The newest crop of players have all declared for the 2018 Entry Draft, so let’s take a look at the cream of this year’s crop. Note that we are looking at players in their listed positions- not projecting any position changes- and that the players in each position are not necessarily ranked in order.
Check back at a later date, when we unveil the 2018 Mock Draft for Round 1!
Top 3 QBs:
- Larry Campos
- James Marple
- Pat Sweeney
Campos and Marple are both old-fashioned drop-back QBs who are natural leaders but not the quickest on their feet; Campos is currently equal to or a little above Marple in most respects. Sweeney is an intriguing option for his quality arm and athleticism (the latter is hard to find among this class), but has demonstrated leadership issues in college.
Top 3 RBs:
- Roger Schneider (LB)
- Rod Yount (LB)
- Kawan Ishner (DB)
Ishner may be the most intriguing due to his skills throwing the ball, and he has it where it counts to run the ball and cover. Schneider is currently the most game-ready RBLB, but Yount offers more versatility and has a bit higher ceiling.
Top 3 WRs:
- Robert Dangola (DB)
- Alquan Lund (LB)
- Renny Taylor (DB)
This is a strong group, and all three could be major players in time. Dangola needs some speed work to be a starter by modern OIFL standards, but could easily contribute from day 1. Lund could play LB or DB with the right focus, and may be the biggest star of the bunch when all is said and done. Taylor is not far behind either of them.
Top 3 Linemen:
- Robert Heller
- John Borrisen
- John Osley
Heller has both star potential and short-term value as someone who could play from Day 1. Borrisen is more of a long-term prospect, while Osley could possibly play quickly but doesn’t have the same star potential.
Top 3 DSs:
- Carmelio Menechella
- Antoine Eyer
- Hans Boldt
Eyer and Menechella are the top two here, with Menechella having more LB-esque skills than Eyer (who’s more of a cover corner). Boldt could step in quickly with some training at corner, but doesn’t have elite skills beyond coverage.
Top 3 OSs:
- Omotade Adeniyi
- Martin Frank
- Stefan Cavaluz
Adeniyi is by far the best prospect among this group, and could immediately step in for a young team. The others all have some deficiencies which would require some training to overcome.
Top 3 Ks:
- Werner Brielmeyer
- Karl Koepke
- Bob Carol
Brielmeyer is the only kicker in this year’s class likely to be able to competently be the guy for a team in 2018. Koepke could be an intriguing long term prospect with his speed and skills; he would give additional options for trick plays in the special teams game. Carol could be good in a couple years with training.
With the pre-season in the books, it’s time to take a look at who rose above the fray to show their skills, who was the most successful at improving their skills, and determine the roster of the first OIFL Press’ Pre-Season MIP Team.
First, lets look at the gains made by players on each roster:
OLDL Wilfred Laurence
RBDB Gubb Karter
MOST IMPROVED PLAYER (MIP) TEAM
With all the improvements tallied up, next let’s take a look at the Pre-Season MIP (Most Improved Player) Team, made up of the players in each position who showed the most improvement over camp. Priority was given to who earned the most improvement, but in the case of a tie priority was given to the perceived likelihood that the player would make and have an impact on their team in the regular season.
OIFL Pre-Season MIP Team:
(* = tied with other players not on the roster for most improved)
Honorable Mentions are also being given for these players, who are expected to be major players on their roster and made good use of their time this pre-season.
Care to share your thoughts? Go to the OIFL Forum and share them with fans worldwide!
With the first two rounds down and the hunt for sleepers and hidden gems now about to begin I thought this was a good time to review the first two rounds of the entry draft. I decided to forgo grading here; with rookies it’s just too early to tell I think. Feel free to share your own thoughts.
Summary – Graves will need a little development to be a real contributor on the field, but in a couple years he could be a great player with some good camps. Fox might offer more immediate returns with a good rookie camp, and could be a nice addition to a young ascending WRDB roster.
Picks – RBDB Steve Graves, WRDB Gilbert Fox
Summary – Burtchaell could become a strong defender, and has the tools to contribute offensively. Could eventually play LB and DB. Holcombe is a different kind of QB from Albertini, but with training and focus could eventually be the heir apparent.
Picks – WRLB Larry Burtchaell, QB Jim Holcombe
Summary – Friedman will have some tackling issues, but could become a shutdown corner making it less of a concern. Will make some immediate contributions this year. Dulisse and Gaulke are good players to develop for the future.
Picks – WRDB Roger Friedman, OLDL John Dulisse, DS Bob Gaulke
Summary – DC focused on finding heirs for players who are beginning to get up there in age, and might have them with this class. Smyka might take O’Neill’s spot, and Lawrence & Moss will likely get some playing time off the bench.
Picks – DS JeQuavion Lawrence, QB Mark Kingseed, OS Ronconaghuey Moss, OLDL Sam Morris, OLDL Steven Czerwinski, K Stephen Smyka
Summary – Townley was a great conversion to OLDL. Kob will need some work but he has potential. Not sure if the roster will have room for Zaruka as a RB, but it could be worth a try to convert him as they did Townley.
Picks – RBLB (to OLDL) Richard Townley, WRLB Jemequaerion Kob, RBLB John Zaruka
Summary – Zilanawala is a good pick, but the Squirrels are loaded at RB. Still, I’m sure he fits into their plans or they wouldn’t have picked him. Kettelle has some growing to do on offense, but Evansville can afford to invest in him.
Picks – RBLB Amaro Zilanawala, OLDL Jim Kettelle
Summary – Osborn could be a star and should see the field this year. Phillips joins a pretty strong group of QBs, especially by expansion team standards. Could eventually take over for Walls.
Picks – WRDB Jim Osbon, QB Ken Phillips, DS Ralph Lee
Summary – Sochowicz will give the United more flexibility on defense, and Harding give them another young lineman to work on building up.
Picks – RBDB Don Sochowicz, OLDL Dale Harding
Summary – Huntington added good depth to their line here. Kern is an athletic lineman who could immediately step on the field. Taylor doesn’t have Kern’s athleticism but is a good leader and sound fundamentals. Both are good pieces for the future.
Picks – OLDL Robert Kern, OLDL Kaushik Taylor
Summary – Pauly will need to grow a bit on both sides of the line but a good camp could take care of that. Has the intangibles and athleticism to be great once his growing is done.
Picks – OLDL Robert Pauly
Summary – Graper is one of the best WRDB’s in this draft and should add some depth for the Lightning. Dowling is a great pick at the end of round 1. Munson likely needs to be a sleeper to make it.
Picks – WRDB Larry Graper, RBLB Myqual Dowling, OLDL Chuck Munson
Summary – It’s unlikely all of these RB’s make the roster, but they’ll have solid young depth at this position for sure. Pharr and Tolosa have a chance to make the roster, but Tolosa might be from the outside in.
Picks – RBLB Jack Jones, RBLB Derk Mattocks, WRDB John Pharr, RBDB Dan Albright, RBLB Chip Dennison, WRLB Carlos Tolosa, RBDB DeJuan Duffey
LOS ANGELES: No Picks
Summary – Maino is their QB of the future, and could potentially beat out Johns if they decide to make the future now. Arthur and Dolan will help add some young depth to the roster, and the experience will help them for the future.
Picks – QB Bob Maino, OLDL Jeff Arthur, RBLB Pat Dolan
NEW YORK: No Picks
Summary – Hagler gives them a future to replace Tyler. He might need some training but he won’t be needed this year.
Picks – OS Bud Hagler
OMAHA: No Picks
Summary – Osler has a group of vets to cover the starting lineup currently, so no one here NEEDS to play, but Tusing could contribute right away, at least on offense, and Brown gives some versatility with the ability to play TE as well as OLDL.
Picks – WRDB Jim Tusing, WRDB Donald McGill, OLDL John Brown
Summary – Philly was aggressive and got 4 first rounders, 5 in the top 40 and 7 total picks. The moves largely paid off, as they got some good picks here. Fortney I think will be the biggest contributor this year, but the others will make contributions in due time.
Picks – RBLB Rich Braskett, WRDB B Fortney, DS Jan Barnhill, OLDL Paul Alkaranafil, OS Gary Barrett, WRDB Kenneth Bush, WRDB Mywell Scott
Picks – QB John Berger, OLDL Eltiden Long, WRDB Burt Maravich
RUIDOSO: No Picks
Summary – Yergeau was a solid pick for the Rampage. With Hill beginning to get up there in age Yergeau could be an excellent replacement.
Picks – DS Larry Yergeau
Summary – The Rattlers saw some value in the receivers when their picks came. With Degan and Gentili getting into the aging part of their career some replacements will needed down the road. Knoy might get on the field first but Continenza will be the bigger star down the road.
Picks – WRDB Quan Knoy, WRDB Ed Continenza
SAN FRANCISCO: No Picks
SEATTLE: No Picks
ST LOUIS: No Picks
TEXAS: No Picks
Summary – The Blitz had 3 first rounders. Hamilton gives them another good young back, but he likely won’t see the field with Buchanan and Brawn ahead of him. Bergeron and McBride will need some more time to be field worthy but could be good players down the road.
Picks – RBDB Paul Hamilton, WRLB Bob Bergeron, DS Darby McBride
Summary – Childs could maybe make the rotation with a good camp this year. Snelson is making the switch to RB, and will need some speed work but could be good down the road. Haslet could be the best value pick, and will have time to develop behind a pretty good starting group.
Picks – OLDL Mark Childs, WRDB Bill Snelson, DS Tom Haslet
Summary – Harris will be a star in a few years with the right focus. Kinney will need to take some time but he has it right now. Good picks for a team with its best years ahead of it.
Picks – RBLB Foxwell Harris, WRDB Terry Kinney
Thought I’d share my thoughts on how teams did in the dispersal draft. Feel free to share your own or comment on mine. I’ll likely also do a combined summary/review of Rounds 1 and 2 of the entry draft. Hope you enjoy!
Baltimore: Overall Grade – B+
Summary – Michael wasn’t the biggest name available, but this was a solid pick for a team that is building for the future as much as the present. He is talented now, and will be for a long time. He also bolsters a line that needs help if Beland and Gunn are to perform up to their capabilities. If Baltimore can lock him in long term this will go down as a strong pick.
Picks: OLDL Wade Michael
Chicago: Overall Grade – B-
Summary – With the players on the roster neither player is likely to see much playing time. Chavayda does give a talented young player to groom as a replacement for Fleming, Nash, or Graham who are all near or at the point of aging. A young trainable OLDL is always nice, but the Blues have a couple of them already so I wonder if they might have benefitted more from one of the vets available at the time. Overall though they are solid additions to the roster.
Picks: WRDB Ike Chavayda, OLDL Barry Sheldon
Denver: Overall Grade – C+
Summary – Cuff wasn’t the best overall OLDL available at the time in my opinion, but he is a solid pick for a new team looking to gather young talent to grow for the future. Westin, White and Sanchez continue that trend. Slevin is a pretty good value for where he was picked in the draft. Overall Denver may have left some talent on the board that could have helped them in the short term, but with the right moves in the future could be well off in the long term.
Picks: OLDL Charles Cuff, RBLB Willie Slevin, QB Eldriel White, OLDL Jordan Westin, WRDB Steve Sanchez
DC: Overall Grade – N/A
Summary – I’ll refrain from grading myself; anyone can feel free to judge my picks. I will say that Poley gave me some options to make moves on my OLDL without hurting overall talent too much, and Ward might be my RBLB of the future if I can keep him around long enough.
Picks: RBLB Grant Ward, OLDL Felton Poley
Eugene: Overall Grade – B+
Summary – Bieniek along with Ledbetter gives the Knights a strong young one-two punch at the RB position. Ledbetter was the only RB on the roster, so now with two the Knights may be poised to feature the running game more often. Was also a good value pick at #24.
Picks: RBLB J’Quan Bieniek
Evansville: Overall Grade – A-
Summary – Nothing but the OIFL Cup is good enough for the Fightin’ Squirrels, and with a roster beginning to age their time is now. Framed in that view especially, this is a great draft for Evansville. Both of these players provide strong depth and were among the most talented available later in the draft. If not for their age and contract values they would have gone much earlier.
Picks: OLDL Rasheed Daves, WRDB Doc Garrett
Fort McMurray: Overall Grade – A
Summary – The Fatmen had a great draft in my opinion. Walls was a great pick towards the end of the draft, and he with Kutchzinski and McMasters will slot right into the starting lineup and could stay there for a few years if contracts are renewed. Brown and Blevins give them some young receivers to develop in the future.
Picks: WRDB Gary Kutchzinski, OLDL Rozzy McMasters, QB Rusty Walls, WRLB John Brown, WRLB Tom Blevins
Fort Worth: No Picks
Huntsville: No Picks
Indianapolis: Overall Grade – A
Summary – Was one of the top players in the draft in a position of need for the Racers. Can’t argue against this pick in any way.
Picks: OLDL Mark Loiselle
Lincoln: Overall Grade – B+
Summary – Tomlinson is a good young lineman who happens to have a great long term contract. With a good camp or two he will be a fixture of the Lightning line for a long time.
Picks: OLDL Harry Tomlinson
London: No Pick
Los Angeles: Overall Grade – C+
Summary – Stoss is a pretty good young lineman, but with Mason getting up there in age and Franklin in the last year of his contract one of the RB’s could have been a better choice here. While young lineman are always good to have that is something the Matadors weren’t lacking coming into the draft.
Picks: OLDL Thomas Stoss
Maykop: Overall Grade – B+
Summary – Their first three picks currently would make up their starting lineup, and it’s not a bad group. With a good TC they could make a young respectable starting lineup. Nelson isn’t amazing in any one area, but could provide depth at WRDB, WRLB, and DS. For having no picks within the top 30, this was pretty good draft.
Picks: OLDL Daiki Takechi, OLDL Victor Shober, OLDL Gabriel Wilson, WRDB Stuart Nelson
New York: Overall Grade – B
Summary – The defending champs managed to get a quality player to help them defend the title. He’s a little aged and costly, but that isn’t a major concern here.
Picks: OLDL Bryant James
Ohio: Overall Grade – C+
Summary – With a DS group that is getting pretty old some reinforcing was needed here. While Clardy isn’t the youngest himself, he is talented which will help out in the short term while younger players are found and trained.
Picks: DS Troy Clardy
Omaha: Overall Grade – A+
Summary – Is there any argument about these picks? Maybe contract cost, but Omaha appears to be in a position to afford it.
Picks: OLDL Bill Steffey, WRDB Bernhard Schraeder
Osler: Overall Grade – A-
Summary – A couple years ago this would have been a stellar draft. This year it’s not stellar, it’s still pretty darn good. McPherson, LaCrosswell and Lewis will hold down the specialist positions for the immediate future. They’ll need replacing in a year or two, but for now they’ll help keep Osler respectable and competitive on the field. Daoust can provide help off the bench as a WRDB or DS.
Picks: QB Juan McPherson, WRDB Cyrell Daoust, DS Harold LaCrosswell, OS MiQuale Lewis
Philadelphia: Overall Grade – B+
Summary – With a much fuller roster than most new teams they had some flexibility in approaching this draft, but Philly still found some good players to add to the roster. Trudeau, Rhodes, and McGee are all good enough to possibly win spots in the starting lineup. If not, they should at least make solid contributions on the bench or fetch a decent trade return.
Picks: DS Walter Trudeau, K Tajik Rhodes, OLDL Speedy McGee
Portland: Overall Grade – B-
Summary – Pouliout is unlikely to break the starting lineup with Lowe on the roster, but he is a good young back who can provide solid depth off the bench and a little insurance in case something happens to Lowe. An argument could be made that OLDL would be the better way to go given a few older players on the roster in that spot.
Picks: RBLB Michael Pouliout
Ruidoso: Overall Grade – A+
Summary – This is a draft that could get the good people of Ruidoso excited about the new Kids on the block (sorry about that, couldn’t resist). Shanklin and Nowak instantly make this offense respectable on the ground and threatening through the air. They also will improve the defense. Right struggles with tackling but is pretty strong in coverage.
Picks: WRDB Jetta Shanklin, RBLB Burt Nowak, DS Diamante Right
Sacramento: Overall Grade – A
Summary – These two picks instantly make the Rampage a better team. Kenney is a star talent on both sides of the ball. Ginez isn’t on that level but will provide solid depth off the bench. This was also depth that they needed, so on the basis of need and value this is a win-win situation.
Picks: WRLB Joe Kenney, WRDB Stephan Ginez
San Antonio: Overall Grade – B+
Summary – His age and contract bring my grade down a little bit, but Thomas has the skills to potentially break into a pretty good starting lineup on a pretty good Rattlers squad. That makes it a pretty good pick for being about halfway down in the draft. That said, if older, costlier players were on the table there might have been some better ones available at the time.
Picks: OLDL Eric Thomas
San Francisco: Overall Grade – B+
Summary – I like this pick; he isn’t too old or too expensive and he has some talent to him. A good camp or two could push him from good to elite. If they can get him re-signed then this could be a real good pick.
Picks: OLDL Pumpkin Forest
Seattle: Overall Grade – C+
Summary – Seattle has plenty of people on the roster right now so need is tough to quantify here. There are a couple players I would call a better value at this time, but not many.
Picks: RBLB Michael D. Brake
St. Louis: Overall Grade – B
Summary – Given the ages of Maugham, Cruise and Kettlewell, Johnson meets a need pretty well. Given his talent compared to his age and contract the value of the pick is also pretty good.
Picks: DS Curtis Johnson
Texas: No Pick
Vancouver Island: Overall Grade – A
Summary – Both of these are excellent picks for a young roster like the Blitz. Henderson is nearing elite status in terms of talent, and Simpson is a young player with a lot of potential who could be real good in a couple years. With young players the key is keeping them around long enough to benefit from their growth.
Picks: OLDL DaQuan Henderson, WRDB Miquel Simpson
Waco: Overall Grade – A+
Summary – Yates gives Kirby an elite target to throw to, which the Warriors truly need. He’s beginning to get up there in age but will be a top talent for at least the length of his contract (which might be just a year, but could be more). By modern standards the contract is not even that bad. Great pick for them.
Picks: WRDB Eric Yates
Wisconsin: Overall Grade – A
Summary – If they lose him after this year it’s still a decent pick, as he’ll be a major boost on defense this year. If they can sign him to a long term deal, this becomes a great pick. He is not yet overvalued, so they’ll hope to keep him that way, and he has his best years ahead of him which is a great sign as he’s already close to being an elite DS.
Picks: DS Ryan Potter
What do you think of the draft? Feel free to comment or discuss on our message boards!
With the playoffs underway, a story line that has nothing to do with what will happen on the field this weekend is beginning to unfold, as coaches begin hitting the unemployment line and looking for new homes.
The past week it was announced that long time head coach of the St. Louis Rush Kelvin Anderson resigned his position, with no announced plans for his future. The San Antonio Rattlers also parted ways with Offensive Coordinator Bruce Malloy. Following their parting ways with the league Kansas City’s coaching staff is available, and additional moves are also rumored, though sources cannot comment on any specific teams at this time.
As the playoffs continue to play out, it is possible that more moves will be announced by teams who haven’t been eliminated. Teams who are could make the decision to change their staffs, possibly to take advantage of moves made by other teams.
This process starts at a good time for the newly announced Osler Rebels, who now have a solid group of coaching candidates to choose from as they begin to staff their franchise.
When the 11-0 DC Conspiracy traveled to Austin to face the 11-0 Texas Terrors, fans of the OIFL the world over were eager with anticipation. Rarely does pro football get to see a battle of unbeaten teams this close to the post season. The commission himself was quoted calling the game “one of the bigger “record-wise” regular season games on record”. Coming into the game both teams had strong victories and were looking on top of their game, and it showed on the field. Texas and DC were the numbers 2 and 3 ranked teams respectively for average points allowed (Kansas City being #1), so many expected a lower scoring game by indoor football standards. In that respect the game lived up to expectations. On one of the first plays of the game saw DC score a safety after Van Nostran recovered a fumble in the endzone and was tackled. This play- which cost Texas start RBLB Markelle Cox for the game with a concussion- set the tone for a tough defensive struggle which ultimately led to a 32-30 final in favor of DC.
That is not to say the game lacked big plays on offense; there was too much talent on the field to contain for the whole game. After the initial setback, Texas was able to score the first two touchdowns, the 2nd of which was run by RBDB Moulton Coulier. After DC worked back into it Texas reclaimed the lead with a Jet Sweep TD run by former Conspiracy WRDB Achilles Bryon. DC then responded with a 9 yard run to the endzone by RBLB Corey Palso. Palso later added another TD run from 20 yards out, which Texas answered with a 20 yard pass when Nostran hooked up with his former Boston teammate Norm Whittington. From there, it became a battle of the kickers.
DC had a short field goal blocked. Texas then completed a 47 yard attempt, but a false start took it back and K Gary Hoffert couldn’t connect from 50 on the next attempt. This gave DC another chance, which K Brian O’Neill used to redeem himself from the blocked attempt by converting from 28 yards out with 2 seconds on the clock to take the go-ahead lead. A DC squib kick ran out the clock to finish off the game.
One team that had to be watching very closely was Kansas City, who after this week remains one of two undefeated teams following a win against expansion Indianapolis. While the Tigers will not play either team in the regular season, both are potential playoff foes- though to face Texas both teams would need to make to the OIFLCup. Another team watching closely was likely Evansville, who will be facing both DC and Kansas City in the coming weeks and could have a major say in how the East playoffs shape up. San Antonio also had a major interest, as the Texas loss helps to keep them alive in the race to win the Southwest division, though Texas would need to falter a couple more times for the Rattlers to overtake them.
Moving forward, the Conspiracy will be taking on their divisional and geographic rival Baltimore Breakers in DC’s Oculus Center, and Texas continues their home-stand against the Vancouver Island Blitz