It isn’t a perfect league, and while it certainly has some interesting wrinkles to its rules, it’s going to be a revealing second week of football for the XFL.
For now, the football upstart has very quickly developed a sense of intimacy with its eight-team league and in-the-moment, candid interviews, Its commitment to following through on those aspects of the league should go a long way towards building equity with its potential consumer base. Giving players the platform to showcase not only their athletic talent but their personality as well should do enough to distinguish itself from their competition in a very refreshing way.
But another benefit of the small-sized league is the opportunity it presents itself as being digestible, capable of being keyed in on virtually the entire league and its players with only a few hours of commitment over the weekend.
With that being said, that brings us to today’s Question of the Day...
Which XFL player could help Detroit in 2020?
This answer certainly could change by the end of the weekend, and it certainly will develop over the course of the league’s inaugural season, but one thing is for sure: the XFL is going to give players tape and thus opportunity to bring their game to NFL Sundays.
On April 27th, just two days after the conclusion of the 2020 NFL Draft, NFL teams are permitted to visit, workout, and/or sign players who were under contract with an XFL organization.
Right now, the player that stands out to me as still clearly being an NFL talent is St. Louis BattleHawks’ punter Marquette King—and no, Hamza had nothing to do with this decision.
In Week 1, King launched an absolute perfect punt that would have nestled itself comfortably on the one-yard line had it not been for a member of the coverage team getting overzealous:
Marquette King with a perfect punt, ruined by Steve Beauharnais and Pat McAfee LOSES it pic.twitter.com/srJBGV0pBQ— Arif Hasan, leap day enthusiast (@ArifHasanNFL) February 10, 2020
With some respectable raw numbers over the course of his seven-year NFL career, its totally viable to see how a special teams player like a punter or kicker could very easily put together some valuable tape for a chance to break into the NFL—or in King’s case, back into the league.
In Detroit, Sam Martin’s up-and-down play has been frustrating to both fans of the team, and I’m sure Martin himself as well. There are flashes of the great leg he once had, so great that Bob Quinn decided to sign him to a contract extension that made him the third-highest paid punter in the NFL back in 2016.
But his play hasn’t been up to his performances from year’s past, and it could be an opportunity for someone like King—who clearly still has some juice—to improve the punting position here in Detroit.