Stand Out XFL Players The Bucs Should Consider: Offense


The draft may be fast approaching but there is football happening as we speak. The XFL is currently underway and showcasing some intriguing talent. There are plenty of players to evaluate so here are some offensive players the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could look at bringing in.

Offensive Lineman: Kohl Levao

Levao played for Hawaii and became draft eligible in 2022. The redshirt senior, from Aberdeen Washington, comes in at 6’6” and 350 pounds and has good measurables. Unfortunately he did not hear his name called nor did he find himself on an NFL roster.

Levao has had to prove himself multiple times. Starting off at City College of San Francisco he made the transfer to the University of Hawaii. Once on island he proved himself with starting 14 games as a junior where he played right tackle and center. In 2019 he was injured and redshirted. The following season the injury continued to stay with him causing him to miss most of the 2020 season except one game. In 2021 Levao started 12 games at center and a final game at left guard. During that season he had a protection success rate of 97% and was named All-Mountain West honorable mention.

He eventually found himself in the XFL on the San Antonio Brahmas. After six weeks Levao has had 286 snaps on offense. 104 in run blocking and 182 in pass blocking. Of those snaps he’s played both right and left guard with great success. So far this season he has only allowed six pressures (4 hurries and two hits) most of which came in a single game. As of now he has a offensive grade of 71.6 and a pass blocking grade of 80.4 per PFF. With time at both guard spots and center this is the versatility the Buccaneers need to bring in for depth on the line.

Due to missing almost two full seasons due to injury in college he may very well have a higher ceiling than most anticipate. With good measurables and the tape he’s putting together he’ll get a shot in the NFL for 2023. Maybe the Buccaneers can give it to him.

Another Lineman

Additional name to watch for: Alex Mollette, center. 225 passing situation block and only one sack and one hurry allowed.

Wide Receiver: Hakeem Butler

Butler unfortunately fell victim to the Arizona Cardinals disorganization and constant wide receiver hunt. The Iowa State product was touted as potential starter in the NFL. In college he finished his career with a 2,149 yard season with nine touchdowns on 60 receptions. This prompted to rate him as a 6.20 or eventual be an average starter grade as a draft prospect. That never happened. Not yet anyway. Now in the XFL he’s putting up great numbers. On 45 targets he’s hauled in 35 catches for 378 yards. A 10.8 yard per reception average. Add in his four touchdowns after six weeks and he looks to be the top prospect from the league. Though the Buccaneers are not looking shallow in the position an argument could be made for him to be a Buccaneer. It never hurts to get better in a strong position.

Other Wide Receivers

Additional name(s) to watch: I’m adding two names here. Oddly enough, again alluding to the Arizona Struggles, both wide receivers had a shot with the team. Jontre Kirklin (LSU) and JaVonta Payton (Tennessee) both went to Arizona and left empty handed. Kirklin right now is siting at 26 targets for 15 receptions. The draw is his 16.5 yards per reception. Payton has 10 targets and six receptions with a 19.3 yards per reception average. The Buccaneers will need help stretching the field. Could these two be options? Jahcour Pearson is another big name that will get a shot in the NFL again. 53 targets and 40 receptions for 11.2 yards a reception. Cody Latimer would be the third best option but his age is concerning (30).

Tight End: N/A

At this point in time I see no viable options in the XFL tight end market. I would pass on all options

Running Back: Devin Darrington

Darrington, who was a Virginia Cavalier was draft eligible in 2022. He too much like most names on this list did not hear his name called and did not carve out a role on a team. This is hard to imagine when you find out he averaged 7.4 yards a carry in college. But it was a small sample size. With 32 attempts and 237 yards coupled with two touchdowns the NFL passed.

Now in the XFL his yardage again seems fitting of a try out with any NFL team. The Buccaneers sure could use some help in the backfield with the departure of Leonard Fournette. So has his XFL season looked like so far? In three games he’s showing why he deserves more carries, and a look from the NFL. In 25 attempts he has amassed 139 yards for a yards per carry of 5.6 yards. This leads the XFL. Add to that three touchdowns, tied for second in the XFL with only three games under his belt, and you have an intriguing running back. Further adding to his mystique is the insane 4.08 yards after contact he currently has. If he doesn’t get a shot in the NFL, well, some staff members are just not paying attention then.

Other Running Backs

Additional name(s) to watch for: Morgan Ellison is in the same boat, he just needs to secure the ball more. 5.2 yards per attempt on 52 attempts (270 yards) with a touchdown. The name comes with a warning though. He was dismissed from Indiana after a sexual assault charge. He’s missed a lot of football at this point and has little tread on his tires. Bu those allegations linger. Abram Smith of Baylor is also a name to consider. 83 attempts for 426 yards and a 5.1 yard per carry number.

Quarterback: N/A

A. J. McCarron is the best option in the XFL, so a hard pass on this position is clearly warranted.

Final Thought

As a successful team you try to find talent everywhere. The XFL offers another avenue for general mangers to look to fill roster spots. So, could any of these players make the cut?

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