The 2023 XFL Draft is approaching at warp pace. Quarterbacks will likely be assigned immediately, November fifteenth, and the remainder of the draft will begin on November sixteenth and seventeenth. Whereas the offense has taken priority in immediately’s model of American Soccer, protection at all times finds a option to play spoiler.
XFL entrance places of work have put in 1000’s of hours collectively researching and dissecting recreation movies from athletes all around the world. Spring Soccer followers can keep in mind way back to the varied Professional Days and Combines held for 2022 NFL draftees and see footage and movies of XFL Director of Participant Personnel Doug Whaley in attendance. Quick ahead to now, and also you’ll discover 1000’s of athletes voicing their opinions on why the XFL ought to draft them.
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High 10 XFL Quarterbacks
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The Participant Pool
The XFL must fill 528 roster spots amongst its eight groups from an total participant pool of upwards of 1,700 prospects. Beneath I’ll spotlight ten of the very best defenders who’re set to listen to their names known as over the approaching days. The listing of gamers confirmed as receiving an invitation to the elusive XFL Draft Pool varies. Though XFL executives have the correct listing of gamers within the XFL Draft Pool, this listing goals to spotlight athletes who’ve been confirmed entrants into the pool.
As has been the case with many alternate soccer drafts lately, gamers who haven’t been rumored to play in a league will likely be chosen, sending shockwaves throughout the soccer panorama. For this listing, nevertheless, I’ll follow gamers confirmed as entrants into the pool of gamers recognized to the media. With that, let’s get on to the listing, lets?
JaQuan Artis – Lenoir-Rhyne – Defensive Finish
First up is former Lenoir-Rhyne Defensive Finish JaQuan Artis. Artis is the definition of an underdog. In 37 profession video games for the Bears, Artis completed with 216 Tackles, 47.5 Tackles for Loss, 29 Sacks, two Passes Defensed, 5 compelled fumbles, and 5 fumble recoveries.
The 6’3”, 250-Pound, pass-rusher made fairly the splash within the Indoor Soccer League this previous season with the Northern Arizona Wranglers. He took dwelling each the IFL Rookie Defensive Participant of The Yr and IFL Defensive Participant of The Yr awards. All whereas serving to his workforce win the 2022 IFL Championship. Artis completed with a league-best 9.5 sacks and completed second within the league with 17.5 tackles for loss. Merely put, Artis can get after opposing quarterbacks and wreak havoc. He is probably not a well known title now, however Artis is a younger, developmental edge rusher with a relentless motor. Search for an XFL workforce to covet versatile defensive ends akin to Artis within the upcoming draft.
Congrats to DE/OLB JaQuan Artis who made his skilled debut this weekend with the @NazWranglers, recording his first skilled sack! The 2019 DII sack chief and DPOY out of @LRBearsFootball is again in motion! @ProLevelAgents pic.twitter.com/w2SoFUFDfg
— The Alternate Soccer Scout (@altfbscout) March 20, 2022
Okay.J. Sails, Jr. – South Florida – Defensive Again
Subsequent up on our listing for honorable mentions is Defensive Again Okay.J. Sails, Jr. Sails, Jr. attended the College of South Florida, the place he put up nice numbers for the Bulls. Sails, Jr. attended the HUB Camp in July of 2021 after going undrafted. The HUB Camp personal exercise earned him a contract with the Los Angeles Chargers. Upon completion of a brief stint, he made his option to the CFL with the Calgary Stampeders. Sails, Jr. now finds himself on the cusp of a deep group of defensive backs obtainable within the XFL draft.
HUB DB KJ Sails trying like he’s received the juice! #pick6 @KJ2LiVE | #TheCAMP pic.twitter.com/6GSOMlklEn
— HUB Soccer (@HUBFootball2020) July 18, 2021
XFL TOP 10 DEFENSIVE PLAYERS PRE-DRAFT
10. Joshua Flowers – Winston Salem State – Cornerback
School stats: 62 Tackles, 5 Interceptions, 15 Passes Defensed
Measurements: 6’3, 190 Kilos
Professional Expertise: NFL
Cornerback Joshua Flowers is available in at quantity ten XFL prime ten defensive gamers listing. The tall defensive again out of Winston Salem State spent one season as a Ram, being named to the All-CIAA second workforce in 2019. Following his profession at Winston Salem, Flowers performed within the inaugural HBCU Legacy Bowl this previous April, turning heads and making a reputation for himself. The chance ultimately became a contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Flowers’ greatest soccer days are forward of him, and the XFL seems to be to offer Flowers with an opportunity to show his value.
Winston-Salem State College CB Joshua Flowers Accepted Invite XFL Draft Pool to held in November pic.twitter.com/jHGJhZVLCf
— HBCU Premier Sports activities (@HBCUSports1) August 3, 2022
9. Marloshawn Franklin, Jr. – Defensive Again – California
School stats: 60 Tackles, 1 Sack, 8 Passes Defensed
Measurements: 5’11, 185 kilos
Professional Expertise: FCF, ELF, CFL, NFL
Coming in at quantity 9 on the XFL prime ten defensive gamers listing is Defensive Again Marloshawn Franklin, Jr. Franklin attended the College of California from 2016-2017. Following his profession at Cal, He spent a short while within the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers coaching camps. Franklin would spend time within the CFL with the B.C. Lions and Montreal Alouettes in 2019-2020. Sadly for Franklin, the COVID-19 pandemic would wipe out the 2020 CFL season.
Franklin turned to Fan Managed Soccer for his first regular-season skilled soccer expertise. After a profitable 2021 season, Franklin would play abroad within the European League of Soccer for the Hamburg Sea Devils. Whereas within the ELF, Franklin tallied 22 tackles, two interceptions, and two compelled fumbles. Following the completion of the ELF season in 2021, Franklin would return to the CFL by way of the Ottawa Redblacks. Franklin is a flexible defensive again who’s sticky in protection and excellent for any XFL workforce.
#CFL ➡️ #FCF#FCFScouting @fcflio
Marloshawn Franklin Jr. (@Marlofranko)
Profession:@MTLAlouettes 2020 Season [email protected] 2019 [email protected] 2019 Summer season [email protected] 2018 [email protected] 2018 [email protected] [email protected] 2014-2015 pic.twitter.com/ZtreVEBMYs
— The Alternate Soccer Scout (@altfbscout) January 29, 2021
8. Cecil Cherry – Coahoma CC / Grambling State / UTM – Linebacker
School stats: 232 Tackles, 6 Sack, 1 Interception
Measurements: 6’0, 240 Kilos
Professional Expertise: FCF, TSL
Quantity eight on the XFL prime ten defensive gamers listing is an alternate soccer mainstay in former College of Tennessee-Martin Linebacker Cecil Cherry. If you happen to’re in search of a downhill linebacker with tenacity, Cherry is your man. The Florida native garnered the eye of many Division I schools after highschool. Cherry spent the with USF, adopted by Coahoma Neighborhood School, Grambling State College, and the College of Tennessee St. Martin. All instructed, Cherry complied 232 tackles all through his collegiate profession at these numerous colleges. The 2020 NFL Draft noticed Cherry go undrafted.
With the COVID-19 pandemic canceling many exercises and tryouts for athletes popping out of faculty that yr, Cherry pivoted to the Fan Managed Soccer league. He grew to become a family title for FCF followers throughout the globe. Cherry would end second in Defensive Participant of The Yr voting. Following the 2021 season, Cherry went to a different skilled soccer league. This time it was The Spring League, the place he’d play for Head Coach Larry Kirksey’s Sea Lions.
After a profitable stint in The Spring League, Cherry participated within the HUB Soccer Camp in October 2021. Fan Managed Soccer welcomed Cherry again with open arms within the Spring of 2022. Cherry dominated this previous season and earned Defensive Participant of The Yr. The FCF veteran occurs to be the league’s all-time chief in tackles, too. Lastly, he’s at present enrolled within the NFL Alumni Academy, a program partnered with the XFL to get expertise. Regardless of being missed beforehand, any XFL workforce in search of a pacesetter on protection and within the locker room ought to have their eyes on “Scary Cherry.”
@cecil_cherry4 simply wanted an opportunity…. Hope all my boys eat. Contacts to Cherry, Beck and Spicer. @XFL2023 if you happen to want a CB and two LB take a look at these guys. #NFL #XFL #CFL pic.twitter.com/OHH5KNf7bC
— 49er_Edits (@49er_edits) Could 21, 2022
7. Azeem Victor – Washington – Linebacker
School stats: 198 Tackles, 14 Tackles for Loss, 3.5 Sacks, 1 Interception, 10 Passes Defensed, 3 Pressured Fumbles, 2 Fumble Recoveries
Measurements: 6’3”, 231 Kilos
Professional Expertise: NFL, AAF, USFL
Former College of Washington Linebacker Azeem Victor is available in at quantity seven on the XFL prime ten defensive gamers. Victor produced unbelievable numbers in school and was chosen within the sixth spherical of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders. Since then, Victor has seen restricted enjoying time within the NFL. His profession with the Oakland Raiders was concise, being lower six months after being drafted. Additionally, time spent with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Seattle Seahawks got here and went shortly. The Alliance of American Soccer was the following cease for Victor, signing with the Orlando Apollos. Victor can be waived in March 2019.
Following his launch from the AAF, the NFL suspended Victor for ten video games within the 2019 season. Following a quick stint within the CFL with the Calgary Stampeders, soccer followers wouldn’t see Victor once more till the 2021 Spring League season, when the Alphas signed Victor to a deal. Nonetheless, in 2022, The Houston Gamblers of the USFL chosen Victor within the twenty ninth spherical to be one in every of their linebackers. Victor recorded 17 whole tackles for the Gamblers earlier than he was launched.
For Azeem Victor, expertise has by no means been a query. Placing all of it collectively right into a constant soccer product has been the query. The XFL seems to be Victor’s subsequent alternative to do this.
Azeem Victor #3 of the @USFLGamblers on the market making performs. Been a fan of his since his time at Washington. pic.twitter.com/IKUDo507jw
— Marcus Harvey (@MarcusHarvey_) April 17, 2022
6. James Folston, Jr. – Defensive Finish – Pittsburgh
School stats: 47 Tackles, 3.5 Tackles for Loss, 1.5 Sacks
Measurements: 6’4”, 250 kilos
Professional Expertise: NFL, XFL, CFL, USFL
Quantity six on the XFL prime ten defensive gamers listing is a well-known face to each XFL and USFL followers in James Folston, Jr. Folston, Jr. attended the College of Pittsburgh and signed as a UDFA with the Arizona Cardinals following his school profession. Folston, Jr. has additionally hung out in NFL camps with the Inexperienced Bay Packers and Tennessee Titans. Folston, Jr. would transfer on from the NFL and make his option to the XFL in 2020. The then Dallas Renegades drafted Folston, Jr. Following the collapse of the XFL’s 2020 iteration, Folston, Jr. set his sights on the CFL by way of the Edmonton Elks. Nonetheless, in every occasion main as much as the CFL, Folston, Jr. would not often see the sector.
That was previous to the USFL in 2022. Folston, Jr. was drafted within the fourth spherical of the 2022 USFL draft by the New Orleans Breakers. As soon as once more, Folston, Jr. would see restricted enjoying time in New Orleans, posting three whole tackles for the Breakers and Head Coach Larry Fedora. Folston, Jr. will try to modify from the USFL to the XFL within the hopes of elevated enjoying time and alternative.
The 26-year-old has simply scratched the floor of this potential. XFL groups needs to be rearing to draft a dominant pass-rusher akin to James Folston, Jr.
2019 NFL Draft Prospect James Folston Jr. @OfficialAthlete #H2P pic.twitter.com/x0uKrpuJkY
— James Folston Sr. (@J55FoFo) April 24, 2019
5. Reggie Cole – Mary Hardin-Baylor – Defensive Again
School stats: 93 Tackles, 13 Tackles for Loss, 2 Interceptions
Measurements: 6’2, 185 Kilos
Professional Expertise: XFL, TSL, CFL
Quantity 5 on our XFL prime ten defensive gamers listing is cornerback Reggie Cole. Cole racked up nearly 100 tackles in his collegiate profession at Mary Hardin-Baylor and used his nice dimension and size to his benefit in protection. Cole can be recognized for his physicality and competitiveness on the soccer subject. After school, Cole would get drafted to play within the XFL in 2020 for the DC Defenders.
Nonetheless, Cole wouldn’t see the sector a lot within the XFL in 2020 and would wind up heading to The Spring League following the XFL’s shutdown resulting from COVID-19. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats known as for Cole following the TSL, and he’d signal with them in 2021.
The tall defender is primed for an XFL comeback and can be a fantastic addition to any secondary. Might a reunion in DC be within the works for Cole? We should wait and see the place Cole lands forward of the 2023 season.
4. Gabe Wright – Defensive Deal with – Auburn
School stats: 83 Tackles, 20.5 Tackles for Loss, 6 Sacks, 1 Fumble Restoration, 2 Passes Defensed
Measurements: 6’3”, 305 kilos
Professional Expertise: NFL, XFL
We’re beefing up the listing with our subsequent participant on the XFL prime ten defensive gamers listing with defensive deal with Gabe Wright. Following a stellar profession at Auburn College, Wright was initially a fourth-round draft alternative by the Detroit Lions in 2015. Wright spent in depth time within the NFL, having hung out with the Browns, Eagles, Dolphins, and Raiders. After the higher a part of six seasons on and off NFL rosters, Wright discovered his option to the XFL in 2020. The Houston Roughnecks grabbed the 6-3, 305-pound run-stuffing deal with to anchor their defensive position. In 5 video games for the Roughnecks, Wright collected ten tackles and 1.5 sacks.
Following the XFL’s 2020 COVID-19 shortened season, Wright signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Wright would then transfer on to the Washington Soccer Group in 2021. Wright has 11 profession tackles within the NFL. All in all, whoever drafts Wright will get a 30-year-old veteran on the defensive deal with spot. Wright seems to be to be a pacesetter and a productive participant within the XFL in 2023.
XFL Topps 2020 – Card #49 Gabe Wright RC – Houston Roughnecks #XFLCards #XFL2020 #Reminiscence #XFL #ForTheLoveOfFootball https://t.co/Mlf3F1OWO9 pic.twitter.com/DfdGUEcTCL
— XFL Information and Dialogue @ XFLBoard.com (@xflboard) March 18, 2022
3. Michael Badejo – SMU / Texas Southern – Defensive Finish
School stats: 28 Tackles, 5 Tackles for Loss, 3.5 Sacks, 1 Move Defensed
Measurements: 6’2”, 240 kilos
Professional Expertise: MLFB
Quantity three on the XFL prime ten defensive gamers listing is former SMU and Texas Southern Defensive Finish Michael Badejo. The previous HBCU product earned All-SWAC second-team honors in 2021. Following a productive school profession, Badejo garnered loads of curiosity from NFL groups such because the Chicago Bears, Carolina Panthers, and others. Badejo would flip to Main League Soccer for his first skilled soccer expertise. Sadly for Badejo and plenty of others, the MLFB season can be canceled two weeks into coaching camp.
If there’s one participant on this listing who isn’t a shock, it’s Michael Badejo. Badejo is a monster as a pass-rusher off the sting and will likely be in excessive regard comes the XFL draft. Search for Badejo and different top-tier edge rushers to fly off the board early within the draft.
Michael Badejo: Texas Southern Professional Day highlights 🏈🔥
An #NFLDraft prospect with a rising inventory, @TheRealBadejo is receiving curiosity from a number of groups such because the Titans, Texans, Seahawks, Ravens, Broncos, 49ers, Panthers, Jaguars, and Bears 📈📈 pic.twitter.com/YwXxkkQkkO
— Unfiltered Media ™️ (@UnfilteredInd) April 5, 2022
2. Michael Pinckney – Miami – Linebacker
School stats: 198 Tackles, 28.5 Tackles for Loss, 3.5 Sacks, 3 Interceptions, 1 Fumble Restoration
Measurements: 6’1”, 220 Kilos
Professional Expertise: NFL, CFL
Coming in at quantity two on the XFL prime ten defensive gamers listing is linebacker Michael Pinckney. The intimidating defender is primed for a breakout season within the XFL. Pinckney attended the College of Miami, the place he lit it up. Simply south of 200 profession tackles, Pinckney roamed the sector from sideline to sideline, making performs on nearly each down. Following the 2020 NFL Draft, Pinckney signed with the New England Patriots. Pinckney can be suspended for six video games by the Patriots for testing optimistic for a banned substance whereas recovering from an damage.
After being subsequently launched by the Patriots, Pinckney signed with the Chicago Bears. He didn’t latch on with the membership and was launched just a few days later. The Saskatchewan Roughriders would take a look at Pinckney, however he would once more be launched comparatively shortly. Like most gamers on this listing, Pinckney has great expertise. With an opportunity to shine within the XFL, Pinckney sits in direction of the highest of an extended listing of Linebacker prospects for the taking by every of the eight XFL groups.
High 2 favourite Turnover Chain second:
Michael Pinckney vs FSU pic.twitter.com/kSigvy9zrY
— Marsh Cristobal (@hurricanesmarsh) August 27, 2020
1. Josh Harvey-Clemons – Georgia/Louisville – Linebacker
School stats: 225 Tackles, 11.5 Tackles for Loss, 2 Sacks, 4 Interceptions, 11 Passes Defensed, 3 Pressured Fumbles, 3 Fumble Recoveries
Measurements: 6’4, 245 Kilos
Professional Expertise: NFL, CFL
With the primary spot on the XFL prime ten defensive gamers up for debate, I’ll go a confirmed veteran in Josh Harvey-Clemons. Harvey-Clemons put up monstrous numbers at Georgia, incomes him vital reward and a spotlight from NFL groups. Drafted within the seventh spherical by the then-Washington Redskins, Harvey Clemons spent 4 seasons in Washington. In 2020, Harvey-Clemons elected to choose out of the NFL for that yr as a result of COVID-19 Pandemic. Following his launch from Washington in 2021, he performed for the Miami Dolphins on their apply squad. Harvey-Clemons then pivoted to the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes in 2022.
Harvey-Clemons has loads left within the tank, and any of the eight XFL groups can have the 6-4, 245-pound linebacker close to the highest of their massive boards. Like Cecil Cherry, Harvey-Clemons is at present enrolled within the NFL Alumni Academy. Search for XFL groups to prioritize the Linebacker place with veterans who can anchor a protection. Look no additional than Josh Harvey-Clemons to fill that function.
1 Minute of Josh Harvey Clemons highlights pic.twitter.com/aCyOSszpZR
— CommandersMuse (@CommandersMuse) August 30, 2022
XFL High Ten Defensive Gamers Recap
With ten of the very best defensive gamers out of the best way, the main focus shifts to what’s subsequent for the league. With the conclusion of the Quarterback Choice Present and the 2023 XFL Participant Draft, the league will start ironing out rosters, depth charts, and extra. Every of the eight XFL groups can start preparation for Coaching Camp, which is scheduled for a begin date of January 2023. The XFL’s common season is about to kickoff on Feb. 18.
With new soccer leagues comes new superstars. In 2020, the XFL produced gamers akin to PJ Walker, Donald Parham, Jr., Kenny Robinson, and should extra. The platform the league intends to offer its gamers is second to none. As followers start to get a transparent image of who will likely be on their favourite groups in 2023, they’ll start to marvel who will increase their degree of competitors far-and-above everybody else within the league.