Dallas Renegades full draft recap
Written by Kyle Crabbs
The Draft Network
Day Two - Wednesday, October 16th
That's a wrap! The XFL's league draft is officially closed, with Wednesday's action bringing an infusion of defensive back seven talent and the wide open flexibility of the league's open portion of the 2019 XFL Draft. Now comes the time to go to work -- but for Dallas Renegades fans, here are a few players from each of today's phases that should be in a great position to succeed under head coach Bob Stoops, offensive coordinator Hal Mumme and defensive coordinator Chris Woods.
Phase Four (Defensive Backs)
- SAF Derron Smith, Fresno State Bulldogs
Smith offers the kind of versatility to make an impact in numerous phases of the defense for the Renegades. Smith was a big-time playmaker during his days with the Bulldogs -- tallying 15 interceptions before making the jump to professional football in 2015. Smith isn't overly big at 5-foot-10, lacks the length to really influence the catch-point, but his instincts and his aggressiveness pairs really well to provide impact plays and put him in a position to constantly fly around and impact in the middle of the field or around the line of scrimmage.
- CB Treston Decoud, Oregon State Beavers
Everyone loves big cornerbacks -- and they don't come much bigger than former Oregon State corner Treston Decoud. He is a looming presence at 6-foot-2, 206 pounds and touts 33-inch arms, exactly the kind of length you'd desire from a press cornerback who is going to play up on the line of scrimmage and dictate route releases in coverage. Don't expect Dallas to play Decoud isolated in space all too often, but that's perfectly fine. He wins by getting into the frame of receivers early and forcing them to miss their landmarks. In the XFL, Decoud should find success in harassing receivers on the boundary with his reach and functional strength.
Phase Five (Open Draft)
- LB Tre Watson, Maryland Terrapins
Few linebackers in college football experienced a more productive 2018 season than the one put in by Tre Watson. A transfer from Illinois, Watson flourished with the Terrapins, logging a career high in tackles (108) and interceptions (5). Watson isn't quite the open-field athlete to command a lot of professional reps as a pass defender, but he's sharp and knows how to navigate action in the backfield successfully. Watson went undrafted this past April during his transition to professional football but made a strong impression during the preseason with the Miami Dolphins. Watson's football intelligence is his best weapon in space and he'll have ample opportunity to flash that nose for the football here in the XFL.
- WR Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma Sooners
The Oklahoma reunion continues for Bob Stoops and company with the addition of Ryan Broyles. Broyles was a premiere pass catcher for Stoops' Sooners during his final three seasons in Norman; he totalled 39 touchdowns and just short of 4,000 yards receiving during those final three campaigns before becoming a 2nd-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Broyles may have to knock the rust off, but he's a terrific fit for this offense (obviously) and few players in recent memory have run the route tree for Stoops as effectively as Broyles. This blast for the past should provide XFL fans with plenty of fireworks.
Day One - Tuesday, October 15th
Day One of the XFL's league draft is officially in the books. With so many of the players from the talent pool finding new homes, it's undoubtedly an exciting time for all who got the call -- and the coaches who now have their hands on players who can help bring their vision of a successful program come to life. For Dallas Renegades fans, here are a few players from each phase of today's phases that should be in a great position to succeed under head coach Bob Stoops, offensive coordinator Hal Mumme and defensive coordinator Chris Woods.
Phase One (Skill Players)
- WR Stacy Coley, Miami Hurricanes
The wide open offense many expect to see in Dallas courtesy of Stoops and Mumme will have one of their critical weapons in Coley -- who has ample juice with a forty time in the 4.4s. Coley burst onto the scene as a freshman for the Hurricanes in 2013 before finishing his career with a bang as a senior in 2016 with career highs in receiving yards (754) and touchdowns (9). He's a player who will win in space and no offense in the XFL will produce more room for their players to work than this one. Let the fireworks begin!
- RB Dimitri Flowers, Oklahoma Sooners
The reunion between Flowers and the coach who recruited him to Oklahoma in Bob Stoops is about as fun of a storyline as any in the league -- especially when considering the other Sooners also forming one heck of a reunion with the Renegades. Flowers' best college season came in 2017 after Stoops had already left the program, but the vision here is clear for Flowers. He can be the versatile chess piece weapon to help attack opposing defenses with his blend of receiving skills, powerful short area rushing ability and blue collar effort as a blocker.
Phase Two (Offensive Line)
- OT Willie Beavers, Western Michigan Broncos
Beavers brings versatility to the table and should help provide Dallas with plenty of flexibility to ensure their best 5 blockers are able to get onto the field. A left tackle at the college level, Beavers spent his NFL career playing on the interior at guard. At 6-foot-4 and 324 pounds, Beavers has the natural strength to set his anchor firmly when he's framing his blocks cleanly -- something his experience in recent years should help him achieve consistently in the XFL.
- OT Adam Bisnowaty, Pittsburgh Panthers
Bisnowaty brings an impressive college resume to the Renegades -- he was a four-year starter at tackle for the Pittsburgh Panthers, with 43 career starts. Bisnowaty paired that experience with notable functional athleticism, where he found himself consistently in the right positioning to seal off gaps and make a lane for his back. In the Renegade's wide open passing offense, Bisnowaty's mobility figures to be a critical strength that allows him to hit his landmarks and ensure he's able to work on the edge in the screen game and take his vertical sets to protect the pocket when Stoops wants his team to push the ball down the field.
Phase Three (Defensive Front Seven)
- DE Hau'oli Kikaha, Washington Huskies
One would be hard pressed to find a more impressive set of hand counters than what Kikaha has to offer. Drawing on his judo background, Kikaha's hands are sudden, precise and make it difficult to land strikes cleanly on his frame to stunt his up-field push. Kikaha's story would likely look a whole lot different if he didn't suffer numerous ACL tears -- one in 2011, another in 2012 and yet again in 2016. Kikaha's pass rush prowess out of Washington landed him All-American status in 2014 before becoming a top-50 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Quick, flexible and offering lethal hands, Kikaha may be the most potent pass rush threat in the XFL player pool.
- LB Tegray Scales, Indiana Hoosiers
No matter what level of competition you play, versatility at the linebacker position is a requirement in today's football landscape. Scales comes to Dallas as an accomplished college linebacker at Indiana -- he logged 17 sacks, 46 tackles for loss and 8 interceptions to go along with 324 total tackles during his time with the Hoosiers. Scales' best season came as a junior in 2016, when he became Indiana's first All-American linebacker in nearly 30 years. Scales is undersized but tough -- fearless when stepping down into the hole and willing to shoot gaps when he sees an alley in order to trap ball carriers on the wrong side of the line of scrimmage.