2023 XFL draft: Orlando Guardians look to improve on league’s worst record

The Guardians finished with the XFL's worst record in 2023, but have a chance to reload via the XFL draft

The Guardians had a 1-9 record in the 2023 XFL season, but with that record comes the top selection in the rookie draft allowing a fresh opportunity for the next season. With their selections, the Guardians have shown that they are hoping to compete next season. Let’s take a look at who Orlando is drafted and will now work on signing to play in 2024.

Orlando Guardians XFL draft picks:

Jeremy Cooper OL Cincinnati
Jeremy Cooper has been a standout man on the offensive line for Cincinnati, including when his Bearcats made it to the College Football Playoff. Cooper can protect whoever is the quarterback in a world of shaky O line play. This pick gives Orlando the chance to upgrade at a serious position of need, as last season the team gave up a whopping 37 sacks through the season.

Kosi Eldridge LB Texas Tech

Kosi Eldridge just had his best collegiate season with the Red Raiders and now he could be playing pro football in the XFL. Eldridge is a versatile linebacker than can do almost anything you want him to do. He could fit in and help the Orlando defense which struggled mightily in the 2023 season. Eldridge did not get drafted by the NFL, meaning that the XFL may be his big chance to make it in the pros.

Terry Hampton DL Arkansas

The Defensive Line for Orlando could get even better with the addition of Terry Hampton out of Arkansas. Hampton was a strong piece on the lines at both Arkansas and Arkansas State, and he was able to stuff anything coming out of the backfield. If he signs with Orlando, he could become a top lineman in the entire XFL.

Brock Martin DL Oklahoma State

Another Defensive line pick for Orlando is Brock Martin. Martin is another strong lineman who, if he signs, could be a force on the line. Martin is a guy who’s seen what NFL camps are like, as he was cut by the Falcons after going to their minicamp earlier this year. He fits the XFL mold, and now he has a chance to sign and play.

Jarret Horst OL Michigan State

This pick is really interesting. Horst could help the O-line which gave up 37 sacks last season, but there’s a few problems with the pick. Horst is a top prospect for spring football. He was selected by the USFL’s Panthers first overall in their rookie draft. Was this a mistake on Orlando’s part? It feels as though they are assuming that Horst wasn’t going to sign with the Panthers as he tested out the NFL waters. As well, this is another doubling up on the line, which could be good, or could be bad if it doesn’t work out.

Other Guardians picks:

KD Hill D-Line Ole Miss

Darius Joiner DB Duke

Jacquez Jones LB Kentucky

Keyron Kinsler Jr DB Alcorn State

LaQuinston Sharp OL Mississippi State

Orlando has focused on reshaping their lines on both sides of the ball selecting five different linemen total. It’s clear they weren’t happy with the performance on either side of the ball and look for an improvement from these units in 2024. Even if that improvement means wholesale changes across both units. Keep in mind this is just the first of multiple draft classes that will balloon these rosters to 90 men.

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