Day One of the XFL inaugural draft kicked off Tuesday and several former Pittsburgh Steelers were part of its class. In the “skill” phase of the draft, teams only drafting offensive skill positions, seven players who spent time in black and gold were selected.
RB Trey Williams was the first Steeler off the board, drafted 7th overall by the Seattle Dragons. Williams spent the 2017 training camp in Pittsburgh, briefly catching the headlines for his 64 yard punt return touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons.
That success was short-lived. Pittsburgh still cut him after the preseason ended and he wound up playing in the AAF before the league folded earlier this year.
QB Brogan Roback was up next, taken 11th overall by the St. Louis BattleHawks. Roback was briefly a Steeler this winter, signed to a futures contract after the 2018 season ended. But he lost his roster spot to none other than Devlin Hodges, who parlayed that into his first career start – and win – Sunday night.
WR Sammie Coates was chosen 18th overall by the Houston Roughnecks. He’s also the highest profile Steeler drafted. A former 3rd round pick, he caught 22 passes for 446 yards and two touchdowns before questionable hands got him traded to Cleveland. He most recently spent time with the Houston Texans last year, notching one reception for 12 yards.
Rounding things out in the first few rounds were WR L’Damian Washington, also taken by St. Louis, with the 27th pick. He had a short stay with the Steelers, signed during the offseason but suffering an injury during minicamp that sent him to IR. Since then, he’s bounced around multiple teams including a stint in the CFL.
Demarcus Ayers was drafted with the 35th pick of the Day One draft. A 7th round pick out of Houston in 2016, Ayers caught six passes for 53 yards and a touchdown as a rookie. He also caught three more passes in Pittsburgh’s playoff run that year. He’s now a member of the New York Gladiators.
Finally, a pair of TEs were taken in the 9th round. Cameron Clear went 71st overall to Seattle while Scott Orndoff was taken by the Los Angeles Wildcats with the next pick. Clear was a UDFA blocker out of Texas A&M while Orndoff was a Pitt product. Neither player made the 53 man roster.
Like the AAF, eight quarterbacks were assigned prior to the draft, one for each team. The first one announced weeks ago was Landry Jones, cut by Pittsburgh at the end of the 2018 preseason.
The XFL will resume their draft with the offensive linemen phase tomorrow.