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XFL teams to pick 71 players each in first draft

XFL teams will select 71 players apiece next week in the league’s inaugural draft, according to a structure the league announced Monday.

The two-day event will take place Oct. 15-16. It will open with the league assigning one quarterback to each of its eight teams, followed by a snake-style draft that commissioner Oliver Luck said will “maximize parity and equity between the teams.” Each selection will be publicized through XFL.com, as well as the league’s Twitter (@XFL2020) and Instagram (@XFL) accounts.

“We spent a lot of time on this and I think we have a pretty good set-up,” Luck told ESPN.

Approximately 1,000 players opted into the XFL draft pool by accepting the commissioner’s invitations and passing a background check. After the initial quarterback assignments, the remaining players will be subject to a five-phase draft divided roughly by position groups: skill positions, offensive line, defensive front seven and defensive backs. The final phase will include players at all positions.

The XFL administered a blind lottery to determine draft order. The Los Angeles Wildcats won and chose the first pick of the offensive line phase.

The D.C. Defenders will have the first pick of the skill-position phase.

Most draft-eligible players either played in the now-defunct Alliance of American Football and/or were released this summer from NFL training camps.

According to Luck, there will be a supplemental draft at the end of November for players who were ineligible to be drafted in October, either because they were on NFL rosters at the time or because they were a part of college programs. The XFL is not subject to the NFL’s college eligibility rules and is open to signing players who are less than three years removed from high school.

Drafted players will be allowed to accept an NFL offer up until the start of XFL minicamps in December. Training camps will begin in January and the first games will be Feb. 8, 2020.

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