The San Antonio Brahmas are looking to build upon what was a rough inaugural season. In the XFL 2023 Rookie Draft, they selected several prospects who could certainly impact the team moving forward.
Let’s take a look at each draftee, and what they could potentially bring to the San Antonio Brahmas organization.
WR J.C. Santana | Tulsa
J.C. Santana joins the Brahmas after a successful career with the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes. In college, he compiled 2,325 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns. Seven of those scores came during his senior year, where he posted 859 receiving yards, averaging 16.9 YPR.
Carlos Carriere spent the first few years of his college career at Maryland. His final year there saw some impressive production, catching 24 passes for 316 yards and five touchdowns. Carlos then transferred to Central Michigan, and had an excellent senior season with 520 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Carriere was invited to the New York Giants Mini-camp as well.
Jahleel Billingsley notched a couple of excellent years at Alabama, recording 543 receiving yards and six touchdowns during his final two seasons there. He then transferred to Texas, and now lands in the XFL with the San Antonio Brahmas.
RB Chris Smith | Louisiana-Lafayette
Chris Smith brings multiple facets of the game to the table for San Antonio. He posted solid numbers as a running back with Louisiana-Lafayette, rushing for almost 1,500 yards and 11 touchdowns during his two final years. Additionally, he’s an excellent returner, being utilized often on special teams. With his versatility, expect Hines Ward to make the most of this signing in 2024 if he officially joins the team.
OL Brendan Bordner | Florida Atlantic
Brendan Bordner is an intriguing prospect for this team, considering the Brahmas offensive line struggles in 2023. Bordner was a standout at Florida Atlantic, and spent time with the Indianapolis Colts and Dallas Cowboys this spring in mini-camps. With some development on the professional stage, Bordner could be a valuable addition.
OL Dylan O’Quinn | Cincinnati
Dylan O’Quinn was a captain for Cincinnati in his senior year, and wrapped up his career starting 34 straight games, which is quite impressive. As previously mentioned, the offensive line is an important area of emphasis for San Antonio, so this selection is excellent. He’s a versatile lineman who has started at both guard spots in his career at Cincinnati.
LB Lorenzo McCaskill | Kansas
Lorenzo McCaskill is a hard-nosed linebacker with an uncanny ability to tackle. He had a couple of outstanding years with Louisiana (83 tackles, 85 tackles) before posting 50 tackles with Kansas during his senior season.
Dillon Thomas came into his own for Missouri State in 2022. In his senior year he posted 56 total tackles, one interception, one sack, and four pass breakups. With a couple of Brahmas defensive backs headed to NFL mini-camps and training camps (i.e. Luq Barcoo), San Antonio needs reinforcements.
DB R.J. Hubert | Utah
R.J. Hubert is an exciting prospect for San Antonio out of Utah, for many reasons. Here’s a list of what he accomplished at Utah, per the official team website:
– Played in all 14 games with 13 starts at strong safety.
– Pac-12 All-Conference Honorable Mention and a semifinalist for the 2022 William V. Campbell Trophy.
– Second on the team with 78 tackles (3.0 TFL), with eight-plus stops in five games.
– Tied for fourth in the Pac-12 with three interceptions.
– Shared the team lead with two forced fumbles and two recoveries.
– Put an exclamation on the Pac-12 Championship vs. No. 4 USC, making an interception to cap a nine-tackle night.
– Batted down USC’s final pass of the game to secure the regular season win over the then-No. 7 Trojans.
– Had a career-best 12 tackles and a Rice-Eccles Stadium record 70-yard interception return came in the Homecoming win vs. Oregon State.
Hubert brings so much to the table defensively for the San Antonio Brahmas. If he does make the regular season roster for 2024, expect him to make major waves in the XFL. Note: he was invited to the Miami Dolphins mini-camp this spring.
DB Darrious Gaines | Western Colorado
In his senior year for Western Colorado, Darrious Gaines played all eleven games – and was named RMAC Second Team All-Conference (Defense). He was fantastic in 2022, with 38 tackles, three interceptions, and 11 pass breakups.
Generally speaking, the San Antonio Brahmas did what they were supposed to do in the XFL 2023 Rookie Draft. With a couple of quality offensive linemen picked – alongside a few defenders with high upside, Hines Ward & Co. is setting themselves up for success in 2024.
What are your thoughts on the XFL 2023 Rookie Draft? Did the San Antonio Brahmas make the right decisions? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!