As of Monday the 27th, XFL teams released their 52-man rosters after training camps and the preseason scrimmages. The Dallas Renegades are locked in and ready to go. A camp roster brimming with talent all around led to some surprising cuts, so let’s take a look at the team’s final shape. Official depth charts are coming later this week, but we can already get a good sense of what that’s going to look like on this side of the ball.
Starter: Landry Jones (12) – Bob Stoops knows his skillset well, as Jones played for 4 years in his program at Oklahoma. Jones is an NFL vet who’s been in pro football since 2013 and is a prototypical pocket passer. At 6’4″, 225 with a live arm, good accuracy and experience in this offense, he’s poised to be one of the XFL’s best passers. A minor knee injury has sidelined him the past couple weeks, but he’s hopeful to start week one.
“That’s what I’m shooting for,” QB @LandryJones12 said when asked if his injury recovery timetable would allow him to play on 2/9. “Shooting for Week 1, and then I think the worst-case scenario is Week 2.” #RaisingHell— Dallas Renegades (@XFLRenegades) January 28, 2020
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Phillip Nelsen (9) – While Jones rested his knee, Nelsen filled his shoes admirably. The East Carolina product was lauded by his coaches for play, and he scored twice against the Battlehawks in their scrimmage.
Eric Dungey (7) – A late addition to camp, the Syracuse QB brings athleticism and a “good arm” to the team according to Bob Stoops. A quality QB3, he could push Nelsen for the backup spot.
This is a deeply talented RB stable, It’s difficult to see who will reap the lion’s share of carries, so I’ll leave it to the words of RB coach Bobby Blizzard. (via XFL.com)
Cameron Artis-Payne (34) – “Cam is a downhill runner, has good vision and can make cuts and make people miss downfield.”
Marquis Young (22) – “Marquis can catch out of the backfield and is also a downhill runner. He’s fast, and like Cam, he’s my power guy.”
Lance Dunbar (25) – “Lance has those tools, but he’s excellent catching the ball out of the backfield, catching the screen game, the underneath game. He’s just excellent with the ball in his hands in open space.”
Austin Walter (27) – “Austin is a lot like Lance. He’s great in the backfield, and you can line him up all over the field. He doesn’t drop anything.”
Jeff Badet (13) – Badet has been making headlines all throughout camp, and the Renegades 1st round pick is a fantastic athlete. He’s dangerous is space, and that ability should fit in well with the Air Raid’s quick passing concepts.
Jazz Ferguson (1) – Jazz Ferguson should be a big part of this offense, and I believe he could even become the #1 target. Not only does he have elite tools (6’5″, 4.45 40), he uses his physical traits well to box out defenders and snag passes. Great sleeper in fantasy leagues here.
Freddie Martino (18) – The Renegades traded for Martino, and clearly they have a high opinion of him. The 28-year-old is the most experienced wideout and has had some production in the NFL to lean on as this group’s vet.
Jerrod Heard (16) – The former Texas QB offers a lot of upside as a playmaker in this offense. He possesses great athleticism with a 6’1″ frame and a 4.40 40, and could very well become a Taysom Hill-type utility player.
Joshua Crockett (11) – He played Division II ball at Central Oklahoma, and produced well there. He’s a little on the slower end with a 4.59 40, but has a 6’2″ frame and a 41″ vertical. He could be a possession kind of guy or a threat in the red zone.
Flynn Nagel (19) – He’s 5’11” and ran a 4.73 40 at Northwestern’s pro day, but the wily slot option is a gamer. He’s not here to blow anyone away with combine numbers, but he did beat out Simmie Cobbs Jr for the spot, and Stoops must like his route running ability and hands.
Donald Parham (49) – Call the feds, I’m high on Donald Parham. He’s an absolute physical freak at his position, with a 6’8″, 240-pound frame, an insane 7-foot wingspan, and soft hands, he’s a mismatch nightmare for defenses and should thrive in the slot. He’s athletic with a 40 time in the 4.6s, and with production rare for his position in college (180 rec, 2591 yards, 20 TD), he’s set up for a lot of success in this offense.
Sean Price (80) – The Renegades actually drafted Price higher than Parham, and he’s perhaps the more complete player at TE. With good size at 6’3″, 252, he had steady pass production at USF with 688 yards and 5 TD’s in 3 years. A team captain with the Bulls, he also contributed to a school-record setting run game as a strong blocker. He’s listed as a TE/H back.
Julian Allen (86) – Also listed at TE/H Back is the Southern Mississippi product, acquired via trade from the Houston Roughnecks. The JUCO standout found himself underutilized at Southern Miss, but still ended up as a John Mackey Award nominee as people noticed his skillset. He’s athletic, versatile and could carve out a role for himself in this offense.
OT Willie Beavers (70) – The former 4th round NFL Draft pick was a stalwart at LT for Western Michigan in college. He has plus athleticism and quickness to mirror speed rushers, and power to anchor and push in the run. He’s spent time with the Vikings, Patriots, Bears, and 49ers, and has been jiving well with OL Coach Jeff Jagodzinski.
OT Pace Murphy (77) – He played LT at Northwestern State, but projects as a RT at the next level. He’s a road grader in the run game and consistently beats opponents at the point of attack.
OT Darius James (62) – A two-year starter at RT for the Auburn Tigers, he’s battle-tested by SEC talent, and has experience at all 5 OL spots. He has some pass-pro acumen but will cash checks as a run blocker.
OT Justin Evans (71) – He’s been on the Ravens, Redskins, Cardinals, and Bengals, but didn’t catch on in the NFL. The South Carolina State product has ideal size at 6’5″, 310 and could find a role for himself on this line.
OG Josh Allen (66) – With some starting NFL experience under his belt, the 28-year-old could be a steady presence in the middle of this line.
OG Salesi Uhatafe (64) – The big man out of Utah stands at 6’5″ 324, and was a 4-year starter in college. He played at both guard spots, and while he won’t wow anyone with speed, he’s a mauler who won’t be pushed back on the line.
OG John Keenoy (52) – He was an iron man at Western Michigan, and started 4 straight years at center. The transition to guard shouldn’t be a reach for him, and he’s a solid piece. If he doesn’t start at guard, I can see him as the team’s G/C depth.
OG Maurquice Shakir (61) – After stints with the Ravens and Texans, the 26-year-old is primed to make an impact on the line, and brings good strength, size and football IQ to the interior.
OC Alex Balducci (65) – A former Nose Tackle who converted to OL with the 49ers and Chip Kelly, he’s also spent time with the Jets and Redskins.
Big Things Coming
This is an offense to get excited about. The Renegades have perhaps the XFL’s best veteran QB in Landry Jones, a deep RB stable and dangerous targets. I think the Trio of Jeff Badet, Jazz Ferguson and Donald Parham presents defenses with a versatile group that can create mismatches and opportunities all over the field.
Their OL group has a good mix of veterans and young talent and should be aided by positive blocking talents of TE/H Sean Price. Bob Stoops has brought offensive wizard Hal Mumme in to implement an Air-Raid attack, and Dallas has all the pieces to make one of the XFL’s best offenses.
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