Atlanta Firebirds

Defensive Ends

Christo Bilukidi – 6aaf

Quinton Coples – 7a

Ray Drew – 6aa

Alex Hall – 7c

Mike Neal – 8c$

Donte Paige-Moss – 7aac

Ethan Westbrooks – 7aa

Defensive Tackles

Grady Jarrett – 9a

Chris Mayes – 6aa

Joe Vellano – 8c

Summary: Atlanta has some good pass rushers but they had some inconsistent efforts at camp. Sophomore Grady Jarrett broke out and looks like he’s ready to become an elite player and Mike Neal is a great steal from the NFL but there are guys who need to prove themselves after those two. Joe Vellano is an interesting player who was a key reason the Marauders won the title two years ago, but he really dropped off last year and was traded out of New York to Nashville and then flipped again to Atlanta. He can rebound, but he had a disappointing camp.

Birmingham Predators

Defensive Ends

Dean Lowry – 7aa

Claude Pelon – 6aa

DJ Pettway – 6a

Luis Vasquez – 7

Defensive Tackles

Antwan Crutcher – 7

Sione Fua – 6

Joey Mbu – 6aa

David Onyemata – 7aa

Summary: David Onyemata and Dean Lowry are two impressive rookies who have had really good camps and could really develop into studs. Luis Vasquez can be a good veteran contributor and should be a favorite to start, but don’t be shocked if Claude Pelon ends up replacing him eventually after a good camp as well.

Carolina Generals

Defensive Ends

Deion Barnes – 6aa

Freddie Bishop – 8a

Joe Kruger – 7c

Cleyon Laing – 8aa

Jake Metz – 7aa

Defensive Tackles

Willie McGinnis – 8aa

Mike Patterson – 7d

Jerrell Powe – 6ac$

Padric Scott – 6a

Jason Stewart – 8D

Summary: Carolina has done a great job of finishing talent from the Arena League and the CFL. Freddie Bishop had a great camp and could be ready to step up and have a breakout season. Jake Metz has really developed well and could be a surprise this year too. Cleyon Laing had a breakout first year in the SFL but struggled at the end of last year. Still, he showed he can be a great pass rusher. On the interior, Willie McGinnis is a big nose tackle and at only 24-years-old he has some great football ahead of him.

Charleston Dragons

Defensive Ends

Alex McCalister – 6aa

Bobby Richardson – 6aa

Phil Taylor – 7aci

Billy Winn – 8

Defensive Tackles

Javon Hargrave – 7aa

Daniel McCullers – 7aa

Louis Nix III – 6aa

David Parry – 8aa

Summary: Charleston had a great core for a 3-4 defensive line if they wish to go that way. David Parry was spectacular as a rookie but had a miss some time with injuries. That hasn’t carried over into training camp. He’s perfectly healthy and playing well. Phil Taylor is still looking to turn his career around in Charleston. He had a disappointing 2016 season but it’s still impossible to give up on the former NFL first round pick. Billy Winn is a veteran who has probably reached his peak but should sustain at this level for a while.

Columbus Explorers

Defensive Ends

Quinton Dial – 8a

Ziggy Hood – 9a

Markus Kuhn – 7c

Defensive Tackles

Beau Allen – 8aa

Michael Bennett – 6aai

Ishmaa’ily Kitchen – 8

Summary: The Explorers have always done well to find 3-4 defensive linemen for their scheme. Beau Allen had a marvelous 2016 season and has picked up right where he left off and has some great depth behind him with Ish Kitchen, who would start for many teams, and the promising Michael Bennett. Ziggy Hood has also turned into one of the best 3-4 defensive ends, as had Quinton Dial. Markus Kuhn has good pass rushing ability and could push either guy for a starting spot.

Dallas Six-Shooters

Defensive Ends

Alex Bazzie – 8aa

Ja’Gared David – 7aa

Shaneil Jenkins – 6aa

Stansley Maponga – 7aa

Ashton Whitehead – 7a

Defensive Tackles

Davon Coleman – 6aa

Chucky Hunter – 6a

Darius Latham – 7aa

Jay Ratliff – 8D

Summary: Dallas did a great job to find not only inexpensive talent, but local players who the fans will love. The line has a bright future ahead of itself. Alex Bazzie looks like he can continue developing into a stud after a strong rookie year and a stronger training camp. The group is young though, their young talent has potential, but it’s a matter how long before they become what they should. Jay Ratliff is an interesting veteran who is clearly at the end of his career but might still had a season left to be a stopgap player.

Houston Wranglers

Defensive Ends

Donald Blair – 7aa

Andrew Hudson – 6aa

Phillip Hunt – 8c

Shawn Oakman – 6aa

Michael Sam – 7

Defensive Tackles

Andrew Billings – 6aaf

Damien Borel – 7a

Bryan Hall – 7a

DaVonte Lambert – 7a

Derrick Lott – 6a

Aziz Shittu – 6a

Summary: Houston has made a commitment to building a strong defensive line but did so by focusing their attention around young studs. That should give guys like Donald Blair, Shawn Oakman and Andrew Billings plenty of time to develop. Phillip Hunt is the only true veteran of the group and he seems like a great leader to the group. Billings has star potential. He had a disappointing camp, but has all the tools to be a great player. Michael Sam is making his come back and has displayed some pass rushing ability in camp but is very one-dimensional.

Los Angeles Stars

Defensive Ends

Trey Flowers – 8aa

AC Leonard – 6aa

Roy Robertson-Harris – 6aa

Davis Tull – 6aa

Jamaal Westerman – 8aa

Odell Willis – 8

Defensive Tackles

Marvin Austin – 7di

Christian Covington – 6a

Brandon Deaderick – 7

Caraun Reid – 7aa

Kyle Peko – 6aa

Summary: Under new ownership the Stars still have the same philosophy. They do a good job of finding pass rushers and look very good outside with Odell Willis, Jamaal Westerman and Trey Flowers creating a dangerous trio. Inside, Brandon Deaderick keeps surprising and had a good camp. Caraun Reid hasn’t quite lived up to his ability yet but is young and had a great camp and could break out. Christian Covington and Kyle Peko are on his heels for the second DT job next to Deadrick. Marvin Austin is on the downside of his career. He’s always been a nice physical specimin, but his injury history makes him a better option as a reserve.

Louisville Cougars

Defensive Ends

Farrington Huguenin – 6aa

Gabriel Knapton – 7aa

Mike Lewis – 7c

Anthony Orr – 6a

Anthony Spencer – 8di

Antwoine Williams – 7aa

Defensive Tackles

Red Bryant – 8D

David Butler – 6a

Cory Johnson – 6aa

Johannes Kain – 6

Charlie Walker – 6a

Summary: Louisville had a hard working group that overachieved last year but the team did a better job of bringing in some young talent to intertwine with some solid veterans this year. They are still a work in progress but Anthony Spencer and Red Bryant are two veterans who should lead the team. Look out for Gabriel Knapton. He hasn’t settle in with a team quite yet but he had a tremendous camp and could become a very good pass rusher for the Cougars.

Michigan Stags

Defensive Ends

Shilique Calhoun – 6aaf

Matt Judon – 7aa

Eric Norwood – 7c

Earl Okine – 6aa

Tristan Okpalaugo – 6aa

Za’Darius Smith – 7aa

Defensive Tackles

Alan-Michael Cash – 7a

Willie Henry – 6aa

Darius Kilgo – 6aa

Ted Laurent – 9

Bryant Turner Jr – 7

Summary: Ted Laurent is a playmaker in the middle of the Stags defense but after him things aren’t quite as clear. The Stags generally do a great job of doing more with less and sould see some of their youngsters like Matt Juson and Za’Darius Smith step up as pass rushers. Willie Henry and Darius Kilgo also had solid sophomore camps. Tristian Okpalaugo had a great camp but hasn’t stepped up yet in his career.

Minnesota Freeze

Defensive Ends

Mike Catapano – 7a

Glenn Foster – 8c

Jonathan Massaquoi – 7

Defensive Tackles

David Irving – 7aa

Stacy McGee – 8a

DJ Reader – 7a

Shamar Stephen – 8a

Summary: Glenn Foster has mauled retirement but was convinced to come back after showing he still had plenty left in the tank with nine sacks in 2016. That’s good for the Freeze. After him Jonathan Massaquoi is serviceable at defensive end. Mike Catapano had a great rookie season but hasn’t developed any more over the past few seasons. Inside, David Irving had a breakout camp and it should ease the loss of Damon Harrison to the NFL. They have a lot of depth on the interior of the defensive line. Stacy McGee might not become an elite player but is as solid as they come. Shamar Stephen is also a solid veteran. DJ Reader may not play as a rookie but has some potential to develop into a good player.

Nashville Renegades

Defensive Ends

John Chick – 10$

Lebron Daniel – 8a

Ian Seau – 6aa

Frank Trotter – 7a

Channing Ward – 6aa

Defensive Tackles

Justin Lawrence – 6

Watson Tautuiaki – 8a

Dimetrio Tyson – 7a

Adolphus Washington – 7aa

Summary: Nashville paid big money to keep John Chick after an absolutely incredible 2016 season that was split between two teams with a mid-season trade. Then they added Lebron Daniel and Watson Tautuiaki off 10-sack seasons from Louisville. If Daniel and Tautuiaki even come close to repeating then the Renegades are going to have an absolutely dominant pass rush. Adolphus Washington was a very good addition who had a great rookie camp. Frank Trotter and Dimetrio Lyton add some very good depth.

New Orleans Nightmare

Defensive Ends

Brandon Boudreaux – 7c

Dwight Freeney – 10d$

Danielle Hunter – 9af

Jermauria Rasco – 6aa

Ed Stinson – 6aa

Derrick Summers – 7a

Charles Tapper – 6aa

Defensive Tackles

Anthony Johnson – 6aa

Brent Urban – 8aa

Summary: Having a quality player like Tearrius George retire just before training camp does hurt the Nightmare but they have some very good players still. Dwight Freeney has said he’s coming back for the final season on his contract and still has incredible pass rushing ability. But while he’s still the veteran leader, Brent Urban and Danielle Hunter are the future. Both had great 2016 seasons as breakout pass rushers and both have had very strong training camps. Charles Tapper can become a very good pass rusher too and had a strong camp. The Nightmare does need some more depth at defensive tackle, however.

New York Marauders

Defensive Ends

Ryan Delaire – 6aa

Tyler Drake – 6a

Zack Evans – 7a

Jackson Jeffcoat – 7

Chris Smith – 7aa

Max Valles – 6aa

Defensive Tackles

Michael Brooks – 7aa

Jon Desir – 6a

Woodrow Hamilton – 6aa

Michael Pierce – 7aa

Devon Still – 6ac

DeAngelo Tyson – 7ac

Hershey Walton – 6a

Summary: There are a lot of young players with potential here. Ryan Delaire has some very good pass rushing ability and ownership loves him but he only had one sack as a rookie. He’ll have to improve that to become the guy they want him to be. At least he had a phenomenal training camp. That is a step in the right direction. Chris Smith has been a starter for New York since day one and had a good camp entering his third year. He has yet to take that next step, but again, this is a step in the right direction. Zack Evans was a very good mid-season addition last year and should provide quality depth as a pass rusher. Jackson Jeffcoat is probably the most proven pass rusher New York has but that’s all he can do. Max Valles is a much more versatile edge defender. Inside, Michael Pierce might be a rookie steal and was remarkable in camp. Next to him it’s out of management favorite DeAngelo Tyson and promising CFL addition Michael Brooks. Rookie Woodrow Hamilton also had a good camp.

Omaha Express

Defensive Ends

Da’Quan Bowers – 8i

Jack Gangwich – 6aa

George Selvie – 8D

Defensive Tackles

Landon Cohen – 6aa

Xzavie Jackson – 7

Micah Johnson – 7a

Amobi Okoye – 6ai

Summary: Omaha found some band-aid players, but that’s about it. Micah Johnson and Landon Cohen are the only players with much potential but while they develop George Selvie should be the top player in his return to the SFL. He had some very good years with the Dallas Six-Shooters but went on to the NFL. Now he’s back at the end of his career. He still has some pass rush ability. Da’Quan Bowers is an NFL bust who also struggled in Atlanta before becoming a free agent. Amobi Okoye did nothing with New York last year and even retired for a little bit before announcing he was coming back. It’s hard to see him doing too much at this point.

Orlando Rockets

Defensive Ends

Jonathan Bullard – 7a

Justin Capicotti – 7aai

Charleston Hughes – 8a

Willie Jefferson – 7a

Shawn Lemon – 8

Defensive Tackles

Anttajj Hawthorne – 8D

Abry Jones – 7aa

Nile Lawrence-Stample – 6aa

Drake Nevis – 7aa

Almond Sewell – 9

Summary: Like every position, the Rockets have some of the best in the league at defensive line. They have numerous pass rushers capable of starting on several teams and some may still be rising. The Rockets lost Malik Jackson to the NFL but will be able to survive. Charleston Hughes, Anttajj Hawthorne and Almond Sewell are all coming off eight-sack seasons. Justin Capicotti was an incredible mid-season addition and could become their second starting defensive end over reliable veteran Shawn Lemon. They have great depth behind all of those guys too.

Philadelphia Bulldogs

Defensive Ends

Carl Nassib – 7aaf

Caesar Rayford – 7

James Ruffin – 9c

Anthony Zettle – 6aa

Defensive Tackles

Tyeler Davidson – 7aa

Chris Jones – 8a

Terrance Taylor – 7

Summary: Coming off an unlikely 10-sack breakout season, James Ruffin has high expectations and high hopes for this season. It seems odd that a guy at his age would break out like he did. We’ll have to see if it’s sustainable. Chris Jones and Terrance Taylor lock down the interior with great pass rush ability while Tyeler Davidson and his run-stopping makes for a strong rotation. Carl Nassib has some great potential to become a very, very good pass rusher.

Phoenix Scorpions

Defensive Ends

Ugonna Awuruonye – 6a

Antwan Barnes – 9d

Everette Brown – 8D

Darryl Cato-Bishop – 7aa

Sam Montgomery – 6

Bryan Robinson – 7c

Defensive Tackles

Joel Heath – 7aa

Marcus Hardison – 7aa

Nick Hayden – 9d$

Helva Matungulu – 6aa

Kelcy Quarles – 7ac

Summary: Antwan Barnes proved in his return to the league that he is still one of the very best pass rushers around. Even at his age and even nearing the end of his career, he still has some left in the tank and that sort of presence makes Everette Brown dangerous on the other side. Brown too is nearing the end of his career, but behind those guys Darryl Cato-Bishop has finally looked like he’s gotten his pro football career off the ground. The question for the Scorps will be is those guys can still be as effective with retirements of both Darnell Dockett and Broderick Bunkley. Docket had 13 sacks and Bunkley had six. How much did their presence help Barnes and Brown? The Scorpions hedged their bets a bit with a trade for NFL veteran Nick Hayden. He has six sacks in half a season with Nashville. Marcus Hardison and Kelcy Quarles are two guys with potential but need to step up and show it. The surprise here might be rookie Joel Heath, who had a very strong rookie camp.

Pittsburgh Forge

Defensive Ends

Alex Carrington – 7c

Anthony Lanier – 6aa

Lawrence Thomas – 6aa

Jabar Westerman – 7a

Defensive Tackles

Ken Bishop – 7a

Sheldon Day – 6aa

Kyle Love – 8aa

Summary: Kyle Love had 11 sacks last year but had a down training camp. Still, he’s a threat to get to the quarterback from the inside. For being an expansion team the Forge did a nice job of getting some quality starters for a stopgap season and Sheldon Day, Anthony Lanier and Lawrence Thomas all are young guys with potential to grow into bigger roles.

San Antonio Marshalls

Defensive Ends

John Bowman – 8a

Vontarrius Dora – 6aa

Teddy Jennings – 8a

Ufomba Kamalu – 6aa

Defensive Tackles

Ryan Carrethers – 10f

Ashaad Mabry – 6aa

Zach Minter – 6a

Hassan Ridgeway – 7aa

Summary: Ryan Carrethers had an incredible breakout season and finished with 15 sacks. Nothing hurts an offense more than inside pressure. Zach Minter is a solid, underrated player who had a down year but can bounce back. It might be tough for that to happen, though because Hassan Ridgeway was a great find and might steal Minter’s spot. John Bowman is seeing a resurgence in his career and could be poised for a breakout season after a strong camp. Teddy Jennings is another great pass rusher who had nine sacks last year.

Seattle Orcas

Defensive Ends

David Bass – 7aa

Marcus Howard – 7a

Jabari Hunt – 6aa

Romeo Okwara – 7aa

Darius Philon – 7aa

Khreem Smith – 8

Defensive Tackles

Zach Kerr – 8aa

Andre Monroe – 6a

Joe Sykes – 7c

Destiny Vaeao – 7aa

Summary: Seattle’s pass rush was deep last year but individuals were inconsistent. Zach Kerr had seven sacks and Joe Sykes was second on the team with five but it was feast or famine with them. Both had very good camps, though, so they could be headed for breakout years. They added some good veterans in Marcus Howard and Khareen Smith on the defensive end, but the future looks like Romeo Okwara and Darius Philon.

Washington Wave

Defensive Ends

Frank Beltre – 7a

Matt Conrath – 7d

Trent Corney – 6aa

Gliff Dukes – 7d

Yannick Ngakoue – 8aa

CJ Olaniyan – 6a

Martez Wilson – 7c

Defensive Tackles

Nate Collins – 6

Quinton Jefferson – 6aa

Cullen Jenkins – 9d$

Eddie Steele – 7

Summary: Once again, the Wave spent some money and did a good job improving their talent. Cullen Jenkins is a veteran nearing the very end of his career but is well worth the money considering what other defensive tackles the team has. Rookie Yannick Ngakoue had an incredible training camp and could be the first big star player to come out of DC.

SFL Top 5 Defensive Ends

1. John Chick, Nashville Renegades
– 18 sacks, 27 hurries, 10 tackles for a loss — those numbers are just ridiculous and made John Chick the defensive player of the year. He might be 34-years-old but he’s at the top of his game.

2. Dwight Freeney, New Orleans Nightmare
– Another older defensive end, but the 36-year-old still has plenty left to give and has to be marked by the offense every single play of he’ll put the quarterback on his back. He’ll be looking to make his last season just as memorable as any.

3. Antwan Barnes, Phoenix Scorpions
– We’ll see if his success was based on having some dominant pass rushers next to him or if he was the one that made them successful. Regardless, 12 sacks and 13 hurries is incredible production.

4. Danielle Hunter, New Orleans Nightmare
– Danielle Hunter was an impact pass rusher last year. He proved himself with a tremendous rookie season and with Dwight Freeney still drawing attention opposite him, he should have another great year.

5. James Ruffin, Philadelphia Bulldogs
– James Ruffin was a nice surprise last year and tallied up 10 sacks. He also had a nice amount of hurries and was a consistent threat game-in and game-out. He didn’t have any empty games last year and that is what makes him so valuable.

HONORABLE MENTION: Ziggy Hood, Columbus Explorers
– The former NFL first round pick had all of the talent and potential you could ask for, but it’s going to be a matter of him actually living up to it. He’s done well, but the ceiling is higher. We’ll see if he can reach it.

SFL Top 5 Defensive Tackles

1. Ryan Carrethers, San Antonio Marshalls
– Maybe there are some flashier guys out there but nothing hurts an offense more than an interior pass rush. Ryan Carrethers led San Antonio to a turnaround season with 15 sacks at a position where there aren’t many elite pass rushers.

2. Grady Jarrett, Charleston Dragons
– In an injury shortened rookie season, Grady Jarrett was spectacular and was one of the most devastating pass rushers in the league going down the stretch.

3. Nick Hayden, Phoenix Scorpions
– In half a season Nick Hayden had six sacks with Nashville. Now he’s going to have a full training camp in Phoenix and will play on a d-line that we know can produce a lot of sacks. He is a perfect replacement for the retired Darnell Dockett.

4. Cullen Jenkins, Washington
– Cullen Jenkins is a new addition this year but he’s going to be very valuable to a much improved Washington defense. He can still play football and is very smart, but the value of his veteran know-how and leadership is hard to quantify.

5. Almond Sewell, Orlando Rockets
– Orlando’s pass rush was incredible last season and Sewell was one of the big guys in the middle helping that. He doesn’t have as much help as last year but he still has just as much of his own talent to continue to dominate in the trench.

HONORABLE MENTION: Ted Laurent, Michigan Stags
– A veteran like Ted Laurent is going to be very important for Michigan to have on their relatively young defensive line. Laurent is a great run stuffer who can too get to the quarterback.

Commissioner’s prospect watch (Top 7 Rookies and Sophomores)

1. Grady Jarrett, DT, Charleston Dragons
– It would have been wonderful to see just how great Grady Jarrett could have been with a full rookie season but injuries didn’t derail him at all. He came back and dominated. He’s proven to be a special player.

2. Yannick Ngakoue, DE, Washington Wave
– Washington needs a star and they may have gotten it with Yannick Ngakoue. He’s a special athlete and even though he’ll be the guy opposing teams will be focusing in on him, they may not be able to stop him that easy.

3. Danielle Hunter, DE, New Orleans Nightmare
– Danielle Hunter should relish the last season he’ll be playing next to an all-time great like Dwight Freeney. Danielle Hunter has seven sacks, but 20 hurries as a rookie. With a little improvement on his technique he should be able to finish some of those pass rushes.

4. David Parry, DT, Charleston Dragons
– Another Dragon who had an injury shortened rookie season, but David Parry has had an incredible strong rookie camp and looks ready to step up and become a top-tier defensive tackle.

5. Romeo Okwara, DE, Seattle Orcas
– Seattle took a bit of a risk in the first round drafting Romeo Okwara but that risk looks like it will pay off. Okwara showed some top-notch pass rush ability in training camp and looks like he can become a really good weapon on Seattle’s always awesome defensive line.

6. Michael Pierce, DT, New York Marauders
– The regression of Joe Vellano really killed New York last season but he’s gone and Michael Pierce is in. Of course, not too many heard of the Samford product heading into the draft, but he had some nice workouts and continued those nice workouts into a very strong training camp and looks like he can be a starter right away.

7. Andrew Billings, NT, Houston Wranglers
– Andrew Billings may have had a somewhat disappointing training camp but maybe that just means his rise to stardom will take a year longer than expected. The fact still remains that Andrew Billings is a great talent and can become a great player in this league.

By the Number
10 Ratings: 3 (1.47%)
9 Ratings: 9 (4.41%)
8 Ratings: 38 (18.63%)
7 Ratings: 81 (39.71%)
6 Ratings: 73 (35.78%)