In theory, the Tampa Bay Vipers should have a hand up on the competition when the XFL Draft takes place later this month. Given that it’s a ‘snake draft’.
Bad pun jokes aside, the new professional football league officially announced their process for building the league’s eight professional franchises.
In a press release, the league announced their inaugural draft will happen on Tuesday, October 15th and Wednesday, October 16th. Player selections will be announced on XFL.com, on Twitter (@xfl2020) and on Instagram (@xfl).
Considering this draft will be completely announced online and on social media, it’s certainly unique and a solid use of current technology. However, the uniqueness of this event doesn’t start there.
This draft is going to be conducted in phases. Five of them. The first will see skill players (QB, RB, WR, TE) selected. The second will focus on the offensive line, followed by the defensive front seven (DL and LBs) in phase three and defensive backs are the focus of phase four. Phase five is an open draft with all remaining players and position groups being available in the final phase.
In each of the first four phases, the XFL franchises will select ten players among the eligible player pool of approximately 1,000 players in that phases specific position groups. So, safe to say, there will be no edge rushers taken in the first round of this draft.
The draft order in each phase changes, and was determined by lottery. Additionally, each round of each phase will be conducted in snake order meaning the final team in the first round will then have the first pick in the second. Then back and forth like that until the phase is completed.
Tampa Bay’s XFL franchise has the fifth pick in the first round of phase one, meaning they’ll have the fourth pick in the even rounds. The Tampa Bay Vipers will kick off phase three (Defensive Front Seven) with the top pick, but will have to wait through fourteen picks before picking another defensive lineman or linebacker.
At the end of it all, each XFL franchise will have 71 players, including one quarterback which will be assigned to the team prior to the draft.
By the time the XFL Draft rolls around, all eligible players will be announced, and the league began announcing some of those eligible on Monday.
Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers like cornerback Jude Adjei-Barimah, defensive tackle Sealver Siliga, and kicker Roberto Aguayo are among the players announced in the first group of announcements.
How is the league going to fit all of this into two days? Well, each team gets just 90 seconds to make each of their selections.
Buccaneers fans will have a football option to watch in February, and soon we’ll know just who will be on the field when Raymond James Stadium welcomes the Tampa Bay Vipers!