For the second time in as many seasons, the WFA is coming in swinging with another 4 team expansion draft. This time coming from 20 to 24 and unlike last time, we have a bit more saucy stuff in mind. 4 teams with greatly varying levels of experience in ownership or coaching in the WFA and each coming in with different philosophies that are already starting to show through in some of the very early trades. But before we get into the meat and potatoes of the draft, let’s break down what talent our 4 new bachelors will have to choose from for Season 10.
To say there’s a good batch of talent to select from in S10 might be one of the greatest understatements made in the league in recent memory. Thanks in part to expiring contracts and some teams wanting and needed to offload higher end contracts, it’s a field day of silver and gold talent available for the new teams. Starting with some of the high profile names, we got QBs like Hugo Zachary, Harrison Miller, and Art Vandelay all at gold values up for grabs. Now if you’ve been paying attention, Jake is a bit desperate for Art to be gone and after a rough season with the former blue crew, he could be someone taken in the very early rounds of the draft. Same goes for Miller and Zachary. Heck, you could also throw in reigning GenBowl MVP Leroy Lucas Grant who Vermont let walk as a valid option at QB should a team want him. If teams play this right, they could have a franchise QB come the end of draft night.
But the talent doesn’t end at QB. Defense is absolutely loaded with talent from line to backfield. Players like Kazuya Wakamatsu, Cliff Holmes, and Lewis Levins stack the defensive box. Meanwhile, recently progressed Prince Washington, DeAndre Williams, and Doug Barney can fill up a backfield with superstars. That doesn’t also include the plethora of silvers and high end bronzes who while they might not be super sexy, will help round out the rosters and help solve a lot of the depth issues some teams may have early on. Possibly even give some guys a new lease on life in their careers and become stars in their new markets.
But now, let’s introduce our 4 fighters in this draft. We got interesting teams with interesting owners that, if you ask the writer of this article, will come in with very different goals in this draft.
First off, we got the team that’s been on the clock for a few weeks now, the Memphis SteelHogs. Owned by former Memphis Tribe owner DB, he returns to the city with the cool ass pyramid with a veil of secrecy around his plans. With him, according to sources, not interested in pre season trades so we don’t really know what he’s valuing early on. When reached for comment, he only said that opponents should be ready for some SEC ball. We can infer from how he has coached in the past and what he did in Memphis before. During this past season in Green Bay, DB did something very unconventional for the Wolfpack and committed the team to the run game to mixed results given his team’s build. With rumors of him claiming his bellcow back through the proper draft, He could look for accompanying pieces through his 10 picks. Offensively, players like Nick Cricks III, Derrick King, and Oliver Barrington are prime to pick to help build around whatever star back DB may choose. Defensively he has some decent options, but given his division, those might not be super necessary especially in S10. If I were DB, I’d focus on getting the surrounding cast together for an all out rushing assault.
Next up, we head to Canada where the WFA’s presence remains thanks to Ernest McCray and his Calgary Crash. Now the boys from Alberta already have a player on hand in their roster with Bull McCray who could possibly slot in nicely as a WR1 or maybe even a WR2 depending on how they play their hand in this draft and free agency. If they look to build the WR corp, they have a few options, most notably JJ Bryant from Santa Fe who I am sure will hope he goes to leave more room open for new WR1 Ryan Rosevelt. But another position McCray has hinted towards on the trade block chat is the ever elusive QB. Specifically stating he’s looking for a gold or silver level guy. Now as I’ve stated before, he’s picked a damn good draft to want that as there are 3 gold and 2 silvers on hand. But of course if he wants them he’s gotta be aggressive, 2 of the more sought after QBs are in positions where they could be locked out due to their teams losing too many players. If Calgary gets their QB this draft, expect it to come in the first or maybe second round.
Third in line comes the team in the WFA’s new biggest market, the New Jersey Mustangs. The horse enjoyers come in with a certain stipulation with their draft, that being the fact they don’t have a first round pick to fall back on should things go horribly wrong. Having traded that pick away for gold SS Andy Todd. Staking their claim early on with building their defense. Now focusing on the safety position is a bit odd considering they’ll be division mates with 2 of the 3 best HBs the league has to offer (Jake Blanchard in Boston and Bradley Davis in Vermont). But alas, you go for what you can get. Plus side though is that if they want to hone in on rush defense (which is my personal advice) they have options. Most notable would be to steal former Berserker Kazuya Wakamatsu who has been allowed to walk by the boys from Burlington. You also have Cliff Holmes available from Chicago’s free agent pile to plug up the middle of the rushing attack. Also much like Calgary they could lean into their passing attack with some rumors going around possibly targeting the TE position. But since they pick after to start the draft, they may not get the exact guy they want. So flexibility and a deep draft plan are in need for New Jersey.
Last, but most certainly not least we land in Ohio to meet the flight crew of the Dayton Aviators. If there is any grand mystery in this WFA it is most certainly this team. All I have to work with to this point is that there had been some rumblings of them wanting a FB early on, and they may be one of their first back to back picks. Which would put them directly in the line of fire against Memphis at that position. The main benefit that Dayton will have is that they can kill 2 birds with one stone every time they pick. So for them, the primary goal I would say is to simply be patient and see what comes to you. Watch what the other 3 are doing and pick out those diamonds in the rough. Take QB for example, the other 3 rob you of all the golds? Grab LLG or Middlebrooks if you can. Talent’s abound in this draft and since they get to pick twice in a row every time the Aviators, unlike others, can more truly craft a team to their will. Fortunately, they still have a first round pick to boot, so if this draft isn’t the best, a gold talent is waiting for them in the wings.
So those are your 4 combatants for the S10 expansion draft. A lot of drama and intrigue will surely come over those few hours and in the days and weeks after the draft. As the league's 4 youngest clubs get ready for battle against some of the finest sim football has to offer. If you want to tune in, make sure to stay locked in this Friday, March 3rd, at 8PM EST for live wall to wall coverage of one of the WFA’s biggest offseason events.