Monday, January 15, 2018

The 2018 XFL Mock Draft - Tight Ends

In anticipation of Vince McMahon bringing the fun back to football (more concussions, woohoo!), Lukewarm Jonah and I went back and forth to do an XFL Draft. Instead of breaking this down round by round, we are going to go by position groups. Today, we move on to the big pass catchers with tight ends.

Tight Ends
Jonah: Bucky Hodges, Ladarius Green

Joe: Henry Krieger-Coble, Jace Amaro, Tyrus Thomas

Joe: I had wildly varying strategies with my picks here. First off, I went with a guy who would just be reliable and play well in Henry Krieger-Coble. He is a former Iowa Hawkeye who has bounced around active rosters and practice squads since leaving college. But all Iowa does is produce competent tight ends and competency might make him an MVP candidate in the XFL.

After that, I went with the super productive college player who couldn’t do jack shit in the NFL with Jace Amaro. Considering the space that my receiving corps will be able to create, Amaro should be a threat as a tight end that is split out into the slot to make catches across the middle of the field.

Finally, I went with my first wildcard pick of the draft and selected former Chicago Bull, Tyrus Thomas. Tyrus Thomas, by all accounts, was a bust in the NBA, but just because he wasn’t a great NBA player does not mean that he cannot make a great XFL player. Think about all of the great former basketball players who learned the tight end position. Antonio Gates and Jimmy Graham have nothing on the athleticism of Tyrus Thomas. Sure, he’s going to need to add some bulk, but once he does, he will basically be an unstoppable force as he’s 6’10” and can jump through the roof. Can he catch? Not sure, but we’ll figure that part out later. Right now, just give me the freak athlete.

Jonah: I had one guy high on my list for tight end and that is Bucky Hodges. Bucky Hodges was a highly touted tight end going into this year’s draft.  He fell to the Vikings in the 6th round, way later than he was projected.  He’s basically a big athletic receiver and he looked great in the preseason.  He got injured and was waived, put on the Panthers practice squad and then cut.  The guy could be a Jimmy Graham type deep receiving threat so I’ll take him and watch him abuse linebackers and safeties in the XFL.

Ladarius Green has shown that he’s a playmaker in the NFL.  He failed a physical at the start of the year, but obviously he’s fine.  He’s only 27 and he’ll pass an XFL physical and he wants to play football.  Hopefully either he or Hodges can block and I probably should have taken a big blocker of a tight end, but this is the XFL you don’t come to see people block you come to see guys make big plays.

Joe: All I can say is that I don’t have anything to say about your tight ends selections.

Jonah: Well I’ve heard of Jace Amaro so there’s that.  I have also heard of Tyrus Thomas from his basketball playing days, so maybe you found another Antonio Gates or Jimmy Graham diamond in the rough who knows?  Your first tight end is from Iowa so I assume he’s a big white guy who can block so there’s that.

Joe: Yep, you nailed it. Outside of Tyrus Thomas finally fulfilling his athletic potential as a split wide tight end, it’s not a very exciting position, so what better way to follow that than to move to the offensive line and “tackle” the offensive tackles. I know you are salivating with anticipation about getting to read about the big nasties.

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