XFL: Guardians Select Seven Defensive Players, Three Offensive Linemen

ORLANDO (www.sportsdayjax.com) – The 2023 XFL Rookie Draft was held Friday, with each team selecting the rights to 10 players. 

Seven of Orlando’s selections were on the defensive side of the ball, including three defensive linemen, two linebackers and two defensive backs. The three offensive players chosen by the Guardians were all offensive linemen.

The following is a brief bio of each of the Orlando Guardians’ selections:

OL, Jeremy Cooper, Cincinnati

  • In 2022, helped lead the offense to No. 16 in the nation for red zone offense (.902) and No. 21

  • in the nation for fourth down conversion rate (.619)

  • Finished career with 29 starts

  • As the starting left guard, helped Cincinnati secure a berth in the College Football Playoff in 2021

  • Was a 2023 NFLPA Bowl Participant

  • Participated in Kansas City Chiefs rookie minicamp after going undrafted.

LB, Kosi Eldridge, Texas Tech

  • Put together his best collegiate season in 2022 to wrap his Red Raider career after earning the

  • starting nod at weakside linebacker in preseason camp

  • Started in all 13 games at linebacker in 2022, making him one of only four players on the

  • defensive side of the ball to do so

  • Was the Red Raiders’ second-leading tackler in 2022, with a career-high 91 stops (60 solo),

  • including 4.5 for a loss and 2.5 sacks

DL, Terry Hampton, Arkansas

  • 2022 was his lone season at Arkansas, appearing in all 13 games with three starts, recording

  • 25 tackles with 3.5 tackles for loss and a pair of sacks as a defensive tackle

  • Started all 11 games on the defensive line in 2021 at Arkansas State, recording 35 tackles,

  • 6.0 tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks

DL, KD Hill, Mississippi

  • Played in 47 career games with the Rebels and finished his career with 58 total tackles,

  • four tackles for loss and a sack

  • 2022 Chucky Mullins Courage Award winner

  • 2022 Wuerffel Trophy Watch List

OL, Jarrett Horst, Michigan State

  • Played in eight games, starting seven at left tackle in 2022 at Michigan State

  • Started in 34 of 35 career collegiate games played (started 19 games at left tackle in 2019-20

  • for Arkansas State; started eight games at left tackle in 2021 for the Red Wolves, seven games

  • at left tackle in 2022 for the Spartans)

  • Invited to play in the 2023 Hula Bowl in Orlando

DB, Darius Joiner, Duke 

  • 2022 Third-team All-ACC selection, started all 13 games and finished first on the team in

  • tackles (97), tied for first in INTs (two), second in TFLs (8.0), fourth in sacks (4.0) and QB

  • pressures (five) 

  • FCS All-America honoree in 2021 at Western Illinois

  • Also played four years at Jacksonville State

LB, Jacquez Jones, Kentucky 

  • Named a 2022 team captain for the Wildcats

  • Finished his collegiate career seeing action in 52 career games played with 38 starting

  • assignments over five seasons

  • Totaled 305 career tackles (182 at Ole Miss and 123 at UK) along with 17.5 tackles for

  • loss, 4.0 sacks, six pass breakups, four forced fumbles, two interceptions and one fumble

  • recovery

DB, Keyron Kinsler Jr., Alcorn State

  • Ranked third on the squad in total tackles with 61 (34 solo, 27 assisted) in 2022

  • Collected one interception on the season and was tied for second overall with five

  • pass deflections across his senior season

  • Earned invitation to FCS National Bowl all-star game

DL, Brock Martin, Oklahoma State

  • His 62 career games played are among the most in school history, with 34 starts

  • Recorded 145 tackles, 40 tackles for loss and 16 sacks in his career

  • 2022 Team Captain was a second-team All-Big XII selection

OL, LaQuinston Sharp, Mississippi State

  • 2021 All-SEC honorable mention (PFF)

  • 3x SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week in 2022

  • Transferred to Miss State in 2017 after playing at East Mississippi CC)

Players who were drafted in the XFL Rookie Draft will be placed on XFL rosters with players who finished the 2023 season on active and reserve lists. XFL teams will hold exclusive rights with the players they select in the draft.

For undrafted players, the XFL will host a series of player showcases across the United States in June and July. These showcases will give prospective football players a chance to exhibit their skills in front of XFL coaches and personnel directors. Players will be evaluated based on performance for inclusion in the XFL Draft player pool for the upcoming 2024 season. The top performers will be invited to the XFL Combine, which will be held July 25-27 in Arlington, Texas.

Additional showcases will be held throughout the summer in Atlanta (June 18), St. Louis (July 7), Washington DC (July 9), Houston (July 14) and Arizona (July 16). Additional information on each of the showcases can be found below. 

The XFL Combine, which will be held July 25-27 in Arlington, Texas, will be an invite only. Invitations will be sent to the top performers from the showcases earlier in the summer.

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