Our XFL power rankings will be your one-stop shop each week to find out what is the pecking order among the eight teams in the late winter-early spring professional football league.
After three years away, a bankruptcy filing, and then the league being sold to Hollywood superstar and WWE legend Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in 2021, the XFL will return to the field with an opening weekend featuring their first set of four games on Feb. 18 and 19. The season will span 10 weeks before the 2023 XFL playoffs kick off at the end of April.
With this season’s draft and training camp in Texas out of the way, let’s take a look at the XFL power rankings heading into Week 1 of the 2023 Xtreme Football League season.
8. Orlando Guardians
The Orlando Guardians fall to the final spot in these first XFL power rankings just because the early reviews on their roster and coaching staff led by Terrell Buckley aren’t strong. Both of those elements of their 2023 squad are unproven, especially with a quarterback room that features no-names DeAndre Francois, Mitch Kidd, and Quentin Dormady. While there are some talented skill players on the roster, this team has a lot to prove early.
7. St. Louis Battlehawks
Similar to Orlando, the St. Louis Battlehawks also have an inexperienced coaching staff, however, former New York Jets tight end Anthony Becht has been receiving solid reviews on his performance early on. Plus, the team has a five-year NFL veteran QB in AJ McCarron and several talented receivers on the roster. They certainly have the potential to surprise early in 2023.
6. Houston Roughnecks
The Houston Roughnecks have the most notable veteran head coach in Wade Phillips leading the team in 2023. That means there is reason to expect, at the very least, for the defensive guru to mold Houston into being one of the better defensive units in the XFL power rankings. However, several questions surround the offense heading into Week 1 which lands them at six in our first list.
5. Las Vegas Vipers
The Las Vegas Vipers have an interesting upside considering the unique group of defensive minds they have to lead the team. First-time head coach and Hall-of-Famer Rod Woodson is one of the marquee names in this latest version of the XFL, and he will get the help of USFL coaching veteran and two-time Pro Bowler Chris Dishman as his defensive coordinator.
Also of note is that QB Bryan Scott is an early player to watch with some around the league viewing him as a dark horse MVP candidate. Plus, the group has several known NFL veterans on both sides of the ball entering the season.
4. San Antonio Brahmas
The XFL squad with the league boss’ nickname is the team from San Antonio. The Brahmas also have a former Pittsburgh Steelers legend in Hines Ward leading them, but unlike other first-time head coaches, Ward has a pair of coordinators that have a unique leg up on their contemporaries.
Jamie Elizondo and Jim Herrmann both have experience in situations like this, and they have previous histories with several key players on their units. Giving them a chance at a faster learning curve and start to the 2023 season.
3. D.C. Defenders
The DC Defenders have a major upside due to the successful relationship of head coach Reggie Barlow and offense coordinator Fred Kaiss, who have done well together in every stop they have joined each other at. Expect this to be a top rushing unit in 2023, because that is what these two coaches have specialized at in the past.
They have a strong backfield with Abram Smith, Ryquell Armstead, and Artavis Pierce. They also have 2022 USFL passing leader Jordan Ta’amu on the roster as an option at QB. This is a team that should have a balanced offense and could become a problem for opponents each week.
2. Seattle Sea Dragons
The Seattle Dragons land a high spot in the latest XFL power rankings due to the unique connections and experience of their top front office figure and the coaching staff. Sea Dragons Director of Player Personnel Randy Mueller, former New Orleans Saints head coach Jim Haslett, established NFL OC June Jones, and DC Ron Zook have worked together at various levels. Including Mueller and Haslett in the XFL in 2020.
It means they are as unified as any team at the top of the organization and will have a shared focus and direction for their roster in Week 1. Putting it all out on the field will be the big question but they have solid weapons to work with on both sides of the ball, including former NFL star receiver Josh Gordon.
1. Arlington Renegades
Oklahoma University coaching Bob Stoops is a big part of the reason why the Arlington Renegades land in the top spot of the XFL power rankings. He seemingly learned from his failings in XFL 2020 and filled out his staff this time with better fits, including former St. Louis Battlehawks head coach Jonathan Hayes.
The Texas squad is going with co-coordinators on both sides of the ball to get the most out of their deep and experienced coaching staff that has a roster full of proven spring pro football stars. Including Will Hill, and DeVaunte Bausby, as well as QB Kyle Sloter and tight end Sal Canella. Two players that already have a great deal of built-in experience playing together.