Sean Pendergast

XFL Announces Draft Date, Roughnecks Picking Second Overall

June Jones and the Roughnecks will pick second overall among the skill player pool.
June Jones and the Roughnecks will pick second overall among the skill player pool. Photo by Sean Pendergast
The XFL announced on Monday afternoon that their inaugural player draft will take place over two days on Tuesday, October 15 and Wednesday, October 16. They will use their various online platforms —, @xfl2020 on Twitter, @xfl on Instagram, and the social media channels of the eight XFL teams — to announce each player selection.

For football fans used to the three-day, seven-round format of the NFL Draft, you will need to get used to a different format with the XFL, as over this two-day period, they plan to fill the 71-man rosters of the eight franchises by having teams select players from a set of positional groupings. After each team has a quarterback assigned to it prior to the draft, the draft will unfold in five phases, with teams drafting within five different positional groups:

PHASE 1. Skill Players (QB, RB, WR, TE)
PHASE 2. Offensive Line (OT, OG, OC)
PHASE 3. Defensive Front Seven (DL, LB)
PHASE 4. Defensive Backfield (CB, NB, SS, FS)
PHASE 5. Open Draft (all remaining players after positional drafts, in addition to P/K/LS)

According to the league's press release on the draft details, here is how the execution will go:

The draft pool will include approximately 1,000 professional football players, all of whom accepted a Commissioner’s Invitation and passed a standard background check. In Phases 1-4, each team will choose ten players for a total of 40 players. In Phase 5, each team will choose from the pool of remaining players to complete its initial roster.

Using a “snake” format, the selection order within each phase reverses after every round: the team selecting first in the first round will pick eighth in the second round, first in the third round, eighth in the fourth round and so on. The order of selection was determined by lottery under the supervision of Commissioner Oliver Luck.

The coaches and scouts for each XFL team will gather in their local markets to draft their initial rosters. Teams will be given 90 seconds to make a selection and declare their picks through a video conference with the XFL home office in Stamford, Connecticut.
The Houston Roughnecks will be picking in the following slots in each phase:

PHASE 1. 2nd overall ... Skill Players (QB, RB, WR, TE)
PHASE 2. 7th overall ... Offensive Line (OT, OG, OC)
PHASE 3. 6th overall ... Defensive Front Seven (DL, LB)
PHASE 4. 3rd overall ... Defensive Backfield (CB, NB, SS, FS)
PHASE 5. 6th overall ... Open Draft (all remaining players after positional drafts, in addition to P/K/LS)

The league plans to release the names of the 1,000 or so draft eligible players in waves over the next several days, including the release of the first batch of names on Monday:

Here are a few of the more recognizable names to football fans here in Houston and around the country:

ROBERTO AGUAYO, K, Florida State
Former second round pick of the Buccaneers who was famously released on "Hard Knocks". Relive the magic....

Houston area native, who was in training camp with the Texans over the summer.

CONNOR COOK, QB, Michigan State
The starting QB of the only team Bill O'Brien has been able to beat in the postseason, the 2016 Oakland Raiders.

KENNAN GILCHRIST, LB, Appalachian State
One time Texans training camp body.

JONAS GRAY, RB, Notre Dame
One time New England Patriot, who famously rushed for 201 yards and four touchdowns in his fourth NFL game, made the cover of Sports Illustrated, and then was a healthy inactive for a majority of the remainder of the season. Weird career arc.

Former QB, turned WR in college, still trying to hang onto the football dream.

KHARI LEE, TE, Bowie State
Former Texans TE, probably most famous for his Bill O'Brien impersonation....

Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at and like him on Facebook at
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Sean Pendergast is a contributing freelance writer who covers Houston area sports daily in the News section, with periodic columns and features, as well. He also hosts afternoon drive on SportsRadio 610, as well as the post game show for the Houston Texans.
Contact: Sean Pendergast