There has been a good amount of player moves this week in the XFL. We have seen our first trades, our first released players, and another round of signings.
It is interesting that we are now seeing signings of previously undrafted players who are not quarterbacks. This makes me wonder if another draft will be needed? In any case, the Guardians have announced their first group of new players. No corresponding moves were yet announced.
The new additions to the New York team include 3 Wide Receivers, 2 Offensive Linemen, 1 Defensive lineman, 1 Linebacker and 1 defensive back. The wide receiver group has the most professional experience and will give more depth to a team already stacked with pro-level wideouts.
The New Guardians are as follows:
1) Taivon Jacobs – WR – Had a try out with the Buffalo Bills and spent the pre-season with the Baltimore Ravens. This former University of Maryland standout has blazing speed and has 4.3 speed in the 40-yard dash. The Guardians receivers are very talented and strong, but he is really the first speedster on the roster, which fills the team’s needs.
The New York Guardians have new additions to the roster:— New York Guardians (@XFLGuardians) December 23, 2019
WR: Taivon Jacobs, Teo Redding, Dalton Ponchillia
OL: Brant Weiss (T), Jordan Agasiva (G)
DL: Charles Wright (End)
DEF: Connor Strachan (LB), Tre Mathis (CB)#OnDuty | #ForTheLoveOfFootball
2) Teo Redding – WR – this former Bowling Green receiver spent time with three NFL practice squads in Detroit, Washington, and Green Bay. He has big-play ability and has returned kicks as well.
3) Dalton Ponchilla – WR – Ponchilla played in The Spring League and was a member of the Montreal CFL team. He played for both Western Kentucky University and East Tennessee State in College. As a former Spring Leaguer, he has already operated under XFL rules in-game situations, which gives him a leg up on those who have not done so.
4) Brant Weiss – OT – Weiss was a former AAF lineman who saw time with the Arizona Hotshots. Weiss was a Toledo Rocket, a conference rival of Redding, in college. This 6’6” 295 pounder has spent time with the Arizona Cardinals and the Los Angeles Chargers as well.
5) Jordan Agasiva – OG – Agasiva was a standout lineman for the Utah Utes and spent time with the Jacksonville Jaguars. At 6’3 and 320 pounds, He clearly has the professional size and was a first-team all Pac -12 selection in 2018. Agasiva may be starting ready now and adds more competition to a very talented offensive line.
6) Connor Strachan – LB – Connor is a 5th year senior from Boston College. Like other BC players, he is an excellent tackler and a very steady player. He spent time with Jacksonville Jaguars earlier in the year and is now looking to make plays in the XFL. He did miss all but 2 games in 2017 with a major knee injury, but those days are well behind him.
7) Tre Mathis – CB – Another former Toledo Rocket, Tre spent time over the last 2 years in the camps of the Vikings and Steelers, but did not make the roster after preseason action. Mathis was known for being a big playmaker in the Toledo Secondary and hopes to breakthrough in the XFL.
8) Charles Wright – DE – Wright is a former stud linebacker and edge rusher for the Vanderbilt Commodores and he had a very interesting life never knowing his birth mother and overcoming foster care and adoption. He is very involved with kids in similarly tough conditions and is an easy guy to cheer for. He has good speed on the edge and is used to overcoming obstacles bigger than football. He does grade out as a Defensive End in the Guardians 4-3 scheme.
None of these guys have been professional stars, but they all have something to potentially offer, I especially like Agasiva and can see him becoming a major player on the offensive line. Jacobs fills the need for speed, which the team was lacking in general, and the offense specifically. It should be fun as we see how things play out and how the battle for the final roster spots get underway when they report after the holidays to Houston for the pre-season training camp.
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