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New XFL Draft Picks use GMTM to be seen by coaches and fans

ByScotty Jenkins

6 min read

New XFL Draft Picks use GMTM to be seen by coaches and fans

In just under a month, the XFL will be taking yet another crack at creating a competing professional football in America. And this time, they're roping in more talented athletes than ever - a few of which were discovered on GMTM.

Four athletes in particular have shared their stories on GMTM in hoped of gaining XFL attention ahead of the draft. Some have battled through years of college football promise and the struggles that followed them as they followed their dream of playing in the pros.

Those four, along with over 350 others will be able to continue that dream after being selected in the 2023 XFL Draft.

Training camps for the eight XFL teams started earlier in January. And on February 18 - 1,041 days after playing their last game, the XFL will debut again. With a few rule changes and a new ownership group, fans are sure to see an exciting group of players on the field just days after the NFL concludes Super Bowl LVII on February 12.


What is the modern XFL?

The XFL is a professional American football league that played its only season in 2020. It was the second version of the XFL, a successor to the original XFL that played a single season in 2001.

The league was "re"-founded by Vince McMahon, the chairman of WWE, and had eight teams across the United States. It was intended to be a complementary league to the National Football League (NFL), with a focus on player safety and innovative rules. However, the league suspended operations in April 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and filed for bankruptcy soon after.

The XFL suspended operations in April 2020 and filed for bankruptcy shortly after. However, a group that included Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson purchased the XFL in August 2021 and announced the league will resume operations for a 2023 season.


Who is the XFL's new talent?

The XFL had hundreds of the best former college and professional football players on its 8 team rosters for the 2020 season. Each team had a roster of around 52 players, which includes active players, practice squad, and injured reserve. This means that there were around 416 active players during the 2020 season, who were eligible to play in games.

That number, though, still represents some pretty unbelievable odds for athletes who dream of playing professional football. The 2020 XFL season was very competitive and a handful of standout players were signed to NFL teams after the league folded. The new batch of athletes chosen in the 2023 XFL draft is no exception, with every player coming from a successful college football career or having spent time in one of the other professional football leagues around the world.

A breakdown of the paths to the XFL:

  • Former NFL Players: Athletes who were on an NFL roster for a period of time, either as active players or practice squad members.
  • Former Pro Players from another league: Athletes who have been drafted come from other professional leagues such as the Canadian Football League (CFL) or the Arena Football League (AFL).
  • Former College Football Players: Some players were signed to an XFL team out of college or as undrafted free agents after tryouts and open workouts held by the XFL teams.

The league has had a lot of success with their combines, where XFL coaches and scouts saw players from various levels of football, including NFL and CFL veterans, former college stars, and players from other leagues, or even semi-pro and amateur players.


Some of the new XFL Draft Picks on GMTM:

Jordan McCray has had success at every level of football he's played on - besides the fact that he didn't start playing the sport until his freshman year of high school. Despite the late start, Jordan and his twin brother, Justin both earned a spot at Central Florida, where they won a Fiesta Bowl on either side of the center in 2013.

Jordan McCray
USFL
Position:
 OL

Since college, Jordan has had a stint with four NFL teams including the Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Carolina Panthers, and the Chicago Bears.

With experience at the best level and the desire to continue his professional football career, McCray played a season with the USFL's Birmingham Stallions, after using GMTM to get his film in front of coaches:

"The easiest way for Jordan to impress the coaches was to send them highlights, stats and details on his career history. To showcase his talents and skills in the best way possible, Jordan sent the Stallions’ coaching staff his GMTM profile. The coaches thanked him for the information and said they would get back to him in about 48 hours once they had a chance to review his profile. Within 30 minutes, the team called him back to tell him that he was going to be their number one pick." - from a GMTM Article on McCray


Former All-SEC selection from Arkansas Santos Ramirez was also selected in the 2023 XFL Draft. A veteran of the NFL, IFL, and the XFL, the 6'2" defensive back is ramped up to get a chance to play the game outside of an arena again.

Santos Ramirez
Self
Position:
 

Most recently, Ramirez was playing for the Frisco Fighters of the Indoor Football League - where he collected 4 tackles and 1 interception in one game against the Iowa Barnstormers.

A native of Shreveport, Louisiana, Ramirez signed with the New York Jets following his college career. He played for the XFL's Seattle Dragons the following year and collected 11 total tackles.


Joe Powell will be one of the few XFL veterans that will be returning to the league after playing for the St. Louis Battlehawks in 2020. In fact, Powell scored one of the most exciting touchdowns during the 2020 season - the first kickoff return for a touchdown in modern XFL History.

Powell is actually a veteran of most American football leagues having spent time in the NFL, AFL, AAF, XFL, and Canada's CFL. Most recently, the 6'2" safety played a season with the CFL's Hamilton TigerCats and the Carolina Cobras of the National Arena League.

Powell also spent some time with the Buffalo Bills in 2016.


Making his debut in the XFL after being named Offensive Player of the year in the Fan-Controlled-Football league last year, Mitch Kidd is a quarterback bound to bring excitement.

Mitch Kidd
Self
Position:
 

And with an actual coaching staff - full of college and NFL veterans - Kidd will have more help to develop as a passer and play-caller.

"To begin to understand FCF, fans must realize that the sport is dependent on...fans. That goes for any sport in the world, but the FCF takes this another step; league followers quite literally run franchises, capable of calling plays, making trades, and drafting players for their favorite teams." -from the GMTM Article: What Is the FCF and Why Should We Watch?

Drafted by the Orlando Guardians in the most recent XFL draft, Kidd's playmaking ability will be tested against some of the defenses he's faced to date.

A California native and graduate of the Division-III University of Redlands, Kidd has put up stats at every level he's been on. With the same arm and shifty athleticism that earned him notoriety in the FCF, the XFL will be no exception.


Athletes, like these 4 XFL players, are using their GMTM profiles to connect to new opportunities in sports. From professional football to flag football and every league in between, football athletes are showcasing their talent to continue their journey and compete.

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