The XFL will make its triumphant return this weekend. Strategically scheduled for the weekend following Super Bowl Sunday, the league is back with eight teams via new ownership and direction. The league will provide players with a legitimate opportunity to jumpstart their NFL careers. Several recognizable veterans are also participating, including Josh Gordon, A.J. McCarron, and Martavis Bryant.
XFL players will take advantage while auditioning for an NFL contract. The league’s top performers will almost certainly receive another opportunity. We’ve identified five XFL players with a chance to land themselves a future NFL contract.
DOHNOVAN WEST OC, VEGAS VIPERS
An undrafted center out of Arizona State at the conclusion of the 2022 NFL Draft, West signed a professional contract with the San Francisco 49ers. West competed for a roster spot throughout training camp and the preseason, and wasn’t released by the 49ers until late August. Still just 21 years old, West is one of the younger prospects participating in the XFL. Youth gives West a higher ceiling than the majority of his competitors. A standout showing by West could earn the former Sun Devil another NFL opportunity.
DREW PLITT, QB, ARLINGTON RENEGADES
The 25-year-old Plitt is one of the more intriguing quarterbacks in the XFL. Plitt enjoyed a fruitful career at Ball State, throwing for 68 touchdowns and nearly 10,000 yards. Plitt signed with the Cincinnati Bengals as a UDFA in 2022. Plitt then completed all six of his passing attempts for 76 yards and one touchdown in Cincinnati’s preseason opener, earning a perfect passer rating of 158.3 in the process.
Plitt will compete for playing time with Kyle Sloter, who possesses a bunch of NFL experience. NFL teams will be paying close attention to Plitt’s efforts—he has backup NFL quarterback potential.
KARY VINCENT JR. CB, HOUSTON ROUGHNECKS
The former LSU cornerback was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the seventh round (No. 237 overall) of the 2021 NFL Draft. Vincent ran a blazing 4.38 at the NFL Scouting Combine and had a vertical leap of nearly 36 inches. Vincent is undersized by NFL standards (5-foot-9, 185 pounds), but he’s a good athlete with lots of high-level college football experience under his belt. Vincent was a member of the Tigers’ 2019 National Championship team. Still just 23, Vincent hasn’t reached his performance ceiling just yet.
CHARLESTON RAMBO WR, ORLANDO GUARDIANS
Rambo exploded at Miami in 2021 for 79 receptions, 1,172 receiving yards, and seven touchdowns. Rambo then continued boosting his pre-draft stock by putting forth impressive showings at the East-West Shrine Bowl. Rambo surprisingly went undrafted in 2022 and signed with the Carolina Panthers.
The Panthers waived Rambo in late August. A 23-year-old playmaker, Rambo plans to breathe life into his NFL career via a stint with the Orlando Guardians. Rambo could make another NFL appearance in training camp this year.
DERRICK KELLY, OT, SAN ANTONIO BRAHMAS
Poor offensive line play was a league-wide problem in 2022. San Antonio Brahmas offensive tackle Derrick Kelly possesses NFL-type size at 6-foot-5, 320 pounds. Kelly enjoyed a five-year career (2014-18) at Florida State. Kelly spent a portion of training camp with the New Orleans Saints and was then re-signed to the Saints’ practice squad in November. Kelly’s latest NFL stint occurred just four months ago, so Kelly has a direct pipeline back to the NFL.
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