With the 2023 NFL season wrapped up, it’s time for football fans to turn their attention to the XFL. The reincarnation of the league features a number of intriguing players, including some guys that are looking to be the top XFL wide receivers. We dive into those names as well as a few others that could run the league through the air.
Top XFL Wide Receivers Rankings in 2023
1) Josh Gordon – Seattle Sea Dragons
Josh Gordon isn’t new to the spotlight. After an explosive start to his NFL career (2,451 yards and 14 touchdowns in his first two seasons), suspensions derailed his success quickly. After missing the entire 2015 and 2016 seasons, he bounced around between five NFL teams as well as the FCF Zappers in the Fan Controlled Football League.
Whether this is his final attempt to make it back into the NFL or just a chance to play again, Gordon has the best skill set in the XFL. From speed to his catch-point strength, Gordon will be the primary target in June Jones’ system.
2) Jeff Badet – Vegas Vipers
Jeff Badet’s return to the XFL gives him another chance to showcase his talent. A speedster coming out of Oklahoma, he went undrafted in the 2018 NFL Draft. Vegas should find plenty of ways to utilize his speed, especially with the talent they have at the offensive skill positions.
Whether he’s torching defensive backs or stretching the field on speed sweeps, Badet gives the Vipers a potentially terrifying weapon. If he can stay healthy through the season, this could give him another chance in the NFL.
3) Charleston Rambo – Orlando Guardians
Charleston Rambo isn’t a stranger to taking a chance to help his career. After a few years in Oklahoma, Rambo transferred to Miami to get more playing time. The result was his only 1,000-yard season of his career. Now he’s looking to take a bigger jump starting in the XFL.
Orlando, to many, is considered potentially the worst team in the league, but there’s talent like Rambo that could have something to say about that. Rambo’s a physical receiver early in the routes, but needs to show more explosiveness in his game. The production coming out of college can’t be ignored, however.
4) Marcell Ateman – St. Louis Battlehawks
A former seventh-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Marcell Ateman showed some potential early in his career. He averaged 23.2 yards per catch in 2019, but that was only on five catches.
At 6’4″, 215 pounds, Ateman brings great size to the Battlehawks’ passing attack and looks to be one of the top wide receivers in the XFL. In fact, St. Louis’ receivers could be a big problem. Ateman, Gary Jennings Jr., and Hakeem Butler used to terrorize the Big 12, and that’s a trio that will make starting quarterback Manny Wilkins’ job easy.
5) Martavis Bryant – Vegas Vipers
There have been many cases of “what-if” in the NFL, and Martavis Bryant fits into that category. Bryant averaged 21.1 yards per catch in his rookie year and posted a career-high 765 yards receiving in his second season. However, injuries and suspensions for substance abuse kept him out of the league in 2016 and for good after 2018.
Bryant has the tools you want in a receiver. He has the size and speed to ruin a defensive game plan. He just needs to stay on the field. We’ve seen what Bryant can do when he plays, but the biggest challenge is getting him there.
6) T.J. Vasher – San Antonio Brahmas
Look, it’s no secret that the XFL isn’t the NFL, but that could work to T.J. Vasher’s advantage. At 6’6″, he has the natural size and length that could make him one of the top XFL wide receivers.
Yes, technique is still important if you’re trying to make it to the NFL, but sometimes Vasher will be able to rely on his natural abilities to come down with passes. Jack Coan has some questions to answer, but throwing to Vasher could help provide some of those answers.
7) Jequez Ezzard – D.C. Defenders
A star at the FCS level, Jequez Ezzard hopes to do the same in the XFL. Ezzard caught 118 passes for 2,529 yards and 28 touchdowns at Sam Houston State and Howard, and also showed that he could be a threat in the running game.
D.C. has a number of versatile weapons on offense, including Ezzard and quarterback D’Eriq King. Both are smaller players, but they can be explosive weapons at any moment. If the Defenders can find a way to get Ezzard the ball, the results should speak for themselves.
8) Jalen Tolliver – San Antonio Brahmas
Jalen Tolliver is used to being an underdog. An undrafted free agent out of Arkansas-Monticello, Tolliver’s worked hard to get to this point. After spending some time with a few NFL teams, he’s bounced around the XFL and CFL over the last few years.
MORE: 2023 XFL Rosters
Tolliver’s in a great position. With teams most likely focusing their attention towards his teammate, Vasher, Tolliver has an opportunity to make a name for himself. At 6’3″, 210 pounds, he also gives the Brahmas another big receiver to do some damage.
9) Cedric Byrd – Houston Roughnecks
Houston could be an extremely fun team that throws the ball all over the field. Cedric Byrd and former Hawai’i teammate Cole McDonald could rekindle the Rainbow Warrior magic in Houston, and what a show it would be.
Byrd isn’t a big player by any means, but he’s quick and crafty. That skill set could make him one of the top XFL wide receivers, even if he’s not torching defenses on deep passes. He can slice a defense with his ability to pick up yards after the catch.
10) Tyler Vaughns – Arlington Renegades
Tyler Vaughns under Bob Stoops’ watch feels like a great combination. Vaughns’ work ethic off the field puts him in a great position on it to win, and the system he’ll join should highlight his tools well.
At USC, he was constantly fighting for catches with Amon-Ra St. Brown and Drake London on the roster, but Vaughns shouldn’t have trouble finding the football in Arlington. He, Brandon Arconado, and Sean Modster have the potential to be an entertaining trio for the Renegades. Stoops’ team is picked by many to be a contender for the title this year, and Vaughns should play a big role in that goal.