The XFL season is rapidly approaching with the XFL draft in the books, we are taking a close look into the roster as a whole. I’m super excited to see that San Antonio will be getting a second chance of hosting a professional team in the SA Brahmas; can’t wait to sport that Yellow & Black on game. I’ll cast my preseason predictions for each position and highlight prominent names on offense to note for the upcoming season.
Jawon Pass - QB1
Pass was highly acclaimed as he looked to pick up where his predecessor, Lamar Jackson, had left off. He drew similar comparisons to the former as he looked to take on this challenge. Pass’ larger frame and big arm drew comparisons to former NFL MVP Cam Newton as well; he had the ability to tuck the ball and run proving to be a tough runner in the process. Under former Tampa Bay Viper coaches: OC Elizondo and QBC Neiswander they were looking for a quarterback that will be able to spread the field and throw 30+ passes a game. Jawon is a raw, budding prospect at only 25 years old; the premiere prospect for these coaches to build around. Pass has great QB mechanics: sets his feet, quick release and decision making and has the ability to throw a precision long ball.
Quarterback Grade: B
Anthony Russo - the second quarterback selected will be directly behind Pass looking to get his shot.
Jack Coan- was signed on after the draft. Based on his recent success as QB with Wisconsin and Notre Dame, and depending on how they construct their rosters, it’s likely that he’ll be brought on as the 3rd string QB behind Pass and Russo.
Reid Sinnett- signed on after the draft. Doesn’t have the arm strength as his counterparts and lacks mobility in the pocket. He does possess the typical QB size and has great vision of the field. However, it’s unlikely he’ll beat out his competition.
Jacques Patrick - RB1
SA used their 1st (and 3rd overall) pick on Patrick. He’s a huge grab for SA, as he possess the ability to be a three down back, while he does have several strong understudies Patrick hold the upperhand on each of the other RBs, he’s already played for OC Elizondo during the XFL’s first reboot with the Tampa Bay Vipers. While it may have seemed questionable to grab Patrick this early, given his familiarity with the offensive system and there not being an obvious true WR1 in this draft class he’s an excellent asset for SA. He’s not a fancy back nor has he shown elite levels of quickness, he’s a strong and powerful downfield runner. His physical nature will allow him to be a bruising pass blocker as well, in this suspected pass-heavy offense.
Other Running Backs
Running Back Grade: A
Calvin Turner - while at Hawai’i, he played multiple positions and played well, making for a rare gadget player - although, did most of his damage at RB and WR.
Kalen Ballage - comes to SA with a few years of NFL experience, but could never quite take advantage of his opportunities outside of a few sparks. He’s large frame and blazing speed, along with running wildcat in college left much to be desired from this well-built athlete. I could see him taking up first-team reps in the event Patrick gets hurt.
Jon Hilliman- was brought on to SA after the draft. While he does have NFL experience, in comparison to his competition, he doesn’t have a standout feature as the other three do (versatility, power, knowledge of offense, etc) he’ll likely be seen more as a depth back barring injuries.
TJ Vasher - WR1
At this point, everyone has heard about Vasher whether from his 1 handed catch at Texas Tech or his 1 handed catch in the Cowboys training camp. While he’s not a traditional WR1, he has all the measurables that can translate into a true WR1. Vasher standing at 6’6” with an 84in wingspan, 4.4 40 yard dash and 37 in vertical, he can easily be Pass’ number 1 guy.
Jalen Tolliver - WR2
While I favor Kendrick Rogers, Tolliver is the player who I can see ultimately getting the nod at WR2. Like Patrick, he’s played under both the OC and QBC before during his stint with the Tampa Bay Vipers. Familiarity with the offense may prove to give him the upperhand.
Terry Wright - WR3/Slot
In steps our speedster from Purdue, whom is known for producing burners at wide receiver. Wright ran a 4.4 40 yard dash, while small in stature he was a dangerous deep threat and was constantly on the positive end of long throws.
Other Wide Receivers
Wide Receiver Grade: B
Kendrick Rogers - best known for his big play ability and Texas A&M legend knocking off LSU in the legendary OT game. He may be used in redzone situations, but doesn’t have natural wide receiver qualities to allow him to be a starter, despite my hopes.
Travis Jonsen - an enormous target that fits the bill of the current build of this WR core. Jonsen ran a 4.5 40 yard dash and played for the powerhouse in the FCS; Montana State.
Landen Akers* - joins the team as post draft likely a depth player. He has experience as a returner and may find a role on special teams, but not likely to hear his name much.
Dai'Jean Dixon* - another player picked up that will serve as depth as for the SA’s part time- G-League wide receiver core. His measurables do not jump off the page, he was a big play receiver while at Nichols St - being 50/50 on 50/50 balls won’t get him meaningful playing time barring injury.
DeAndre Goolsby - TE1
At first glance, some pickups that the Brahmas made could be considered questionable. However, as we’ve seen in other entries it doesn’t appear that SA’s selections were taken lightly as they selected players with familiarity in the offensive system. Goolsby is another prospect of the Tampa Bay Vipers Air Raid offense. Due his familiarity with the offense, it’s not a stretch to imagine that Goolsby will be the TE1 to start the year.
Other Tight Ends
Tight End Grade: B-
Alize Mack - I’m a bit more favored to Mack, as I watched this rather raw athlete develop at Notre Dame. That said, it is fair to say in the even of an injury or lack of production; it’s strongly likely we will see Mack overtake the TE1 position.
Dylan Parham - We will likely see Parham more than Mack as the latter does offer strong blocking attributes to his game. He may a small role in receiving but we shouldn’t get our hopes up.