Mark My Words: XFL Power Rankings
Mark My Words is back! Just like the XFL is back for some spring football! Each week I’m going to put out a power rankings for the XFL. This will be the preseason edition of the column. My preseason power rankings is based of a formula of how I perceive each team and my personal positional rankings of each team.
That formula yielded the following results:
- DC Defenders: DC may not have a great team name or logo but they have done a great job in building a team. The Defenders have a top 3 group across all of the offensive positions. They have the best quarterback and wide receiver group in the XFL. Their running backs and tight end groups are among the top in the league, as well. If Head coach Pep Hamilton’s defense is capable of matching the explosiveness on offense, the Defenders will be the team to beat in XFL’s first season.
- Dallas Renegades: The Renegades are the best overall team in the Western Conference. It’s no coincidence that the top 2 teams in the XFL also have the best two quarterbacks in the league. Bob Stoops is the best coach in this league and has put together a strong team. In addition to their quarterback, who is one of the best in the league, the Renegades also boast one of the deeper WR groups and has a solid TE group, as well. They have some questions at the running back position but Stoops’ system is built in a type of way that can overcome that possible shortcoming.
- Tampa Bay Vipers: One of the biggest surprises on my list is the Vipers; they have experience at every position across multiple leagues. They are big in the wide receiver area and if they can compliment that size with speed, they could potentially be dangerous. Nick Truesdall is the best tight end in the league and will be a key weapon for QB Aaron Murray. Speaking of Murray, he’s rather pedestrian but could benefit from his skill position players. The running back department is my biggest question, but they’re a group that could end up being the biggest asset on offense.
- Seattle Dragons: Sliding into the last top spot in the league, the Dragons host the league’s best running back group. The rest of the skill position players have to prove they belong; the receiving group led by college standout Keenan Reynolds is unproven. Head coach Jim Zorn has some work ahead of him but he has a quarterback who has shown he can lead a mediocre team. I believe this group will be carried by their running backs (pun intended.)
- St. Louis Battlehawks: This is the part of the league where the questions really start to come about with these teams. The Battlehawks get a bit of a bump for the veteran leadership on most of the team but the quarterback situation is young and could make mistakes early. This group has a good set of running backs that could help the young quarterback but the wide receiver and tight end groups need some major work.
- Los Angeles Wildcats: This is a team with a strong quarterback but a very questionable group of wide receivers and tight ends. The running back group could be a strength but it’s not as good as the Seattle or St. Louis groups. This team will lean very heavy on the quarterback and defense. Head coach Winston Moss, a defensive minded coach, the only such head coach in the XFL, will have to rely on his defense to succeed,
- New York Guardians: A tale of two cities – well, not really – but a tale of two offenses: they have a top four group at wide receiver and tight end but on the other side of that coin, the quarterback and running backs are a different story. Matt McGloin and the group that makes up the meat of the running backs are the worst in the league. Kevin Gilbride did a good job with a mediocre quarterback before and he will need to do the same with the quarterbacks on this team. New York will need the defense to carry this team.
- Houston Roughnecks: The bottom of the barrel to round out my rankings, the Roughnecks, rightfully, earned these honors. They have don’t have a single offensive position group that breaks the top five of any group. They are last in wide receiver and tight end(they don’t even have one). Their running backs are second to last and the quarterback which was only announced today(as a starter) is a very young and raw quarterback. June Jones does a great job with his air raid system but he has his work cut out for him with this team.
The XFL season begins this Saturday at 2PM Eastern – check back next week to see the update power rankings and maybe your team will climb my list!
XFL Now analyst & AFN Live co-host