Friday, February 2, 2018

The 2018 XFL Mock Draft - Defensive Tackle

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. We hit up the glory boy defensive ends last time, so let’s work it inside with the grinders at defensive tackle.

Defensive Tackle
Jonah: Ra’shede Hageman, Will Sutton, Jared Odrick, Glen Antoine, Cam Thomas

Joe: Brock Lesnar, Louis Nix III, Devon Still, Christian Ballard

Joe: Early on, I mentioned that Johnny Manziel was my first round pick. Looking back, it was a reach, but luckily, Brock Lesnar fell to me in round two. The XFL is not likely to have these wussified NFL rules, and I’m hoping that straight up brawls are not only legal but encouraged. If so, Brock is going to tear through all offensive lines. He worked on football for a few months and nearly made the Vikings, so with Vince paying him big money to fully focus on the sport, he’ll probably become the greatest defensive player in XFL history.

Louis Nix III is a large body that I can use to fill up space. He was good at Notre Dame, so he should do enough to be a competent run stopper for my team.

After that, we have Devon Still, a guy who was not only a very good defensive tackle at Penn State, but a guy who is easy to cheer for as well. He left the NFL in order to care for his young daughter who was diagnosed with cancer. Luckily, she is now cancer free, and Still can focus on getting his football career restarted in the NFL. Like I have stated previously, it’s nice to have genuine good guys on my roster, as they are far outnumbered by the scumbags I drafted.

Finally, I picked another guy who could have been successful in the NFL in Christian Ballard but left the game by his own volition. He just wasn’t having fun playing the game (probably because he was stuck on the Vikings), and I know that this will not be an issue in the XFL, which will be fun for everyone. And yes, this is another obligatory Iowa Hawkeyes selection.

Jonah: Ra’Shede Hageman is a young player who was successful in the NFL.  He isn’t in the league right now because of a domestic violence charge.  He didn’t throw his girlfriend onto a pile of guns though, so I’ll take a chance on him.  Plus, if football really took domestic violence seriously I would have started a few games for the Dallas Cowboys over the past few years.  Anyways, the guy is good enough to start in the NFL so he can anchor my line.

Will Sutton was a big time college football player at Arizona State being named an All American twice.  I assume Joe was sad I stole a former Chicago Bear who underperformed in the NFL from him.  He’s only 26 and just needs to be coached up to realize his full potential in the XFL.

Jared Odrick is a 30 year old veteran who had  pretty good years in the NFL.  He’s a former first round pick and actually performed.  He hurt his shoulder over a year ago, but he’s healthy now.  He was never a big numbers guy, but started and played well enough in the NFL.  He’s a strong presence, and you have to rotate defensive lineman if you want to be successful.

Speaking of rotating defensive lineman, one of my favorite picks in the XFL draft Glen Antoine.  A big run stuffing defensive tackle who I’m shocked didn’t get a look in the NFL.  I watched him play at the great University of Idaho and eat up double teams all the time.  Even with the double teams he was able to make a decent amount of plays, probably because he put up more bench reps than any defensive lineman at the combine.  He’s the next Pat Williams and he’ll dominate the first two downs and any short running situations.

Cam Thomas is another big boy on the defensive line.  He’s 31, but he can be very useful in running situations and eating up offensive lineman to let my talented defensive ends get to the quarterback.  He has seven years of NFL experience and is an important veteran run stopping presence.

Joe: Well, at least Ra’Shede Hageman can fight, although when he is going up against Olympic level wrestlers or World’s Strongest Men, he might find slightly more trouble than when he is beating up women.

I was none too pleased when you took Will Sutton from me. I loved him at Arizona State, and he did show some flashes with the Bears. I also like the Jared Odrick pick as it’s a nice little veteran addition.

Jonah: If Lesnar commits to football I think he would be a beast.  He did make it to the final cuts of the Vikings roster and did that while recovering from a motorcycle injury.  The question with Lesnar is will he commit?  He seems perfectly happy living in a cabin in Minnesota chopping wood.  Or will he get sick of offseason workouts and go fight in the UFC?  Still and Nix should be good players and I know Christian Ballard well.  He’s a versatile defensive player and he was in Minnesota during the Brad Childress era so I don’t think anyone was having any fun.

That’s it for the defensive linemen. Next time, we move onto the next line of defense with our linebacker selections.

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