XFL sets initial player draft with digital media focus

The forthcoming revival of the XFL will hold its inaugural player draft October 15-16, with selections to be announced on digital and social media.

The spring football league, again being led by World Wresting Entertainment chairman and chief executive Vince McMahon, will conduct the draft in five phases over the two days, with segments dedicated to offensive skill players, offensive lineman, defensive front seven players, defensive backfield players, and an open phase for all remaining players and special teams members. 

The selections will be announced on XFL.com, as well as the league’s official channels on Twitter and Instagram.

Before those picks are made, however, each team will be pre-assigned one quarterback.

The eight teams of the XFL, whose identities were revealed in August, will each populate a 71-man roster from an overall pool of about 1,000 players who have passed league background checks. Individual teams will select 10 players from each of the first four draft phases, following by 31 more in the final open phase.

The initial draft order for each of the five phases were initially determined by a lottery, with the DC Defenders getting the first pick in the offensive skill player phase. 

Unlike the Draft format for the National Football League, where teams have four to 10 minutes to make a pick depending on the specific round, XFL teams will have just 90 seconds to make a selection in any of the five phases. The XFL is also not subject to NFL college eligibility rules, and unlike that league, is open to signing players who less than three years removed from high school. 

The upcoming XFL Draft is the latest in a series of moves designed to differentiate itself from the NFL and other established sports properties. It is also planning to introduce premium seating on the sidelines of its games through a new partnership with sports and entertainment consulting firm Elevate Sports Ventures. 

The XFL is slated to restart play February 8, 2020.