With less than a week to go before the opening week of the season, the eight XFL teams are now in the final stages of the openers. It’s the moment the XFL and their fans have been waiting on for two years. Let’s examine the top eight teams and how they rank against each other.
8. Tampa Bay Vipers
The loss of Antonio Callaway was a big one for the Vipers that was going to rely on his playmaking skills. Aaron Murray is looking for a bounce-back season after a tough outing last year with the AAF’s Atlanta Legends. De’Veon Smith was exceptional for the Orlando Apollos of the AAF and with Mack Brown in the rotation, the running game should be strong. Jalen Collins is one of the best shutdown corners in the league. Too many question marks could make this a tough season.
7. Houston Roughnecks
Connor Cook and PJ Walker are still battling it out for starting quarterback who causes questions on offense. Andre Williams should carry the rock plenty of times. Sammie Coates had an outstanding camp and should be the leading receiver as a team. The Roughnecks have a great defensive line led by Missouri standout Kony Ealy and NFL veteran Gabe Wright. June Jones will feature plenty of passing, but will it be enough to win over the lone star state?
6. LA Wildcats
Josh Johnson won the job with his NFL experience and mobility. With Rashad Ross being traded, the team will look at Nelson Spruce and Tre McBride to lead the receiving core. The defense has many experts worried that they don’t have the star power to be effective. Shawn Oakman could be the bright spot to the defense with his pass-rushing ability. Nick Novak and Colton Schmidt gives the special teams plenty of experience.
5. St. Louis BattleHawks
Jordan Ta’amu will go through some ups and downs as a rookie, but his athleticism makes him a threat on offense. Christine Michael and Matt Jones make for one of the best running back tandems in the league. Will Hill and Robert Nelson are apart of one of the best secondaries in the XFL that can compete with any offense. Can’t forget about safety Kenny Robinson and what he will bring to the table before he enters the NFL Draft. Despite the new punting rules, Marquette King could help with field positioning.
4. Seattle Dragons
Brandon Silvers beat out B.J. Daniels for the starting job at quarterback with his passing skills being an advantage. Kenneth Farrow, Trey Williams, and Ja’Quan Gardner have the best backfield. Hometown receiver Kasen Williams and tight end Evan Rodriguez give Silvers enough to work within the passing game. Will Sutton is a beast in the middle that will shut down the running game. Jim Zorn built a strong team that the running game should be fun to watch.
3. New York Guardians
Matt McGloin has plenty of experience and Luis Perez makes the Guardians quarterback position solid. Mekale McKay was one of the best receivers in the AAF and should help McGloin be his top target. Corner Jamar Summers will be tasked with covering the number one receivers and could end up being one of the best in the league. Kevin Gilbride will implement his pro-style offense and will need to be creative in playcalling.
2. DC Defenders
Cardale Jones is widely regarded as the best quarterback in the XFL and has plenty of weapons to throw to. The deep threat receiver Rashad Ross adds to an already deep receiving core. The Defenders have one of the best linebacking cores in the league led by Scooby Wright and A.J. Tarpley. Sam Montgomery and Elijah Qualls lead the strong defensive line that should add plenty of pressure on the quarterback. Pep Hamilton has put together a great team that should contend.
1. Dallas Renegades
Despite Landry Jones recovering from his knee injury, the Dallas Renegades seem to be the favorites to win it all. Their speed at receiver and versatility at the running back position gives them plenty of weapons to have fun in the Air Raid offense. Speed tells the story on defense as well with plenty of pass rushers at defensive end and outside linebacker. The expectations are high for a team led by Bob Stoops.
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