Having 1,100 players in the publicized XFL draft pool (some names were also added under the radar) and only 568 draft slots across the 8 teams, some players were bound to not get the phone call. Following the XFL draft, one thing was made clear: Name recognition and NFL experience doesn’t mean you have a spot on a team. Here are some of the names you may recognize, that are left evaluating their next moves.
Trent Richardson, RB: When you average a little over 2 yards per carry in the AAF, you just won’t get the call in a deep group of available and experienced Runningbacks. Unfortunately for Richardson, he just lacks the quick twitch vision that you expect of Runningbacks at this level of football.
Roberto Aguayo, K: Infamous high NFL Draft pick that failed miserably in the NFL. Either Roberto dropped out of the pool on his own or XFL coaches really don’t trust his abilities. Keep an eye out for Aguayo moving forward, as multiple XFL teams did not select a kicker.
Nate Boyer, LS: I get it, you’re wondering why a Long Snapper matters enough to make this list. In addition to having legitimate NFL experience, Boyer was an accomplished US Army Green Beret who went on multiple Iraq and Afghanistan combat tours and became famous for advising Colin Kaepernick on his protest methods.
David Cobb, RB: A recognizable Runningback name from both the Tennessee Titans and the AAF.
Fred Davis, TE: My fellow Redskins fans know the name very well. Davis was the Tight End that perhaps pushed Redskins Great, Chris Cooley, into an early retirement. Davis had some good years in the NFL and was apparently looking to make a comeback after not playing since 2014. It would’ve been fun to see if he had anything left in the tank.
Noel Divine, RB: Another amazing collegiate player that completely flopped in professional football. Devine was looking to make a comeback to professional football, after not playing since 2014 in the Canadian Football League. Those of us that remember the spark he had at West Virginia University are all collectively sad that we won’t see if he has anything left.
Jacoby Ford, WR: Like Fred Davis, Ford was trying to make a comeback to professional sports after a good chunk of games in the NFL. Ford hadn’t played since 2013.
Jonas Gray, RB: Another player that the league actually advertised to draw attention, who did not go drafted. You’ll remember him as one of the many New England Patriots Runningbacks that flashed real potential and just as quickly vanished from the league.
Fabian Guerra, WR: An AAF and Arena Football fan favorite, Guerra went undrafted in the XFL. He’ll likely go back to Arena Football, where he is excellent.
Clay Harbor, TE: Accomplished NFL veteran with over 1,100 yards receiving and perhaps more widely known to the young kids as a contestant on the Bachelorette Reality TV Series.
Matt Hazel, WR: 9 NFL games spread over a couple seasons. Hazel always showed a ton of potential in the Preseason.
Taylor Hearn, OT/OG: Starting Guard on the 2016 Championship winning Clemson squad.
Trevor Knight, QB: Accomplished Collegiate QB with some NFL stints. Knight has history with Bob Stoops.
Tanner Lee, QB: 6th Round NFL Draft Pick QB out of Nebraska, who is still pretty young. I figured he would get a chance to compete for a roster slot.
Jeff Locke, P: 69 games as an NFL punter.
Robert Meachem, WR: Nearly 3,000 yards and 27 touchdowns in his NFL career. Like Fred Davis and Jacoby Ford, was looking to make a comeback to professional football.
Zach Mettenberger, QB: NFL Experience, AAF contributor, and married to Ken Whisenhunt’s ridiculously attractive daughter.
Branden Oliver, RB: NFL Experience, AAF contributor. Played for the (then) San Diego Chargers up until 2017.
Vinny Papale, WR: Son of Vince Papale, the player the movie “Invincible” is based on. If you haven’t seen it, it’s great.
Aaron Ripkowski, FB: For those of us that love Fullbacks, we should all be outraged. Ripkowski was a Packers fan favorite for a couple seasons. Ripkowski shared his displeasure after the draft on Twitter. I guess his Oklahoma connection to Bob Stoops wasn’t enough. I demand this guy gets drafted in the November Supplemental draft.
Zac Stacy, RB: Nearly ran for 1,000 yards with the (then) St. Louis Rams in 2013. He also ran for 317 yards in the AAF.
Terrance Williams, WR: Yes, that Terrance Williams.
Kendall Wright, WR: Yes, that Kendall Wright.
***Disclaimer: We realize some of these players may have voluntarily removed their names from the draft pool for monetary driven or personal reasons.
I just dug through a list of 1,100+ players, so I already know I missed some players. Tell me who you’re surprised about in the comments!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Konnor Fulk excelled in the Sports Management Program at Georgia Southern University. He spent several seasons working with the Washington Redskins in fan engagement, strategy, and sales strategy. Additionally, Mr. Fulk continues consulting services across the sport of NASCAR. Konnor has a longstanding obsession with the concept of Spring Football and is looking forward to sharing his expertise and opinions about the XFL relaunch. Connect with Konnor on LinkedIN or give him a follow on Twitter @XFLKonnor
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