Monday, February 19, 2018

The 2018 XFL Mock Draft Review

Finally, after going through each position group of our XFL mock draft, we can look at the full rosters of each of our teams to decide who has the better roster. We’ll start with a breakdown of Team Jonah.

QB: Colin Kaepernick, Zach Mettenberger, Ryan Nassib
RB: Denard Robinson, Deangelo Williams, Barry Sanders Jr.
WR: Victor Cruz, Moritz Bohringer, Speedy Noil, Corey Brown, Jared Abbrederis
TE: Bucky Hodges, Ladarius Green
OT: Ryan Clady, Branden Albert, Jake Long, Collin Buchanan, Bryce Harris, Bobby Hart
OG: Andrew Tiller, Tim Lelito, Mike Harris, Orlando Franklin
C: Nick Mangold, Jeremy Zuttah
DE: Mario Williams, BJ Dubose, Cam Johnson, Damontre Moore 
DT: Ra’shede Hageman, Will Sutton, Jared Odrick, Antoine Glen, Cam Thomas
OLB: Jarvis Jones, Audie Cole, Chad Greenway, Aaron Williams, Deandre Levy
ILB: Rey Maualuga, Perry Riley, Sio Moore
CB: Jalen Collins, Vontae Davis, Tharold Simon, Leodis Mckelvin, Jayshawn Jordan
S: Dwight Lowry, Shiloh Keo, Calvin Pryor, Russell Siavii
K: Connor Barth
P: Austin Rehkow

And now, we present Team Joe.

Quarterback: Johnny Manziel, Robert Griffin III, Rex Grossman
Running Back: Reggie Bush, Trent Richardson, CJ Spiller
Fullback: Lendale White, Mark Weisman
Wide Receiver: Justin Blackmon, Calvin Johnson, Vincent Jackson, Dorial Green-Beckham, Anquan Boldin, Riley Cooper
Tight End: Tyrus Thomas, Henry Krieger-Coble, Jace Amaro
Center: Barrett Jones, David Molk
Offensive Guard: Tre Jackson, Cyril Richardson, Eddie Hall, Jordan Walsh, Danny Watkins
Offensive Tackle: Michael Oher, Gabe Carimi, Tervel Dlagnev
Defensive End: Jon Jones, Da’Quan Bowers, Bjoern Werner, Michael Sam, Jackson Jeffcoat, Drew Ott
Defensive Tackle: Brock Lesnar, Louis Nix III, Devon Still, Christian Ballard
Linebackers: Shayne Skov, Khaseem Greene, James Laurinaitis, Arthur Brown, Aaron Curry, Brandon Spikes
Cornerback: Alfonzo Dennard, Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Justin Gilbert, Dee Milliner, BJ Lowery
Safety: Ed Reynolds, Gerod Holliman, Tino Sabbatelli, Taylor Mays
Kicker: Roberto Aguayo
Punter: Tom Hackett

Joe: When drafting an XFL roster, we had two criteria that we were aiming for, football talent and entertainment value. Let’s just get the easy one out of the way. Is there any way to argue that I do not have a more entertaining team?

Jonah: I thought about what to write down here and Joe touched on it perfectly.  Joe’s roster is what the XFL should be, fun, entertaining, unpredictable, something that people want to tune into.  My roster is what the XFL was and what it more than likely will be, second rate football.  Vince McMahon needs to think about if the NFL ratings are really down because some guys are kneeling or if they’re down because all tv ratings are down because people watch tv differently now.  McMahon should know, his ratings have been in a freefall and I don’t remember seeing any wrestlers kneeling.  It’s why he created the WWE Network, so he can make money providing a service that lets people watch their shows the way they like to.

I also wanted to point out that while our teams contain some guys who have done some questionable things, it’s mostly substance abuse related.  There are two very talented football players that I knew wouldn’t be on my team and I’m glad to see they’re not on Joe’s team either.  Will the XFL get so desperate for ratings that they’ll bring in Ray Rice or Greg Hardy?  I hope not.

Joe: Jonah, I definitely drafted some scumbags, so I did not take the high road as I figured Vince McMahon certainly wouldn’t. Ray Rice is just too old and Greg Hardy is an abysmal human being who I am hoping gets smashed in mixed martial arts as soon as possible. But Jon Jones had a hit and run on a pregnant woman; DGB was definitely involved in domestic abuse, and Johnny Football was accused of the same. Honestly, as bad as all of that is, is it any worse than creating a football league that is designed with the intention to create more concussions? 

Jonah: I only have a few scumbags, and some drug addicts but we’ll put them in the WWE’s rehab during the offseason and clean them right up.  I don’t think they’re going to be able to have the same stupid rules that they had before.  Concussions are way too much of a hot button issue, you can’t have guys getting their brains turned to mush, no matter who your target audience is.  Again, this is part of the problem for the XFL, you can take out things like excessive celebration penalties, but even the NFL changed some it’s rules on that.  Last time around the XFL had pretty similar rules to the NFL, even if it tried to market itself differently.  The problem with it is that it was football played by guys not on NFL rosters for whatever reason, usually due to talent.  They changed their stupid recover the football to see who wins the coin toss rule after one week because someone got hurt.  Despite how they want to be seen, they’re not going to allow corners and safeties to headhunt receivers over the middle, or allow late hits, or turn into the real life version of Blitz the video game.

Joe: If they are looking to create a fun brand of football while sticking to the old school, tough guy way of thinking, the best thing they could do is eliminate helmets. It would limit concussions, because ain’t nobody head hunting if they aren’t wearing a helmet, and it’d be seen as badass if guys didn’t wear helmets. There would be an issue of headbutts along the lines, but that is definitely something that you should be able to work around as a misplaced headbutt can hurt the giver as much as the recipient.

And let’s look at this thing talent wise, how do you think you did?

Jonah: Like I said at the start, my initial goal was to put together a 53 man roster that would be able to win a few games in the NFL, or at least beat Cleveland and I think I did that.

Joe: Let me stop you right there. I think we did as well as we could have with these rosters, but there is no chance that your team could compete with any NFL team, even the Browns. Looking at your roster, you have an advantage at quarterback, and you’re probably even at special teams. The Browns hold every other advantage, including some areas where they have some MAJOR advantages. Even if you had Bill Belichick coaching your squad and gave them Jeff Fisher (who will totally be an XFL coach), it would not be close. You are either greatly overestimating the talent on our rosters or underestimating the talent in the NFL, but I just cannot see it.

Jonah: Quarterback is the most important position in sports.  We will all see this when Tom Brady retires and the Patriots struggle to be a .500 team, or how the Green Bay Packers had to get crazy lucky to beat the aforementioned Browns after Aaron Rodgers went down.  The Cleveland Browns also have the massive disadvantage of being the Cleveland Browns, so I think my team could take them because they can find a way to lose.  I might make a couple changes here or there, but we’re a solid squad of castoffs.  If Matt Barkley becomes available, I can almost guarantee a win.  Also I don’t need Bill Belichick, I have the actual greatest football mind in history, me.

Joe: Jonah, you may literally be an insane person with this. You could have Tom Brady on your team as your quarterback, and it would not matter with the other talent around him. This is nothing against your drafting, as you did a hell of a job. They might even be able to beat my team, but that’s mostly because 15% of my roster has no significant football experience, but I’d like to think that just means that the sky is the limit for their potential. 

I’ll give you the last word. What are your final thoughts on an XFL comeback?

Jonah: It will be interesting to see what McMahon’s plan for the XFL is, but the only way I think it can be semi successful is to be an associated minor league for the NFL and I don’t see that happening.  We’ll see if it lasts more than a year this time, but unless all rosters are made up like Joe’s it probably won’t.  That being said, please consider this my and/or Joe’s application to work in the front office for the XFL.  We can clearly build teams.

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