RB Donnel Pumphrey Jr. – The All-Time NCAA rushing leader and NFL 4th round pick has the explosiveness that could take this league by storm. In a league that may have some shaky offensive lines, Pumphrey may be used as a major emergency valve for QB Cardale Jones. Don’t be surprised if he is seeing 7+ targets in the passing game per game.
WR Tyler Palka – The Division 2 Quarterback could easily find a prominent role as an X-factor in the double forward pass game. Palka also had a very solid camp by all accounts, so don’t underestimate his contributions as a solid possession receiver.
WR Jalen Rowell – The 6 ft 4 Air Force Academy graduate has the size and athleticism to flourish with the Defenders after gaining comfort in their offense. Rowell was expected to be a mid-round NFL draft pick before a Department of Defense decision that prevented his immediate professional football career.
WR/Returner DeAndre Thompkins – The accomplished returner at Penn State, has legit speed and made an impact in camp. Thompkins could take advantage of the XFL’s exciting return game and make an impact.
TE Khari Lee – Lee was a consistent part of the passing game in Defenders camp. Lee has a pretty solid NFL resume as a blocking tight end too, so expect him to contribute on all downs.
G Dorian Johnson – An NFL 4th round pick with a recorded NFL resume, look for the Guard to be one of the key leaders of the offensive line.
OT/OL Cole Boozer – In a league that is expected to be dictated by speed and athleticism, the former collegiate TE turned offensive lineman can be expected to be a key contributor to the Defenders Offensive Line.
DT Tracy Sprinkle – Sprinkle stood out in camp according to the Defenders content team. Expect Sprinkle to be a contributor on the Defensive Line.
DE Tavaris Barnes – On a Defensive Line that isn’t very tall, Barnes at 6 ft 4 provides some solid length. The Clemson standout can be expected to make a solid impact.
DT Jay Bromley – Having played 57 games in the NFL, Bromley is one of the most experienced players in the entire XFL. Bromley through experience alone can be expected to make an impact for the Defenders.
LB Antwione Williams – The NFL 5th round pick is the ideal size for a 2020 Linebacker. At 6 ft 3 and a lean 240 pounds, Williams is a physical specimen that has the size, speed, and strength to dominate the league. Williams was consistently lining up as a starter for the Defenders through camp.
LB Scooby Wright – How can you make this list without including one of the most recognizable Linebackers in the league? Wright is primed to lead the Defenders defense.
OLB Sam Montgomery – The pass-rushing specialist had 19 sacks at LSU, which led to a 3rd round draft pick by the Houston Texans. Unfortunately, circumstances didn’t go Montgomery’s way and he never was able to establish himself in the NFL. The speed rusher still has the length and athleticism to make an impact.
CB Doran Grant – The playmaker had 5 interceptions his senior year at Ohio State. He was constantly making plays in camp.
CB Desmond Lawrence – Lawrence had 123 tackles at UNC, providing some needed length to the Defenders secondary at 6 ft 1.
S Shamarko Thomas – The NFL 4th round pick and 66 game veteran, who recently was traded for, has the pedigree to make an impact for the Defenders.
S Matt Elam – In a league that doesn’t have many NFL first-round picks, Elam obviously has a track record of performance and talent that makes him intriguing.
K Tyler Rausa – The recent signee was a Lou Groza Award finalist his final year at Boise State.
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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