30 Oct 2020

Home of the NFL Offseason

XFL Scouting Notes: New York Guardians – 0 @ DC Defenders – 27

The second week of XFL action is underway, and so far it’s been an exciting ride through new rule adaptions to an awesome game of football. Thus far, the XFL has been a success as public interest is quickly growing with the league.

The DC Defenders hosted the New York Guardians to kick off Saturday’s action in each team’s second game. The DC Defenders entered the game hot off of a big 31-19 victory last week while hosting the Seattle Dragons. Meanwhile, the New York Guardians entered this game also coming off of a decisive 23-3 home victory over the Tampa Bay Vipers. This game is the first shut-out in XFL history, and the honor belongs to the Defenders.

Here are the scouting notes that you need to know from the DC Defenders 27-0 victory over the New York Guardians.

Cardale Jones is a budding star

Much of the XFL offseason leading up to kick-off was spent hyping the DC Defenders quarterback Cardale Jones, the former fourth-round pick out of Ohio State. Jones thus far has looked like a man among boys, showing a lot of arm talent while throwing dimes around the field. His pocket presence has even been good, as he stood in and threw a couple of passes while taking hits that were very impressive.

Jones is also a play creator. He extends plays with his mobility and quick thinking and keeps his eyes downfield. Between the trick plays that the Defenders have dialed up this season and the fumble-scoop-and-throw that Jones pulled off just shows how he plays things smart.

Another great thing about XFL broadcasts is that it gives you a glimpse of the communication going on between Jones and his head coach, Pep Hamilton. It’s very clear that Hamilton is the perfect coach to help develop Jones, and we’re already beginning to see the progress in his game. He’s making smart decisions and showing his arm talent and mobility. Jones threw for 276 yards and 2 touchdowns while throwing his first interception of the season.

Other Notes

  • Guardians DT Cavon Walker is showing the ability to be a game-wreaker from the interior of the line. He logged 4 tackles and a hit on the QB in this game, but his strength looks to be NFL level and he could find his way to the league next season.
  • I wrote last week about how underwhelming Guardians QB Matt McGloin looked, and it showed in this game. McGloin struggled badly for the second straight week, throwing for just 44 yards and 2 interceptions before being benched for Marquise Williams. While Williams isn’t as accurate or consistent as McGloin is (which isn’t saying much), there is clearly more to work within his skill set, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the backup start over McGloin next week when the Guardians travel to Saint Louis.
  • Guardians S AJ Hendy was solid in this game, playing more of a nickel linebacker role. The former Maryland product played his role in the game well showing a lot of defensive football IQ and ended with 6 tackles, one of those being for a loss.
  • Defenders running back Donnell Pumphrey, the former San Diego State product, looks like an NFL running back. Not only is he a solid zone-block scheme runner, but he also is a valuable asset out of the backfield, and has shown good hands as a receiver. He made a catch in this game that was pretty damn incredible, reaching far out of his comfort range and snagging it with one hand.
  • The Defenders have three solid receivers who are all winning against the XFL cornerbacks consistently. Eli Rogers, the former Pittsburgh Steelers receiver, may earn himself another shot at the league. DeAndre Thompkins looks like he might get another shot too. Rashard Ross has probably been the most impressive of the three so far and is open much more than he is thrown to.
  • This is very random and not related to scouting at all, but the Guardian’s all-gray uniforms are solid.
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