The XFL only lasted five games due to the spread of Covid-19, but that short window gave players a chance to showcase their skills in a competitive environment. So far, we’ve seen the de facto league MVP P.J. Walker signed by the Carolina Panthers, but others from the league are getting looks as well.
Below, we’ll go through each XFL player signing in the NFL:
P.J Walker, Quarterback, Carolina Panthers
Walker led the XFL in passing yards and touchdowns in June Jones’ Run N’ Shoot offense, showing good escapability and processing on the run. He became the first XFL player to sign with an NFL team when his old college coach at Temple, Matt Rhule, signed him to his new team the Panthers. Carolina also traded away backup Kyle Allen while signing Teddy Bridgewater and releasing Cam Newton. Walker will compete with Will Grier for the backup job behind Bridgewater.
Jordan Ta’amu, Quarterback, Kansas City Chiefs
Ta’amu went undrafted in 2019 then was picked up by the Houston Texans before being released. He landed in the XFL with the St. Louis Battlehawks and proved to be one of the better XFL quarterbacks, as he supplemented his passing stats with his rushing ability. He has now signed with the world champion Chiefs to compete with Chad Henne for the backup job.
Donald Parham, Tight End, L.A. Chargers
Parham is a beast. At 22 years old, ‘6’8”, and 247 pounds the Dallas Roughnecks tight end was one of the top receivers in the league. He was fourth in receptions, third in yards, fourth in yards after the catch and second in receiving touchdowns. He has the tools to make it in the NFL and he’ll get his chance to compete for the Chargers tight end job behind Hunter Henry this season, as he has signed a two-year deal, per NFL Draft Diamonds.
Dravon Askew-Henry, Defensive Back, New York Giants
Askew-Henry has signed with the New York Giants on a two-year contract, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. The cousin of Darrelle Revis, Askew-Henry played for the New York Guardians, so won’t need to go far in his transfer to the NFL. He was with the Steelers last training camp and now has an XFL camp and shortened season under his belt. He told the NY Daily News that Revis has been a mentor to him and that his recent time in the XFL should help him stay ready for his next NFL opportunity.
Deatrick Nichols, cornerback, New Orleans Saints
The XFL’s interception leader with three through five games, Nichols has signed a one-year contract with the New Orleans Saints, per his agent. Nichols was the point player for the Houston Roughnecks’ secondary.
DeMarquis Gates, Linebacker, Minnesota Vikings
Former AAF and XFL player, Gates has signed with the Minnesota Vikings per the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson. Through five games with the Houston Roughnecks, Gates had 32 combined tackles (three for a loss), three pass deflections, two sacks, an interception and a forced fumble.
Khari Lee, Tight End, Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons lost Austin Hooper in free agency but trade for Hayden Hurst to replace him ahead of the 2020 season. Nevertheless, Atlanta needs more depth at the tight end position, as Luke Stocker was recently released as well. Lee, 28, has four years of NFL experience and has spent time with the Bears, Lions, and Bills. He caught eight passes for 91 yards and two scores in his five games with the DC Defenders. The Falcons announced his signing Wednesday.
Cavon Walker, Defensive Lineman, Pittsburgh Steelers
Walker led the XFL in sacks, recording 4.5 sacks with the New York Guardians. He signed a one-year deal with a Pittsburgh team that led the league with 54 sacks in 2019. He could help intensify a pass rush that features stars like JJ Watt and Cam Heyward. He will join his former Guardians teammate Jarron Walker on a one-year deal.
Jarron Jones, Offensive Lineman, Pittsburgh Steelers
Jones has a chance to improve the offensive line of a team that finished toward the bottom of the league in rushing yards. He began as un undrafted defensive tackle with the Giants but flipped sides of the ball after joining the Seahawks’ practice squad. He also spent time with the Lions and Bills before landing with the Guardians in the XFL.
Tyree Kinnel, Safety, Pittsburgh Steelers
Nick Moore, Long Snapper, Baltimore Ravens
Moore served as the long snapper for the XFL’s Tampa Bay Vipers in 2020 and will join the Ravens, according to ESPN’s Field Yates. He previously spent time with the Saints as an undrafted rookie in 2019.
Edmond Robinson, Linebacker Atlanta Falcons
Former Houston Roughnecks linebacker Edmond Robinson is signing with the Falcons, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. He was one of the higher rated linebackers in the XFL and recorded two sacks in five games. He previously spent time with the Vikings, Jets, and Cardinals
Dewayne Hendrix, Defensive Lineman, Pittsburgh Steelers
Hendrix is an edge rusher who played for the St. Louis BattleHawks and played at the University of Pittsburgh. The Steelers need depth on the edge, so Hendrix will have a shot at the final roster.
Christian Kuntz, Linebacker/Long Snapper, Pittsburgh Steelers
Kuntz spent time with the Steelers in training camp and had five tackles and a sack in his one preseason game. In the XFL, he served as the Dallas Renegades long snapper, but the Steelers know him at linebacker and likely are giving him another shot at that position this season. Of course, long snapping is a nice skill to have in the back pocket.