Updated: Nov 13, 2020
As we all know by now, the XFL will be returning in spring 2022, and the hiring process will begin late 2021. The St.Louis Battlehawks will presumably be one of the teams once again and while the league is still a long time away, I wanted to spotlight some players I think the Battlehawks should target in the draft or via free agency depending on how the league will assign players. Without further ado, let's jump right it.
A lot of local football fans and Mizzou fans know about Kelly Bryant. He transferred to Missouri from Clemson for the 2019 college football season after Clemson benched him in 2018 in favor of star quarterback Trevor Lawrence. While many Missouri fans have a sour taste in their mouth from the second half of the 2019 season with Bryant, he was still a very solid quarterback. In 2019 at Mizzou, Bryant completed 62% of his passes for 2,215 yds and 15 TDs and a 138.5 QBR. He also ran for an additional 242 yds and 1 TD. A lot went wrong for Bryant at Mizzou including lackluster play-calling from a staff that was later fired. So far, Kelly Bryant hasn't been able to land an NFL job. The XFL would be perfect for a player like him and he also is a name that would get people's attention. He is a dual-threat player like Ta'amu but just not quite as accurate as a passer.
2. Jordan Ta'amu
This is obvious right? Ta'amu was a star in St.Louis in the first run and a man of the people. The reason I list him is because he may actually become available again. If he doesn't, well then that would be where Kelly Bryant comes into play. Assuming Ta'amu does become available, it would really help with league continuity by returning players to a city that already have a fanbase for certain players like St.Louis and Ta'amu. Ta'amu was great in St.Louis completing 72% of his passes for 1050 yds and 5 TDs in just 5 games while also rushing for 217 yds and 1 TD. Ta'amu was recently released from the Kansas City Chiefs practice squad and hasn't been signed yet. He recently worked out for the Houston Texans but nothing ever became of that. If Ta'amu doesn't stick on an NFL roster he should go where home is.
3. Bug Howard
A lot of people probably don't know this name, but Bug Howard is a very athletic TE from the University of North Carolina that spent some time in the NFL as well with the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers. He also played in the AAF and is currently playing for the Alphas in this year's "The Spring League" which is a developmental league you can watch on FOX right now on select week nights. Howard is a fringe NFL player who has a pretty strong frame and almost looks like a defensive end playing tight end at 6'4" 220lbs. He is very strong and has good hands to show. At North Carolina he had 148 REC for 2048 YDS and 18 TDS in his career. He would be a great redzone threat for a team like the Battlehawks and could go under the radar as he is still only 25 years old.
4. Tre Mason
Remember Tre Mason? He played running back for the St.Louis Rams for two years after being drafted 74th overall and ran for 972 yds and 5 TDs while also having 236 Rec Yds and 1 receiving TD in those two seasons. His production dipped off in year two due to the fact he was behind NFL All-Pro running back Todd Gurley. Missouri Tigers fans also remember him for running all over the Mizzou defense in the 2013 SEC championship for Auburn. He ended up finishing with 304 Yds and 4 TDs in that game at a 6.6 ypc split. However, Tre Mason was arrested in 2017 for fleeing police on an ATV where his mother stated he struggled with mental health issues. He has since gotten better and enjoyed a nice stint in the CFL in 2018 and came out stating he was ready to return to the NFL. He hasn't been able to land with any NFL teams yet and would likely be interested in returning where his professional career started in St.Louis for the XFL Battlehawks. His name would also turn heads for casual fans and it would be an opportunity for him to revive his career.