With just under 80 days to go until the inaugural season of the newly founded UFL, the first dispersal drafts are in the books. St. Louis Battlehawks fans can finally get a glimpse on what their roster will look this coming March, and there’s a lot to get excited about.
Notably, no quarterbacks were picked up in the draft, leaving Nick Tiano and Manny Wilkins from last year as the only QBs on the roster. As only Tiano featured in one game last season, it’s hard to imagine that either of them will be given the starting position this year, leaving the question up in the air until further notice.
Despite this, it’s extremely difficult to argue the Battlehawks haven’t gotten even better. Their quest to win the first UFL Championship is well underway.
Without further ado, here is every Battlehawks acquisition from this dispersal draft:
WR – Jahcour Pearson (Seattle Sea Dragons)
Any fan of the XFL can tell you this pick was a no-brainer.
Drafted second overall, the Battlehawks gleefully scooped up superstar wide receiver Jahcour Pearson. Having led the league in yards, receptions, and first downs, the former Sea Dragon more than earned his place on the 2023 All-XFL Team.
An explosive playmaker, as fast as he is elusive, Pearson will make the Battlehawks offense a force to be reckoned with come March.
WR – Blake Jackson (Seattle Sea Dragons)
Naturally, as the Sea Dragons went 7-3 last year, knocking the Battlehawks out of the playoffs in the process, it makes sense for Anthony Becht to target the sources of their success. Like Pearson, Blake Jackson certainly meets that description.
Jackson is a somewhat rare phenomenon among spring football players having actually seen playing time in the NFL, albeit in a preseason game, recording one reception for a touchdown. He further showcased his talent during the 2023 XFL season, where he put up 440 yards (9th most in the league) and scored two touchdowns.
Already possessing an elite receiver room, the addition of Jackson is set to make the Battlehawks even better.
DT – Antwuan Jackson (Seattle Sea Dragons)
Next on the list is defensive tackle Antwuan Jackson, also coming from Seattle. The former Buckeye recorded 20 tackles in 2023, his efforts earning him an invitation to tryout for the Carolina Panthers, and later a contract.
Though he was waived later that year, a little NFL experience goes a long way in these spring leagues and you can expect Jackson to make his presence known.
DB – Qwynnterrio Cole (Seattle Sea Dragons)
St. Louis fans are going to love this one. Defensive back Qwynnterrio Cole, the leading tackler for the Sea Dragons in 2023 is now donning the blue and white of their Battlehawks. In addition to tackles Cole also led Seattle in interceptions with three, including a monstrous 39-yard return in Week 9.
According to NFL analyst Lance Zierlein, Cole showcases great physicality with his size and strength while displaying a high level of football intelligence. These strengths clearly translated last season and were a big part of Seattle’s success. Expect to see more of the same this March.
DB – Chris Payton-Jones (Seattle Sea Dragons)
Payton-Jones is an NFL level talent and brings a ton of experience to the table. Making appearances on the Lions, Cardinals, Vikings, Titans, and Raiders, Payton-Jones played in well over a dozen NFL games over the span of three seasons.
Breaking: DB Chris Payton-Jones announced that he was selected by the St. Louis Battlehawks in the #XFL Dispersal Draft yesterday.@CPaytonJones was a lockdown corner for Seattle all year long, starting all ten games. Solid pickup for St. Louis. #UFLpic.twitter.com/LDIF2VQ5Y6
According to James Larsen, Jones was a “lockdown corner” for Seattle in 2023, and the former Cornhusker is set to make a huge impact this season.
DB – Mykael Wright (Seattle Sea Dragons)
Despite seeing limited playing time in 2023, Wright made a big impact while on the field. Lance Zierlein describes him as eager to take on bigger opponents while “more than willing to throw his body in as a tackler.”
Wright recorded 12 tackles and a forced fumble in 2023. In his 167 snaps played, Wright posted a 74.0 defensive grade according to PFF.
DB – Anthony Cioffi (Vegas Vipers)
Anthony Cioffi has been a true journeyman in the world of football. He’s seen two stints in the NFL, the CFL, and has made appearances in the USFL, XFL (after the season), and will now be joining the Battlehawks in the UFL.
In his three seasons in the CFL, Cioffi recorded three interceptions and four forced fumbles. He also led the Tampa Bay Bandits in secondary production in the USFL’s 2022 season.
DB – Keylon Kennedy (Vegas Vipers)
In another move to bolster their defense, the Battlehawks drafted defensive back Keylon Kennedy. Just 24-years-old, Kennedy recorded two interceptions during the 2023 season, both against Houston, alongside 40 tackles and a forced fumble in Week 10.
Kennedy is a hard-hitter, punishing receivers where he can, and his energy is almost certain to make him a fan favorite in St. Louis.
Jazston Turnetine (Seattle Sea Dragons)
Turnetine was a pickup for Seattle following the conclusion of the 2023 XFL season. He played in all 13 games for FSU in 2022 with eight starts. Notable for blocking for the offense that led the country with an average of 7.46 plays of at least 20 yards per game. Recipient of the Don Powell Award.
Dohnovan West (Vegas Vipers)
West was signed as an undrafted free agent by the San Fransisco 49ers before being waived in late 2022. He started all 10 games for Vegas in 2023.
Jack Snyder (Houston Roughnecks)
Jack Snyder was the first overall pick for the XFL offensive line draft back in 2022 for the Houston Roughnecks. Following the 2023 XFL season, Snyder received invites to both the Dolphins’ and Ravens’ camp, and was later signed by the Minnesota Vikings.
Sage Doxtater (Houston Roughnecks)
Doxtater was signed by the New Orleans Saints as an undrafted free agent in mid-2022, and later joined the Arizona Cardinals’ practice squad in late October that year. After a solid season with the Roughnecks, Doxtater earned himself an invite to the Saints’ camp.
In the midst of having to contend with three other XFL teams for talent, Anthony Becht nevertheless walked away with a haul. Even if some of these guys wind up on the sidelines as opposed to starting, they’ll certainly be solid depth pieces for the foreseeable future. The Sea Dragons were a real thorn in the Battlehawks’ side in 2023, and having taken a big part of what made them so successful will go a long way for the team’s championship aspirations. Get hyped, St. Louis, because the playoff push is underway.
What are your thoughts on the UFL Dispersal Draft picks by St. Louis? Will the Battlehawks make a Championship run this year? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!