XFL Wide Receiver Saeed Blacknall Taken In XFL Draft

Five XFL Wide Receivers Returning For The 2023 Season

With the XFL Draft now behind us, the league shifts its focus towards training camp. Believe it or not, we are only a month or so away from the XFL teams officially coming together in January.

There will be a supplemental draft held in early January before training camp begins. That being said, training camp rosters have been mostly filled out at this point, with only a few holes to fill.

Let’s take a look at a few wide receivers returning to the XFL, and what they bring to their respective teams.

Austin Proehl | St. Louis Battlehawks

Austin Proehl is back in the XFL. The Seattle Dragons legend now joins Anthony Becht and the Battlehawks in St. Louis.

Proehl was a bigtime playmaker for Seattle in 2020. In fact, Austin scored the first ever touchdown in the XFL 2.0, on a pass from Brandon Silvers.

He finished the short season with 16 catches for 225 yards, and three scores. Proehl is the son of Ricky Proehl, who played 17 seasons in the NFL. Interestingly enough, Ricky is on Becht’s staff in St. Louis. Clearly, he played a part in bringing Austin to the Battlehawks. Expect Austin to do big things in the XFL in 2023.

Saeed Blacknall | Vegas Vipers

An exciting prospect for the XFL’s 2023 season is Saeed Blacknall, formerly of the Los Angeles Wildcats. Blacknall is an explosive target, with size – and an amazing ability to track the football.

In 2020, he only caught four passes; but those grabs went for 120 yards, including two touchdowns. Blacknall was drafted by the Vegas Vipers, and will look to settle into Rod Woodson’s system. If all goes well, Saeed should be a star in the XFL this year.

Jalen Tolliver | San Antonio Brahmas

Hines Ward picked up a gem in the XFL draft. Jalen Tolliver, who played for the Tampa Bay Vipers, now joins the San Antonio Brahmas. Tolliver was one of the league’s best wide outs, racking up 21 receptions for 297 yards.

Despite the Vipers’ constant carousel of quarterbacks, Tolliver was consistent throughout the season. Week in and week out he made plays for Tampa Bay, showcasing his impressive skill sets. If his level of play is anything close to what we saw in 2020, Jalen will be outstanding in San Antonio.

Dontez Byrd | Orlando Guardians

Dontez Byrd is back in the XFL, which is great news for the league. Byrd struggled to find a rhythm in Jim Zorn’s system in Seattle – but has proven himself to be a playmaker on the spring football stage. He caught five passes for 44 yards with the Dragons in 2020.

 

Byrd now joins the Orlando Guardians, under the leadership of Terrell Buckley. Byrd is a versatile receiver, and was used in a variety of different ways by the Memphis Express in the AAF. Expect Byrd to make an impact in Orlando.

Jeff Badet | Vegas Vipers

The speedster himself, Jeff Badet, lands in Vegas with the Vipers. Badet played with the Dallas Renegades in 2020. Similar to Tolliver, Badet dealt with multiple quarterbacks who were in and out of the lineup.

Despite this, Jeff was an important piece to Bob Stoops’ offense in Dallas. Badet finished the season with 16 receptions for 108 yards. His performance was enough to earn himself a stint with the Washington Commanders in 2021. Now, Badet will return to the XFL to begin a new chapter in his career.

Final Thoughts

Generally speaking, the XFL brought in quite a bit of talent for their 2023 season. Each team drafted quite well across the board, as the competition should be quite entertaining come week one.

We’re pleased with all of the familiar faces we saw in the draft, and can’t wait to see all these exceptional athletes hit the field in February. Stay tuned, folks.

Which wide receiver are you most excited to watch in the XFL this season? Of these five wide outs returning in the XFL Draft, who do you think will make an impact? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!

  1. Totally in agreement. So happy for the XFL to stick to their roots. Not sure yet how many players are back to the XFL in total, but it was very cool of the league to try to keep history by signing XFL 2.0 players. Whether some of them fall out during training camp will yet to be seen, but what an opportunity for the league (to keep that history) and for the players to again compete for their jobs. 1700 people in the pool and I think they did a good job of mixing it up, between former NFL, younger players trying to make the NFL and the traditional XFL players. I think it will be hardest for those that have not been on a team, but at least they were given a chance to live and fight for their dream. Just a note….Ben Putman’s film in TSL is ridiculous. AWESOME!!! to take a risk on this guy. I hope it pays off for the league and the player…. and no he is not my nephew, just someone who puts it all out there and moves the chains.

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