The Philadelphia Eagles are sending out good vibes to the XFL. And the team’s former players are quickly gaining respect. Especially on draft boards.
The newly-formed football league, owned by WWE CEO Vince McMahon, held the first phase of their two-day draft Tuesday and the first overall pick had a familiar ring to it. Rather literally. Former Eagles wide receiver Rashard Davis was the first name off the board after the DC Defenders took him.
Davis, an undrafted free agent out of James Madison University, was signed and waived several times during the 2017 season before landing a permanent spot on the practice squad late in the season. While Davis was never promoted to the active roster, his timing was impeccable. Davis went on to earn a Super Bowl ring for his troubles after the Eagles won Super Bowl LII over the New England Patriots.
The XFL will resume their draft tomorrow after choosing to break it up into five phases — offensive skill players, offensive line, defensive front seven, secondary, open draft (the rest) — stretched out over two days. The league assigned eight quarterbacks to teams prior to the draft.
Donnel Pumphrey Selected in XFL Draft
Another former Eagle went far later in Tuesday’s XFL draft when Donnel Pumphrey was selected in the seventh round. The diminutive running back — taken by the Eagles presumably to replace Darren Sproles — never caught on in Philadelphia despite being a high fourth-round pick. He is one of the names that critics of Eagles GM Howie Roseman often point to.
Pumphrey, a 5-foot-8 and 176-pounder, will join ex-Eagles teammate Rashard Davis as a member of the XFL’s DC Defenders. Like Davis, Pumphrey also earned a Super Bowl ring in 2018 after he spent his entire rookie season on injured reserve.
Two other former Eagles players were also taken in the XFL draft, including running back Matt Jones and wide receiver DeAndre Thompkins. Eight teams drafted the first 30 of 71 players who will be on their training camp rosters, according to USA Today.
Andrew Luck’s Dad Named XFL Commissioner
The XFL wanted credibility, so they enlisted some big names to head the league. Oliver Luck, the former Houston Oilers quarterback and father of Andrew Luck, will serve as CEO and Commissioner. Luck was also the president and general manager of the Houston Dynamos of Major League Soccer where he won two championships.
The league has a star-studded lineup of coaches, too. Guys like Jim Zorn, Bob Stoops, June Jones and Kevin Gilbride will be wearing the headsets on the sidelines when games begin on Feb. 8. There are also some familiar quarterbacks taking the reins, including Landry Jones, Cardale Jones, Matt McGloin and Aaron Murray.
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