The XFL is going to kick off its inaugural (again) season following the Super Bowl in February. They recently held their draft to fill up the eight teams’ rosters. Many of the players have been on NFL rosters or practice squad rosters and a bunch of them have been with the Atlanta Falcons at some point.
You are bound to recognize some of these players because a few of them are not your average final 53-man roster cuts and have actually played significant time in the NFL.
Some were drafted by the Falcons, including an eighth-overall selection and a couple of fifth-round selections.
Some recognizable Atlanta Falcons players join their new teams in the XFL
Reading through the rosters for the XFL, there were many names that jumped out because they have been associated with the Atlanta Falcons in the past, and it was even shocking to see a few names on there.
But first, these are the eight teams in the new XFL; Arlington Renegades, D.C. Defenders, Houston Roughnecks, Orlando Guardians, San Antonio Brahmas, Seattle Sea Dragons, St. Louis Battlehawks, and Vegas Vipers. There are definitely some creative names in there.
Now back to the point of this article, from my count, there are four players who were drafted by the Falcons on XFL rosters:
- OLB Vic Beasley – Vegas Vipers
- DL Stansly Maponga – Orlando Guardians
- RB Brian Hill – St. Louis Battlehawks
- P Sterling Hofrichter – St. Louis Battlehaws
Vic Beasley is clearly the headliner here. He was drafted with the eighth-overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft and led the league in sacks in 2016 for the Falcons with 15.5 total. Brian Hill was drafted in the fifth round and had two stints with the Falcons. He accumulated 945 rushing yards, 313 receiving yards, and 4 total touchdowns.
Sterling Hofrichter was taken in the seventh round and was projected to be the heir apparent to Matt Bosher but things just never turned out. He booted 56 punts for an average of 42.5 yards per punt with Atlanta.
Then Stansly Maponga was a fifth-round pick, played in 24 games over two years, and accumulated one sack. Sounds like the typical Falcons pass rusher.
And, finally, here are some other names that you may or may not recognize:
- WR Jeff Badet – Vegas Vipers
- LB Pita Taumoepena – Vegas Vipers
- TE Joshua Perkins – Seattle Sea Dragons
- LB Tuzar Skipper – Seattle Sea Dragons
- P Cameron Nizialek – Seattle Sea Dragons
- QB A.J. McCarron – St. Louis Battlehawks
- WR Austin Proehl – St. Louis Battlehawks
- TE Ryan Becker – Orlando Guardians
- DL Austin Edwards – Houston Roughnecks
- HC & GM Wade Phillips – Houston Roughnecks
A.J. McCarron, Cameron Nizialek, and Wade Phillips will definitely be the names that most people recognize. McCarron was projected to be Matt Ryan’s backup last year but suffered a season-ending injury in the preseason. Cameron Nizialek, meanwhile, was on the Falcons’ practice squad in 2020 before being released, only to end up back with the team in 2021 but was then placed on IR before getting released for good.
Then there is the great Wade Phillips who was Atlanta’s defensive coordinator for two years before taking over for Dan Reeves as the interim head coach for the Falcons in 2003.
Anyways, there will certainly be plenty of players to cheer on once the XFL kicks off following the Super Bowl!