Written By: Noah Underhill, RFL Insider
Episode 2 of Draft review takes us back to the first full 1st round seen in a draft video. This might be the second draft but it was the first one to show the rise and fall that a normal draft shows. Even without hindsight, There were guys that we could see would be behind the 8-Ball from the beginning. And then there were the guys that we knew were gonna be stars. It’s a real picture into how important scouting can be.
(Notable Players outside of the 1st: Carson Stevenson (43), Lucas Fitch (45), Jack Brown (47), Sam Robbins (49), Derriontre Machaivelli (60), Jay Smoothe (63), Jae Morris (70), Darius Young (71), John Waltin (76), Terrance Ward (88), Romeo Jackson (89), Xavier Mays (91), Perram Crowe (95))
Pick 1, Houston Voyagers:
Ethan Long CB Colorado (OVR 79- 79 SS)
Ethan Long has been considered the biggest bust in the RFL but he really isn’t that bad. We all know how difficult the Voyagers organization was at the time he was drafted and Long was kinda left out to dry. Long was never a fast guy and that hurt him on the outside against the amazing WR talent of the RFL. He was traded to the Elks for some late-round picks and was then moved from CB to SS to fill a need. He was solid getting 50+ tackles and 2 INTs which is a pretty solid season. Is he a great 1st pick. Of course not but even at the time we didn’t think he was. But he is a decent starter which is a lot more than can be said for some other players in this class.
Pick 2, Dublin Shamrocks:
TL O’Neal DE Washington (OVR 80-81)
TL O’Neal isn’t one of the stars of the RFL but he has been pretty solid over his career so far. He had 7 sacks last season and was 2nd on his team in that category. The Shams defense hasn’t always been that stout but that, of course, isn’t all his fault. The only thing about O’Neal is that he isn’t someone you have to gameplan around. He could become that but he hasn’t produced to that level so far in his career. He is now an X-Factor so I’m interested to see how he will progress since he still has a long road.
Pick 3, London Bulldogs:
Jake Moffit RT Buffalo (OVR 82-81)
Grading Offensive lineman is one of the hardest things you can do as a scout. Even when OL makes the league it can still be hard to tell how they are performing. At 6’10 346, Jake Moffit was very hard to pass up. The Mid-Major Monster was moved to LT and he has been very good as far as my eyes can see. The Bulldogs O-Line wasn’t spectacular last year but Moffit is a solid piece of it none the less. They definitely could have done worse with this pick. With his younger brother in this draft, don’t look past Jake and what he brings to the table.
Pick 4, Chicago Cougars:
Zach Rosen QB Texas (OVR 74-70)
Zach Rosen was put in a terrible position to start. He was drafted by the Cougars as the future of the franchise but was going to be the 3rd string behind Rob Slater and Peter Carstens. He could have been in the Justin Jones mold but that would not suit him. He butted heads with ownership and ended up being traded to the Houston Voyagers. He rode the bench for a year and never played a Regular Season snap before being released in favor of 3rd round pick Hugo Zachary in the following offseason. Rosen might have made it back in the league and became Anthony Savoy before Anthony Savoy but his attitude took him out of the league.
Pick 5, Austin Armadillos:
Mike O’Neal CB USF (OVR 80-83)
The best way to look at Mike is to compare him to Ethan Long. The second O’Neal drafted was considered the best CB and it was a surprise when he was second off the board. He is the Armadillos number 1 and he was able to stay at CB instead of having to switch to Saftey. But he has been pretty quiet on the stats. He wasn’t able to get any INTs last season but it could be that people aren’t targeting him as much. He isn’t the best corner but he is a solid starter and a good draft pick.
Pick 6, London Monarchs:
Kareem Stone T UCLA (OVR 80-78)
Kareem Stone hasn’t been mentioned very much since he was in the league but he has quietly been a solid starter and one of the better players in this draft. Sure his overall isn’t great but He was a member of a top 5 RFL offensive line. He is pretty good and as difficult and finding good offensive lineman is very difficult so the Monarchs won’t have to worry about bringing in any new lineman anytime soon. Since it’s the Monarchs they could have gotten some more important positions that weren’t already bulked up but it’s still a good pick.
Pick 7, Brooklyn Barons:
Amari Manuel WR Auburn (OVR 82-84)
Amari Manuel is one of the best players in this draft. He is consistently near the top of the league in receptions and yards. The Barons needed a guy that they can go to consistently as the number 1 and unlike some other people in this class he is one. One of the fastest players in the game, Manuel is one of the scariest people in the league. Manuel is someone who always has to be game-planned around and a danger to every defense. Coming off a Pro Bowl season Manuel looks to be one of the driving forces in the RFL for years to come.
Pick 8, Salt Lake City Elks:
Ryan Moxon TE Tennesse (OVR 73-83)
Ryan Moxon is an interesting player in the universe. He is overall has gotten a lot better over the past few years but his stats don’t seem to support that. He wasn’t able to get a full season this year because of injuries and hopefully, that doesn’t continue as we follow his career. He was traded to the T-Birds to run aside Tate Phillips. He won’t ever be a superstar in Toronto but I don’t think he ever will be anywhere else. The Rating is lower because the Elks didn’t get that much out of him but he wouldn’t really get much higher than this especially in the Top Ten.
Pick 9, London Black Knights:
Jake Coston FS Arizona St (OVR 70-71)
The Story of Jake Coston is a pretty quiet one. If I’m being honest, I forgot all about him almost immediately after he was drafted. It was a strange pick from the beginning seeing that he wasn’t gonna be even close to being a starter in London. And he never was. At 25 he is already been given up on by a Black Knights organization and I almost expect that he is gone from the league as a whole. I really wish we could have seen him in action but I think that if we did it wouldn’t be that exciting.
Pick 10, Sacramento Condors:
Matthew Milo WR Illinois St (OVR 68-64)
Whoo Wee. If there ever was a bad draft pick, this is it. People always say that WRs are Divas and this guy makes me believe that statement. Much like Rosen before him, Milo wasn’t happy with his position on the Condors after the team drafted another WR. And he made as big of a fuss as anyone ever has. He was traded to the Explorers and didn’t really make any impact on the team. He is now out of the league and should be considered the biggest bust in RFL history.
Pick 11, Portland River Hogs:
Mahmoud Ajlouni CB Missouri (OVR 73-79)
Mahmoud is one of the better players in this draft and has proven his spot in the order. At 6’5 Mahmoud is a threat to smother any WR on the outside. He was billed as a CB with great Man Coverage ability but would have to learn how to cover a zone. He still isn’t great there which can be a concern but he is elite when following a WR. Mahmoud was a part of a very solid secondary this year in Portland after they brought in Star CB Anthony Washington. Mahmoud may never be the top Corner in the game but he isn’t anyone to take lightly.
Pick 12, Austin Desperadoes:
Eric Fisher QB Illinois (OVR 77-76)
Expectations were high when the Desperadoes drafted Fisher. He was expected to be their Franchise QB and he hasn’t really reached that point. His first couple of years were fine but he was never overly talented or able to do very much. There was a time that the team was able to go on a huge run of games as they were making a playoff push but it didn’t lead to anything. The coaching staff gave up on Eric leading to the Signing of Chase Mason who is currently the starter. Fisher still has a chance to grow but it is becoming more clear that if he is to succeed it won’t be in Austin.
Pick 13, Salt Lake City Pioneers:
Jesse Newhauser DE E. Washington (OVR 80-86)
The Pioneers haven’t done very well with building a roster ever in their history but this is probably their best move in the history of their franchise. Jesse Newhauser has been very good piece and the best player on the Pioneers. He had 78 tackles and 8 Sacks after moving his way from DE over to OLB and being more than just a pass rusher. It’s difficult to figure out if his stats are because of the lack of talent around him but regardless this has been a star-making year for the former Eagle.
Pick 14, Oklahoma City Bisons:
Teddy Hademore C Ashland (OVR 76-83)
Teddy Hademore is one of the biggest climbers as far as overall in the class. There was concern about his size but he has been able to stop people 50 pounds heavier than him. He isn’t very strong but he is one of the best as far as overall blocking technique is concerned. At 25 years-old he still has room to grow and overcome his shortcomings. He has been the Bisons starter consistently and will be for years to come.
Pick 15, Brooklyn Bulls:
Kabil Madmidov WR Hawaii (OVR 74-77)
Kabil Madmidov is a solid player. He isn’t gonna wow you with his speed or his ability to make catches in traffic but he is a solid piece whenever he is called upon. None of the Bulls WRs did very well this year as they tried to balance their offensive attack after adding another WR in rookie Carlos Luzon. Kabil was left on the outside only able to rack up 459 yards on 40 receptions. There would have been more hope for him if he wasn’t 24 on draft day. Now at 27, Kabil should be entering his prime but he hasn’t found his way yet. I think a change of scene would do well to help him but I don’t think he will ever be a number 1 which is what you expect from a first round pick.
Pick 16, Orlando Sentinels:
Jarvis Wright WR West Virginia (OVR 68-74)
The career of Jarvis Wright has been a quiet one to say the least. Like Milo and Madmidov before him, Wright has not lived up to the first round hype. With only 8 receptions for the Sentinels last season it doesn’t seem like the coaching staff are all that impressed by the player he has become. He was billed as a Red Zone threat but he hasn’t gotten enough action to know if he can do it. His problem his he still hasn’t grown as a route runner which was a main concern coming out of school. With Aram Winborn getting older, there might be a spot for Wright this year. If so, it will be his last chance to prove why he was drafted so high.
Pick 17, Chicago Tigers:
Bryce Madden RB South Alabama (OVR 79-80)
The Career of Bryce Madden is hurt by the team he is on. The Tigers have always been underwhelming and have never been able to compete at a high level. Bryce Madden was supposed to be the superstar they needed and while he has been good, he hasn’t developed past where he came into the league. Last year, his season was derailed by injuries where he missed 7 games. In the games he was in, he had 521 yards with a 3.5 yards per carry which is nice, but not the level his potential would lead you to believe. He is coming into his contract year with Chicago which will be the most important for him so far as they move into a new era.
Pick 18, Oklahoma City Lancers:
Mason Hartley G Delaware (OVR 77-74)
Hartley is solid. His ratings across the board are totally decent but he has nothing that makes you scared. Getting a starter out of a small school can be hard to do but the Lancers were able to find one. You can definitely do better than him and he really doesn’t fit to someone who fits the role you expect from a 1st round pick. Hartley isn’t the best but they definitely could have done a lot worse in this draft.
Pick 19, San Antonio Marshalls:
Travis Frasier Jr QB Maryland (OVR 80-79)
The Travis Frasier Experiment never really got off the ground in San Antonio. He was anointed the starter after he was drafted but never really got going. He was benched after his rookie campaign and hasn’t seen the field much since then. Coming into the draft he had by far one of the strongest arms the RFL had ever seen and was considered to have a chance to be their savoir but it didn’t really happen. The Marshalls did hang onto him after trading their former starter but it was only gonna be as a backup to current starter Tyler Agromonte. I think there is still hope for Fraiser out there to be a starter somewhere but until that day he will just be a wasted draft pick.
Pick 20, St Louis Gunners:
Melvin Kalu WR Alabama (OVR 63-65)
The Career of Melvin Kalu has been a strange one. The 5th WR off the board, He was drafted simply because of his speed. They expected to be able to grow him but he never really got there. He didn’t get very far for the Gunners but he has done decently in the Toronto Thunderbirds offense. He had 300 yards on 27 reception which isn’t anything crazy but it shows there is some hope for him. For a guy that was supposed to flame out and never become anything he has shown that when used correctly, can make an impact. Was he a first round talent. Absolutely not. But he has shown that he can make plays and be a scary part of an offense.
Pick 21, Columbus Aviators:
Adam Triggered WR Indiana (OVR 64-64)
Adam Triggered wasn’t as lucky as Kalu being picked up by the T-Birds. He had a lot of the same potential as Kalu but he wasn’t able to get anywhere in Columbus. Triggered never really got on the field and definitely couldn’t live up to the hype. He had the speed and hands for the position but he didn’t put the work in to have anything more than that. He is currently out of the league.
Pick 22, Los Angeles Crusaders:
D’Onte Floyd LB Missouri (OVR 79-78 DE)
D’Onte Floyd has been a very solid Pass Rusher for the Cru over the past couple of years. He isn’t very strong but he is one of the best finesse rushers in the league. He racked up 8 sacks and like TL O’Neal was second on his team in sacks only behind Cole Bacon. It is surprising how much work he gets when guys like Stephen Wilcox and Bacon are taking up some if not most of the snaps. Floyd hasn’t been talked about much with his time for the Cru but he really has been one of their best defensive players. He doesn’t make much of an impact beyond chasing the QB but that doesn’t mean he isn’t a solid player. I’m interested to see what Floyd can do when he is the primary starter.
Pick 23, San Antonio Dreadnoughts:
Jake McBride QB Fordham (OVR 80-82)
Jake McBride was the prototype of everything you want in your QB. 6’7 and a 99 Throw Power which is an insane combination. And he wasn’t all power as he had solid accuracy stats. But for some reason it didn’t translate to the pro game. He had problems getting the tight completions and he threw a lot of INTS. He also wasn’t able to get those wins as a starter. He was replaced this year by Matt Jones after having a 61 in completion percentage. Jones continued to out play what McBride had shown and he never got his opportunity back. Like the other QBs in this class, McBride lost his opportunity and hasn’t proven to be a solid starter in the RFL. He might be able to do good things in the right system but he hasn’t found his place yet.
Pick 24, Mexico City Diablos:
Harmon Douglas C Clemson (OVR 78-78)
Harmon Douglas is one of the better Centers in the RFL. He could have been in the Pro Bowl discussion if his new team, the Explorers, didn’t make the RFL Bowl. He was traded from Mexico City to the Explorers and he has been very good in his role. He is very balanced much like Mason Hartley but he is a better overall talent. He led one of the top O-Lines in the league. I’m sure Mexico City regrets moving on from this talented player.
Pick 25, Memphis Steamers:
Max Mohr DT Ole Miss (OVR 82-86)
Max Mohr is one scary dude. The strongest guy in the draft, Mohr was already set for success. He killed his first 2 seasons in the RFL, in which he had double digit sacks. He was so good that he was traded for 2 first round picks. As most things happen, The best players end up in Toronto playing for the Thunderbirds. Max didn’t do as well this last season. He only had 3 sacks on the most stacked defensive line that anyone has ever seen in the RFL. He was mainly a decoy last year but he has proven in the past that he could be just as scary as anyone on that line. Mohr was a steal this late in the first round and should have been considered well before he was drafted.
Pick 26, Dublin Celtic Tigers:
Trey Truong C Louisville (OVR 77-77)
Trey Truong is a solid player. There isn’t much to say about him as he simply hasn’t done very much in the league. He has backed up Henry Nielsen since he has come into the league. He seems to be really solid but he hasn’t gotten to show it. I’m excited to see what he will do once Nielsen retires but until then we just don’t know.
Pick 27, Toronto Thunderbirds:
Jiren Gray LB Syracuse (OVR 80-87)
Jiren Gray is one of the most talked about players from this class. He has been one of the scariest players on one of the most consistent teams in the league. He had Pro Bowl honors this year and he definitely deserves it. 78 tackles, 6 sacks and 2 INTs were his major stats and this was a quiet year for him. He is very fast, can move sideline to sideline, and get be a menace in the backfield. The coaching staff is in love with him and he totally deserves it. How he slipped down the board is a mystery to me but whatever it was fell right into the Evil Empires hand.
Pick 28, San Diego Red Dragons:
Obey Kid WR Virginia Tech (OVR 81-88)
Obey Kid was drafted to be the large slot for an even larger pair of WRs on the outside. The Twin towers as they were called were some of the scariest players in the beginning and drafting Obey Kid made their offense even scarier. It took awhile but the Kid addition did get them their 2nd championship this last season. He had almost 800 yards on only 66 catches and threw 4 TDs on top of that. What makes it so crazy that he is down this far is just how many WRs went in front of him and how many failed in the league. Kid was the 7th WR off the board and is at least the second best WR talent in the class by far. If some teams were looking at the stopwatches they might have gotten a pro bowl talent but they ended up with a lot less.
Pick 29, Columbus Explorers:
Alex Darr CB Michigan St (OVR 68-80 SS)
Alex Darr was an anomaly from the beginning. At 7’0 tall, just standing next to him is a scary sight. The problem was it became very clear that he wasn’t fast enough to play on the outside. He was traded to the Lancers and shortly after was moved to SS. He played sparingly when starter Sean Carter was moved to Sub Linebacker. And in that time, he was burned a few times. It makes you wonder if he can ever be trusted to be a full time starter. I would bet on no but Lancers players have proven me wrong before. With Carter's age what it is we could find out soon.
Pick 30, Portland Snowhawks:
Gianni Shiloh CB Vanderbuilt (OVR 82-83)
Gianni Shiloh is one of the better CBs in the game. The Snowhawks had him in the beginning and was playing very well. He was traded to the Diablos and he has kept up the consistency. He had 3 INTs this year and offenses stayed away from him because he has been very good. The Explorers really made a mistake passing on Shiloh for Darr. These 2 being back to back is extremely crazy just showing the difference between good coaching and bad coaching. The Explorers saw a large dude and the Snowhawks looked for the talent. It all comes down to paying attention to your scouts. The Explorers could be even better than they already are.
Pick 31, Toronto Huskies:
Duke Pascal LB Syracuse (OVR 85-89)
Duke Pascal has been a very solid LB for the Huskies the past couple of seasons. He was a vital part of the Huskies championship run and solid competitor since. He had 63 tackles but that doesn’t tell the whole story. His 3 INTs could be hard to come by. When you look at the numbers, Pascal isn’t isn’t on top of the world but you have to realize that he was back up to guys like Bret Rattay, Riley Bock, and Perram Crowe. With Bock and Rattay Old and on their way out, Duke will have to be “the guy” and prove how good he actually is. There is a lot to come from him and will be one of the faces of the league
Pick 32, Mexico City Conquistadors:
Picu McCullough WR UCLA (OVR 81-93)
Picu McCullough has to be the biggest steal of the first round. Getting the same value from the last pick as they could have gotten if they had taken Amari Manuel at 7. The 8th WR off the Board (my goodness that’s crazy) Picu might be the best in the class. He was 50 Yards away from 1,000 this year and he also grabbed 4 TDs on only 78 catches. There were 3 Diablo WRs close to 1,000 and Picu was the most reliable and the one that had to go 1-1 with the top CBs in the game. I don’t think many people were surprised that Picu has gotten as far as he has but looking at the rest of the WR class, He has definitely outshined everyone else.