Cardale Jones is balling for the DC Defenders, and he's not the only XFL standout beginning to generate NFL buzz.
Here are five players in the rebooted league, including Jones, who are pushing to get back onto the NFL radar:
Did you know Jones is 13-0 as a starter between college and the pros? The former Ohio State signal-caller has been on point in two outings for the Defenders and has looked significantly more comfortable than most other quarterbacks in the league. Jones has been accurate to all levels of the field, utilizing strong footwork on timing routes while showing an ability to improvise when a play breaks down. He's thrown for 511 yards and four touchdowns through two contests while completing 62% of his passes.
Gates was too big, too strong, and too fast for the BattleHawks in Week 2, and he now sits atop the XFL with 11 tackles to go with a sack. The 23-year-old was a superstar in the AAF for the Memphis Express and had a brief stint with the Washington Redskins after the league disbanded. It's clear that Gates is too good for this level of competition.
Formerly a training camp star with the Los Angeles Rams, Spruce now leads the XFL in receiving with 192 yards. The 27-year-old caught two touchdowns in Week 2 with former Rams teammate Todd Gurley in attendance, and Gurley revealed in a TV interview that Spruce actually taught him how to catch out of the backfield. Spruce led the San Diego Fleet in receiving last year before the AAF folded, and he had an illustrious career at Colorado before going undrafted in 2016. He had a chance to make the Rams as a rookie but suffered a knee injury while making a game-winning play in the preseason.
Referred to the league by former Indianapolis Colts teammate Andrew Luck, Walker has taken the XFL by storm. He boasts a good arm and electric athleticism, and there's reason to believe the 24-year-old isn't a finished product. Walker's been billed as the Patrick Mahomes of the XFL, in part because of a filthy side-arm touchdown pass he made against the BattleHawks. However, the way he scrambles when the pocket breaks down is more reminiscent of Russell Wilson.
King is averaging 47.2 yards per punt through two games, a number that would have ranked fourth in the NFL in 2019. His best ball was mishandled by his teammates, who knocked the punt into the end zone while it sat inside the 1-yard line against the Renegades in the opening week. It's no secret that King has a big leg - he's a former NFL second-team All-Pro, after all. He's doing everything he can with the BattleHawks to earn a second kick at the can.