The coronavirus has affected nearly everything in our day-to-day lives. The XFL decided to suspend their regular-season games out of concern for public safety. One thing that you have to respect from the league is that they are paying their players for the entire season, and the players will maintain their benefits as well. All XFL ticket holders will be issued refunds or credit toward future games. The XFL isn’t finished, as the league said they’re committed to playing a full season in 2021 and future years.
The San Francisco 49ers have done a great job finding talent outside of the first round of the NFL Draft. Last offseason, they signed Daniel Brunskill and Damontre Moore out of the AAF. Both of those players made significant contributions in 2019, and hopefully, that continues in 2020. The XFL released its players to pursue contracts with NFL teams. Let’s look at some players that could intrigue the 49ers.
WR Cam Phillips
I remember watching Phillips when he came out of the draft as a Hokie. Phillips is only 24-years-old, which means he will likely get another shot at the NFL. He didn’t test well, and if you run slow at 6’0”, 199 pounds, you’re fighting an uphill battle. At his pro day, Phillips ran a 4.79 40-yard dash. He was always “quicker than fast,” but that time will raise eyebrows for the wrong reasons.
That didn’t stop Phillips from producing in the XFL. He led the league in receiving by 117 yards. Phillips led the league in receptions while catching 70% of his targets, and also scored five more touchdowns than any receiver. Bring him in for OTAs and training camp and see if Phillips is a good fit for Kyle Shanahan’s offense.
DT Antonio Guerad
Guerad was a UDFA out of UCF. This would be the 49ers adding some much-needed beef inside. Guerad is 6-foot-4, 326 pounds. Jullian Taylor was the only defensive lineman over 300 pounds that was active during the playoffs, and it showed. I’m not saying Guerad is going to be the next Vince Wilfork, but he’d be a cheap addition, and he was impressive in limited action against the run.
Edge Cavon Walker
Walker is 6-foot-2, 284 pounds, and in the mold of those long, athletic, defensive ends that the Niners covet. Walker is here because he was the most productive edge rusher in the XFL. Walker led the league in total pressures, sacks, and stops. He has NFL experience, too. Walker has spent time in the preseason with both the Chicago Bears and the Kansas City Chiefs. He seems like the perfect camp body for the Niners, and if you get anything more out of him, that’s the icing on the cake.
DB Elijah Campbell
Campbell is a defensive back that played safety in college at Northern Iowa. For the XFL, Campbell played cornerback. The 49ers will be thin at both positions after 2020, so finding a diamond in the rough—as they did with Emmanuel Moseley—would make for another great offseason. Campbell ran a 4.34 40-yard dash at the XFL’s showcase. In four XFL games, Campbell allowed five receptions on nine targets for only 25 yards. He had two pass breakups. Campbell’s most impressive stat was only allowing four yards total after the catch.