In the last few weeks, I’ve gotten plenty of questions on how to get players into the XFL. I found myself without many answers, so I deferred to Senior VP of Player Personnel Doug Whaley, who graciously agreed to answer some of the questions I’ve gotten.
Without further ado, here are the questions, with Doug’s answers following.
Are the Showcases the only way to the Player Draft Pool?
No. With the help of our scouting consultants, Inside the League and FBXChange, we are able to identify the top free agent players for inclusion into the Player Draft Pool. XFL league and team personnel executives have been evaluating players for months via college/pro game video. Our personnel team will also attend NFL training camps to evaluate players who may be released in early September. Furthermore, as is customary in football scouting, our personnel team monitors the waiver wire of other leagues as players are released. With all that being said, in-person evaluations at the Showcases remain a critical component of building a robust Player Draft Pool.
About how many players are in the Player Draft Pool so far?
The Player Draft Pool has been growing every day. As our personnel team identifies players who may have the potential to play in the XFL, we contact the players and/or their agents to extend an invitation (via email) for the players to opt-in for inclusion in the XFL Draft. This is the first step towards building the draft pool. The players who opt-in must comply with a background check and requests for their medical history.
Will there be showcases beyond what has been announced so far?
We have not planned additional Showcases in 2022. However, we will allow our personnel staff and coaches to evaluate players in their cities of residence in accordance with league policies.
When is the XFL Draft?
When will the player pool be completed?
The Player Draft Pool will be completed a week before the Draft. We are planning to hold a Supplemental Draft(s) as more players become available in December and January.
Do any players ever withdraw from the Showcases? Is “full” always final?
Players may sign up for the waitlist on showcases.xfl.com. If/when a player withdraws from a Showcase, the next player on the waitlist will be alerted that he is able to attend a Showcase.
My client has NFL experience and I believe he has a strong case for the XFL. Is there any means of submitting his info for expedited review outside of the Showcases and the email@example.com address?
Prospective players and their agents may submit information to FBO@xfl.com. Information that has been submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org will continue to be forwarded to the Player Personnel department for review.
If my player played college ball in South Florida, will he still be considered by teams on the West Coast, for example? Does geography matter? If so, can an agent apply directly to teams that are geographically congruent with a player’s college team?
There are no territorial or college rights in the XFL. Agents may contact team personnel and coaches directly to discuss their players.
What about players without agents? Are their only avenues the info email and the Showcases?
A player does not need an agent to play in the XFL. If he has performed well at the college and/or pro level, our personnel team will be able to find him. With that being said, the Showcases are another venue for our personnel team to discover talented football players.
Will player evaluation be centralized? How much latitude will each team Director of Player Personnel have?
The Head Coaches and Directors of Player Personnel will be making all roster decisions for their respective teams. The XFL league office receives player recommendations from team personnel, and we properly vet each player’s background to ensure his eligibility for inclusion in the Player Draft Pool.
If a player is in another league (CFL) during the initial XFL showcases, can he still be considered in XFL player pool if he is released from the CFL after the XFL showcases are completed?
Yes. As mentioned above, it is customary in football scouting to monitor other leagues’ waiver wires. The best available players will be engaged by XFL league and team personnel.
What is the plan for specialists?
From the press release: The XFL announced it has partnered with Nick Novak, founder of Novak Kicking & Consulting and former professional football placekicker, to run a specialist showcase in San Diego, California on October 23, 2022. This event will focus specifically on kickers, punters and long snappers, and provide a dedicated forum for players to exhibit their skillset exclusively for the XFL’s player personnel departments.