Breaking down the first eight QBs assigned to the rebooted league
The XFL is four months away from its first game, but the eight teams' rosters are starting to come together this week. The league is holding its inaugural draft on Tuesday and Wednesday, and the teams already have their franchise quarterbacks.
Instead of spending their first selections on quarterbacks, teams submitted a preference list to the XFL, and the league assigned one Tier-One quarterback to each team on Tuesday morning.
Between college football stardom and/or appearances in the short-lived Alliance of American Football, all eight quarterbacks assigned to teams have some level of name recognition. Here's our ranking of the eight new faces of the XFL:
1. Landry Jones – Dallas Renegades
Jones never quite stuck in the NFL as a backup after the Steelers spent a fourth-round draft pick on him in 2013, so he'll look to jumpstart his career here instead. Jones was the first player to sign with the XFL in August, and now he gets a dream assignment with his former coach at Oklahoma: Bob Stoops. Jones was a four-year starter with the Sooners and set Big 12 records for passing yards (16,646), completions (1,388) and touchdown passes (123), so if anyone can pull the most out of him, it would be Stoops.
2. Cardale Jones – DC Defenders
Jones famously worked his way up from third on the Ohio State depth chart to start and win a national championship in 2014, and his arm strength has been tantalizing teams ever since. Although he only made 11 starts in college, that was enough for the Bills to take a chance on him in the fourth round of the 2016 draft. Jones also spent time on the Chargers and Seahawks practice squads but only attempted 11 passes in his NFL career.
3. Luis Perez – Los Angeles Wildcats
Perez has one of the best backstories around as a former professional bowler who learned how to play quarterback by watching YouTube, but he can play too. Perez was one of the top AAF quarterbacks while playing for the Birmingham Iron after a historic career at Division II Texas A&M-Commerce, where he won a national title and won the Harlon Hill Trophy, the equivalent of the Heisman Trophy. Perez signed with the Eagles and Lions this summer but only spent four days with each team. He's hoping to find success near his home in San Diego.
4. Matt McGloin – New York Guardians
McGloin was a three-year starter at Penn State after arriving on campus as a walk-on and eventually broke school records for completions (270) and passing yards (3,276) in a season. McGloin was again doubted, going undrafted in 2013, but he spent parts of five seasons as an NFL backup. He doesn't have the arm strength of some other quarterbacks but proved to be effective at reading defenses during his time with the Raiders.
5. Jordan Ta'amu – St. Louis BattleHawks
Ta'amu got some brief time with the Texans during the 2019 preseason but did not catch their attention enough to even make the practice squad. That works out well for the XFL, as they'll get a very talented passer. The Hawaii native passed for 3,918 yards in his lone full season as a starter for Ole Miss in 2018 and finished 18th in the nation with a 153.54 passer rating.
6. Aaron Murray – Tampa Bay Vipers
Murray's Georgia Bulldogs twice reached the top five of the AP Poll during his four years as a starter, but he was more of a game-manager than an offensive weapon. He bounced around the NFL between four teams over four years, although he never attempted a pass. Murray only managed a 57.7 percent completion rate with the Atlanta Legends in the AAF, but perhaps a return to his hometown of Tampa will reinvigorate him.
7. Brandon Silvers – Seattle Dragons
Silvers struggled to get looks in the NFL after a career as a four-year starter at Troy, but he made a name for himself in the AAF. He beat out former Power 5 stars Christian Hackenberg and Zach Mettenberger to start for the Memphis Express, and his 86.1 quarterback rating ranked third in the short-lived league thanks to a low turnover rate.
8. Phillip Walker – Houston Roughnecks
Walker owns most of Temple's passing records after four years leading the Owls, but he hasn't found a ton of success after leaving Matt Rhule's program. Walker spent three years on the Colts' practice squad but probably has the least job security of the eight Tier-One quarterbacks, as the Roughnecks used the second overall pick in the draft on former Michigan State Spartan and Oakland Raider Connor Cook.
(Top photo courtesy of @xfl2020)