since the AAF’s demise, he’s been on the Seahawks practice squad and returned to the Redskins for a second stint the same day he was drafted by the Battlehawks.

Corbin Kaufusi

The 6′ 9″ BYU defensive end was not drafted but participated in the Saints 2019 training camp. With good toughness and technique, his lanky size and lack of bulk has worked against him. After not making the Saints final roster cuts, he was picked up by the New York Jets and currently is on their practice squad. He’s also a part of the St. Louis Battlehawks franchise.

Tyler Gauthier

A 6′ 5″ 305 offensive lineman from the Miami Hurricanes, Gauthier was signed to the Patriots practice squad only one hour before being drafted by the Battlehawks. A durable and effective blocker, he went undrafted and will have to make a huge leap of progress to crack the Patriots talented defensive lineup.

Ishmael Hyman

Versatile and good with underneath routes, the 6′ 0″ undrafted receiver out of James Madison was signed by the Browns and later the Buccaneers after playing for the Orlando Apollos of the AAF. Hyman was selected by the Battlehawks.

Devin Gray

Another undrafted 6′ 0″ wide receiver in 2018, the University of Cincinnati alum was picked up by the Falcons and signed to the practice squad. Gray is also a member of the Houston Roughnecks.

Scott Orndoff

A 2017 product out of Pittsburgh, the 6′ 5″ tight end went undrafted but has made several stops around the NFL. A solid blocker with reliable hands and good speed, Orndoff’s routes and limited catch radius need work. However, he was able to showcase his talent with Orlando of the AAF. He signed with his sixth NFL team, joining the Eagles practice squad. The Los Angeles Wildcats selected Orndoff in last month’s draft.

Montrel Meander

A 6′ 2″ linebacker/defensive back from Grambling State, Meander went undrafted in 2018, but hooked up with three NFL franchises before landing with the Browns, where he currently waits on the practice squad. He’s also a member of the Dallas Renegades.

Kelvin McKnight

Denver Broncos wide receiver Kelvin McKnight (16) runs against the San Francisco 49ers during the second half of an NFL preseason football game, Monday, Aug. 19, 2019, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

Another Renegades selection out of Samford, 5′ 8″ McKnight was a practice squad rookie wide receiver with the Patriots before signing with the Broncos. While needing some improvement with getting off the line and reducing body catches, his great speed and excellent route precision makes him a solid pickup for the Renegades.

Younghoe Koo

The South Korean place kicker out of Georgia Southern has caught the interest of four NFL teams, currently with the Falcons. He appeared in four games for the Chargers, followed by the full duration of the short lived AAF on the Orlando franchise, scoring the first ever points of the league and earned week five special teams player of the week.

What’s your take on these NFL/XFL players? Which will make a game-day roster and see the field? Who will shine in the XFL or who will be a bust? Share your ideas and who your favorite players are in the comments section below.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Michael Sullivan

    November 8, 2019 at 1:22 pm

    Good to read an article that shows a positive response to losing players. Let’s hope the XFL can be that solid second tier of pro football we’ve all been pining for. Just like baseball’s minors, every player wants to get that call to go up to the big league.

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