By Hunter Jones
*NOTE: The Mexico City Aztecs are not involved in this article due to them filling up their roster prior to the draft and therefore not making any selections*
Las Vegas Fury
The Las Vegas Fury had three selections in the draft. With them, they selected quarterback, Thomas Ramen at #3, wide receiver, John ‘Dash’ Blades at #23 and wide receiver, Brett ‘Too Much’ Funk at #39. Fury owner Max Jackson said he couldn’t stop pacing until the final pick.
“I really was worried [John] Blades would get picked up by a team that needed that wide receiver or quarterback position filled.”
Jackson looks to build off his impressive rookie season with the San Francisco Sharks and continue that momentum with his rookie class.
“I think they will surprise a lot of people. They are willing to listen to my sage advice, but also want to try new things.”
The Vancouver Legion look to rebound after a 4-8 season. Legion Owner, Andy Hamilton, said that his team had a draft party to celebrate the draft. They had a lot to celebrate, as they were able to snag top running back prospect, Kody ‘Thrill’ Hill at #9 and free safety, Markem Lopez at #27.
“Kody falling to 9 I think was a real shock to us. Kody was the front runner in our minds for a top 2 pick; when he was still there, the locker room was really excited about picking him up so we had to make the decision.”
Hamilton also had something to say for a man who, unfortunately, didn’t have his name called on draft night. Hamilton said he was pulling for owners to draft defensive tackle, Franco Sonatti.
“I expect our rookies to play above and beyond a lot of other team’s rookies. We got two of the best players in the draft, and they will most likely exceed my expectations. Franco’s my wildcard in the middle. At defensive tackle, who knows what he cpuld bring, but he will be a monster by playoff time.”
San Francisco Sharks
The San Francisco Sharks are back and looking to replace a lot of key players from last season, namely former head coach Max Jackson, who really began turning the Sharks into a threat out west when he took over. Unfortunately, we were not able to reach Sharks Owner, Ogun Zulu, in time, so we will just recap what they did in the draft.
The Sharks selected linebacker, Chad Guy #11 and wide receiver, Mickey Martino #29. Chad Guy was a good selection for the Sharks as they needed a guy to anchor the linebacker corps for the upcoming season. In Chad Guy, the Sharks added an important piece to their defense to go along with their seemingly star-studded offense. All throughout the draft, people were calling for Martino to be taken, and the Sharks grabbed him in the second round to pair up with wide receiver, Gabriel Manning, who currently has the highest league-wide value at the wide receiver position.
The Denver Nightwings are looking to start their first season in Mile High City with a bang. Last season, as the San Antonio Vaqueros, they ended with a 7-5 record but were put out of the playoffs in the wildcard round by the Indianapolis Red Devils. In the draft, the Nightwings selected running back, Jarrod McChesney #13 and wide receiver, Ken McCarro #31. Nightwings owner, Jeremy Vega said that while he was the only one in the ‘War Room’, he was constantly communicating with veterans throughout the night.
“I had my #1 pick locked when it came time to make a selection. In the second round I had five players on my board, one of which was taken but we definitely got the guy we wanted.”
Vega said that he expects his rookies to come in with a positive, professional attitude and to be the best teammates possible.
Sioux Falls Sparrows
The Sioux Falls Sparrows are coming off a 9-3 season where they were put out in the semi-finals by the eventual champions, Alaska Storm. The Sparrows took a different approach in the draft, trading back a couple times to stockpile more picks. The Sparrows ended up selecting running back, Colin Hart #26, cornerback, Jay Ringgold #35, cornerback, Andrew Nyberg #40 and tight end, Craig Hearn #42. Sioux Falls owner, said that the ‘War Room’ was very lively.
“A lot of activity, a lot of team chatter. I was obviously communicating with some other franchises, getting a lot of deals done to complete our draft goals.”
Jacen was certainly busy on draft night, trading down two separate times, but still getting somebody he couldn’t believe had fallen to the second round.
“I think Colin Hart had no business being in the second round when you look at the value he signed for and the position in the draft we got him. He has the potential to be the real steal of the draft.”
While Jacen certainly had a couple more picks than most other picks, he still has high expectations of his rookies.
“Our expectations don’t really change here. We have a deep history of winning football games and if you put on a uniform for Sioux Falls, you’re expected to continue that trend.”
The defending champs, Alaska Storm, only had one spot to fill on draft night. Despite the chatter that they were looking at running backs all off-season, the Storm drafted full back, Jason Williams at #20. Alaska owner, Max Paul, said that the ‘War Room’ was calm.
“We had done a ton of prep work coming into the draft and had an extensive list of prospects to select from. Work hard early so you don’t have to later.”
Alaska General Manager, Ryan Davidson, said that a big part of the Jason Williams selection came down to his versatility.
“We want Jason to get involved on offense, both on the passing and the running game. He’ll be another threat to take care of when Ron throws the ball and especially when Ron hands off the ball. To sum up, expect to hear a lot from Jason Williams in Season 11.”
Tales from the War Rooms of the Eastern Conference to come tomorrow. Stay tuned.