The XFL's 5 most intriguing players

Profile Picture: Dan Halverson

February 10th, 2020

The XFL is off and running. The upstart league features a long list of former college stars and NFL drop-outs, all trying to earn another shot at the big time. Let’s examine five of the more intriguing participants. 

Landry Jones (Dallas Renegades)

The most successful quarterback in this league, the former Oklahoma quarterback was expected to be the starter for the league’s preseason favorite, the Dallas Renegades. Unfortunately for Jones, a knee injury will keep him sidelined for the beginning of the season.

Jones was a star at Oklahoma under Bob Stoops, who is coaching Dallas, and he served as the backup to Ben Roethlisberger while playing with the Pittsburgh Steelers from 2013-2017.

Cardale Jones (DC Defenders)

The former Ohio State quarterback is by far the most intriguing player in the XFL. After he led Ohio State to a national championship, Jones opted to return to school, rather than leave for the NFL as a top 10 draft pick.

The decision proved unwise, as Jones’ draft stock plummeted, and he was selected in 2016 by the Buffalo Bills in the fourth round. He never made an impact in the NFL, but everyone saw the physical skills Jones brings to the table on the biggest college stage.

Antonio Callaway (Tampa Bay Vipers)

The former Florida Gator and Cleveland Browns wide receiver is not short on talent, but he might be short on sense.

After he began his NFL career in promising fashion, the young receiver once again found himself in legal trouble. In college Callaway ran into legal trouble with drugs, sexual-assault charges, and a credit-card scam. He still managed to find his way to the NFL despite those red flags but landed a 10-game substance-abuse suspension while with the Browns.

Callaway now must overcome injury and poor decision making to get on the field in the XFL and prove his talent warrants another opportunity in the NFL.

Shawn Oakman (Los Angeles Wildcats)

The former Baylor defensive lineman towered over opponents in college, both on the field and during the coin flip.

The 6-foot-9 defensive end was projected by some to be a top 10 pick in the NFL Draft, but Oakman was charged with sexual assault and went undrafted in 2016.

Now that Oakman has been declared not guilty and is getting another look on the field, it will be interesting to see if he can make the kind of impact so many expected of him during his college days.

Josh Johnson (Los Angeles Wildcats)

Johnson was the first overall pick in the XFL Draft, and for good reason. He is a veteran quarterback of the NFL, and while he never became a star, he made 13 different rosters.

It’s impossible not to gain knowledge and have a bit of ability if you make it on that many different teams, so it will be interesting to see how Johnson does in a second-tier league.

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