The Alliance of American Football is ready to kick off in February and started stacking teams with signal-callers on Tuesday in its quarterback draft.
The spring league launched by former Carolina Panthers, Buffalo Bills and Indianapolis Colts general manager Bill Polian and TV executive Charlie Ebersol comprises eight teams and held a special quarterback only draft on Tuesday.
You may recognize some of these QBS
Some familiar names made the cut, including former NFL quarterbacks Josh Johnson and Christian Hackenberg along with former Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Aaron Murray.
Johnson started five games for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after playing at the University of San Diego and was protected by the San Diego Fleet per league rules that gave teams first choice on players that went to college near the team’s home city.
Hackenberg was once considered a first-round NFL prospect at his peak at Penn State before being selected in the second round of the 2016 NFL draft by the New York Jets. He never threw an NFL pass. He went in the second round of Tuesday’s draft as well, chosen by the Memphis Express.
Murray was a standout at Georgia before being selected by the Kansas City Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL draft. Like Hackenberg, he never threw an NFL pass. Like Johnson, he was protected by his home-region team in the first round by the Atlanta Legends.
32 QBS taken over four rounds
Four teams chose to protect home-region quarterbacks in the first round, leaving the other four teams to draft in traditional order. From there, there were three more rounds of quarterback drafting. Here’s how things played out.
San Diego Fleet protects: Josh Johnson
Atlanta Legends protects: Aaron Murray
Memphis Express protects: Troy Cook
San Antonio Commanders protects: Dustin Vaughan
Birmingham Iron: Luis Perez
Arizona Hotshots: Trevor Knight
Orlando Apollos: Garrett Gilbert
Salt Lake Stallions: Josh Woodrum
San Diego Fleet: Mike Bercovici
Birmingham Iron: Blake Sims
Arizona Hotshots: John Wolford
Orlando Apollos: Stephen Morris
Atlanta Legends: Matt Simms
Salt Lake Stallions: B.J. Daniels
Memphis Express: Christian Hackenberg
San Antonio Commanders: Marquise Williams
San Antonio Commanders picks: Logan Woodside
Memphis Express picks: Brandon Silvers
Salt Lake Stallions picks: Austin Allen
Atlanta Legends picks: Peter Pujals
Orlando Apollos picks: Austin Appleby
Arizona Hotshots picks: Quinn McQueary
Birmingham Iron picks: Scott Tolzien
San Diego Fleet picks: Philip Nelson
San Antonio Commanders: Dalton Sturm
Memphis Express: Zach Mettenberger
Salt Lake Stallions: Matt Linehan
Atlanta Legends: Justin Holman
Orlando Apollos: Kevin Anderson
Arizona Hotshots: Jack Heneghan
Birmingham Iron: Alek Torgersen
San Diego Fleet: Alex Ross
Coaches sound familiar too
The AAF also has a familiar list of coaches. If you haven’t followed all of the hot AAF coaching hire news, here’s a recap.
Atlanta Legends: Brad Childress
Arizona Hotshots: Rick Neuheisel
Birmingham Iron: Tim Lewis
Memphis Express: Mike Singletary
Orlando Apollos: Steve Spurrier
Salt Lake Stallions: Dennis Erickson
San Antonio Commanders: Mike Riley
San Diego Fleet: Mike Martz
The season kicks off on Feb. 9, the Saturday after the Super Bowl.
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