The Seattle Dragons might have created a loyal fan base in Auburn, Ala., during the second day of the XFL draft Wednesday that began with the defensive-back phase.
That is because after the Dragons took cornerback Jhavonte Dean from Miami in the first round, they took cornerback Chris Davis, an Auburn legend, in the second round.
Then, after picking four former Seahawks on Tuesday, the Dragons added more players with local connections.
In the open phase of the draft where teams took 30 players to fill out their 71-man rosters, the Dragons selected more players with local connections. Two former Huskies, running back Lavon Coleman and defensive tackle Shane Bowman were taken, as was BJ Daniels, a former Seahawk quarterback and wide receiver. Tight end Connor Hamlett, a former Meadowdale High School of Lynnwood star who played at Oregon State, was also selected.
“I am very excited that we were able to put together a strong effort in securing a pretty good team to start with,” said coach and general manager Jim Zorn. “If you think what we accomplished the last two days — we drafted 70 players. With that, there had to be a lot of cooperation and team effort. … The coaches stepped up, and I am really proud of the work they put in and I can’t say enough about (director of player personnel) Tony Softli and the work that he did.”
Davis would need no introduction in Alabama, where he etched himself into history with one of the most memorable plays in college football history in the 2013 Iron Bowl pitting rivals Alabama and Auburn.
Alabama, ranked No. 1, and Auburn, ranked No. 4, appeared headed for overtime at 28-28 when time ran out, but after a video review, one second was put back on the clock and Alabama attempted a game-winning 57-yard field goal.
Then came the “Kick Six.” The field goal was short and Davis collected it at the back of the end zone. He ran and he ran, and after covering 109 yards (100 officially), he had not only beaten the defending national champions but had made himself the central figure in what some have called the greatest moment in college football history.
Davis was not selected in the 2014 NFL draft, but played two seasons for the San Diego Chargers and part of one for the San Francisco. He signed with Birmingham of the now-defunct Alliance of American Football, but was injured before the start of the season and did not play.
Dean had three interceptions for the Miami Hurricanes to tie for the team lead. He was signed as an undrafted free agent by Cleveland, claimed by Pittsburgh when he was waived, then released again before the NFL season began.
A few of the players Seattle took in the DB draft have NFL experience, including safety Kentrell Brice, who played for the Green Bay Packers the past three seasons and started 10 games last year. Seattle got Brice in the third round, then took NFL veteran Steve Williams from Cal in the fourth round.
In the ninth round, the Dragons took cornerback Mohammed Seisay from Nebraska. After Seisay played with the Detroit Lions in 2014, the Seattle Seahawks traded a sixth-round pick for him in 2015. But he got injured in training camp and never played in a game for the Seahawks.
In the 10th round, Seattle took cornerback Sterling Moore from SMU, who played in the NFL for seven seasons (2011-17) with four teams and started in 31 games. He has six career interceptions in the NFL.
Linebacker Nyles Morgan from Notre Dame was the Dragons’ first pick in the open phase of the draft. He was a team captain for the Irish as a senior in 2017 when he was second on the team with 91 tackles.
Seattle also added Martin Ifedi, a defensive end from Memphis and brother of current Seahawks offensive lineman Germain Ifedi.
After not taking a quarterback in the skill-position phase Tuesday, Seattle took one with its second pick of the open phase, selecting Joe Callahan from NCAA Division III Wesley.
Zorn said the team will have a minicamp that starts Dec. 5 and he is looking forward to seeing his team in action.
Phase 4: Defensive backs
1. Jhavonte Dean, CB, Miami (6)
2. Chris Davis, CB, Auburn (11)
3. Kentrell Brice, S, Louisiana Tech (22)
4. Steve Williams, CB, California (27)
5. Channing Stribling, CB, Michigan (38)
6. Cody Brown, S, Arkansas State (43)
7. Jordan Martin, S, Syracuse (54)
8. Tyson Graham, S, South Dakota (59)
9. Mohammed Seisay, CB, Nebraska (70)
10. Sterling Moore, CB, SMU (75)
Open draft, phase 1:
Joe Callahan, QB, Wesley
Lavon Coleman, RB, Washington
Connor Hamlett, TE, Oregon State
Colin Jeter, TE, Louisiana State
Marcell Frazier, DE, Missouri
Nyles Morgan, LB, Notre Dame
Gionni Paul, LB, Utah
Brock Miller, P, Southern Utah
Greg Joseph, K, Florida Atlantic
Noah Borden, LS, Hawaii
Open draft, phase 2:
Mikah Holder, WR, San Diego State
Austin Proehl, WR, North Carolina
Korey Robertson, WR, Southern Mississippi
Ben Johnson, TE, Kansas
Brandon Haskin, OT, Tennessee State
Jeremy Liggins, DT, Mississippi
Jordan Thompson, DT, Northwestern
Martin Ifedi, DE, Memphis
Anthony Johnson, DE, Floria International
Dante Booker, LB, Ohio State
Open draft, Phase 3:
BJ Daniels, QB, South Florida
Ja’Quan Gardner, RB, Humboldt State
Reuben Mwehla, WR, Idaho
Jalen Rowell, WR, Air Force
Naty Rodgers, OT, Houston
Shane Bowman, DT, Washington
Durrant Miles, DE, Boise State
Kyle Queiro, LB, Northwestern
Jermaine Ponder, CB, Saint Francis (PA)
Santos Ramirez, SAF, Arkansas