The XFL kicked off today, and it showed us an incredible new side of spring football. Not only is the game more exciting with the tweaks in rule changes, but the talent performing in the league is also incredibly better than the players who performed in last years now-defunct AAF.
The Tampa Bay Vipers started the season on the road in the Big Apple against the New York Guardians in the league’s third game ever, aired on FOX. The Guardians defeated the Vipers, 23-3, and the football world is buzzing with the leagues exciting new format.
Here at Draft Rite, we will be scouting players in the league looking for those who may get a chance at playing in the NFL in 2020. Here are the first scouting notes of the season.
Vipers Cornerback Anthuola Kelly was the best player on the field
Vipers Anthuola Kelly, the cornerback from Fresno State, was, in my opinion, the best player on the field. Kelly was tested early and often but held up very well against the better receivers on this Guardians team. He ended the game with 3 tackles and 3 pass deflections, all PD’s collected in the first twenty minutes of game action. Kelly looked like he could be a good zone corner in the NFL, so I am looking forward to seeing him play the rest of the season.
For the first time, the quarterback play was subpar
For the first time in an XFL game, there wasn’t a quarterback that was very impressive in this game. While both Matt McGloin and Aaron Murray flashed throughout the game, neither looked worthy of professional recognition. Both quarterbacks were a tick off most of the game and struggled with placement. Murray completed just 47% of his passes while McGloin completed 52%.
- Vipers wide receiver Daniel Williams from Jackson State is the XFL’s second 100-yard receiver, and he was Aaron Murray’s to go all game. He caught 6 of 9 targets for 123 yards. He also suffered 2 drops in the game, passes that appeared to be concentration drops.
- The Guardians have quite a running back. Darius Victor, the young man from Towson, had an impressive game as both a downhill runner and a receiver out of the backfield. Victor ran 9 times for 32 yards and added another 3 catches for 25. While Matt McGloin ran in the touchdown, Victor looked like a more than capable back who could transition to the NFL level.