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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The 2-day XFL draft concluded yesterday, with each of the league's 8 teams having put together their initial rosters.

How it worked: Before the actual draft, teams ranked which "Tier One" QB they wanted via a blind-bidding system, then those 8 players were assigned accordingly.

Once the draft began, players were picked in this order: skill positions, offensive linemen, defensive front seven and defensive backfield. Then there was an "open" portion, where teams could draft any player they wanted.

  • The broadcast of the draft was … kind of sad. Instead of a studio show, it was literally a video conference call with a stopwatch in the bottom right corner of the screen that someone had to manually reset with a mouse after every pick.

Dallas Renegades

  • Coach: Oklahoma legend Bob Stoops.
  • QB: Landry Jones, who played for Stoops in college and spent 5 seasons (2013-17) as Ben Roethlisberger's backup in Pittsburgh.
  • Guy you might know: WR Tommylee Lewis, who was the intended receiver on the infamous Saints-Rams no-call in last year's NFC Championship Game.

DC Defenders

  • Coach: Former Colts and Michigan OC Pep Hamilton.
  • QB: Cardale Jones, the strong-armed former Buckeye who was drafted by the Bills in the 4th round of the 2016 NFL draft.
  • Guy you might know: Safety Rahim Moore, who started for the Broncos for a few years.

Houston Roughnecks

  • Coach: Former Hawaii and SMU head coach June Jones.
  • QB: Connor Cook, who starred at Michigan State and started a playoff game for the Raiders in 2017.
  • Guy you might know: RB Andre Williams, who starred at Boston College and had a breakout rookie campaign for the Giants in 2014.

Los Angeles Wildcats

  • Coach: Former Packers associate head coach Winston Moss.
  • QB: Luis Perez, who won the Harlon Hill Trophy in 2017 as the best player in D-II football and spent some time with the Eagles and Lions after playing well for the AAF’s Birmingham Iron.
  • Guy you might know: Kicker Nick Novak, who kicked for 6 different NFL teams and ranks 94th on the league's all-time scoring list.

New York Guardians

  • Coach: Longtime Giants OC Kevin Gilbride.
  • QB: Former Penn State star Matt McGloin, who notched 7 NFL starts as a Raider.
  • Guy you might know: QB Marquise Williams, who put up huge passing and rushing numbers at North Carolina before spending time in the NFL, CFL and AAF.

Seattle Dragons

  • Coach: Former Seahawks QB and Redskins head coach Jim Zorn.
  • QB: Brandon Silvers, who threw for more than 10,000 yards during his college career at Troy and spent time on this Jets' roster this past spring.
  • Guy you might know: QB/WR Keenan Reynolds, who ran Navy's option attack to great success in college and was one of the Seahawks' final cuts in September (as a WR).

St. Louis BattleHawks

  • Coach: Former Bengals TE coach Jonathan Hayes.
  • QB: Former Ole Miss starter Jordan Ta'amu, who led the SEC in passing last season and signed a contract with the Texans before being released in August.
  • Guy you might know: RB Christine Michael, who was supposed to be a fantasy star for the Seahawks but never really panned out.

Tampa Bay Vipers

  • Coach: Former Bears head coach Marc Trestman.
  • QB: Former Georgia star Aaron Murray, who still sits atop the SEC's career TD list and spent a few seasons bouncing around the NFL.
  • Guy you might know: RB De'Veon Smith, who enjoyed a decent career at Michigan.'

Go deeper

Biden extends mask mandates for travelers into 2022

President Biden delivers remarks at the White House on Dec. 1. Photo: Anna Moneymaker via Getty Images

President Biden will announce new testing protocols for international travelers on Thursday and extend masking requirements through March as the U.S. prepares to fight the Omicron variant this winter, according to senior administration officials.

Driving the news: The U.S. will tighten pre-departure testing protocols starting early next week by requiring all inbound international travelers to take COVID-19 tests within one day of their departure rather than three.

16 mins ago - Health

America probably won't lead the effort to understand Omicron

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The race to figure out just how dangerous the Omicron variant is will likely be a global effort, but some experts are skeptical that the U.S. will play a dominant role.

Why it matters: The CDC has repeatedly come under fire for inadequate data collection throughout the pandemic — and figuring out how to respond to Omicron requires a lot of data that doesn't currently exist.

Some Republicans fear a win on abortion could come back to bite them

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Republicans are on the brink of achieving a decades-long conservative project — overturning abortion rights — but some strategists worry that the party isn’t ready for the political dangers of this monumental victory.

Why it matters: The GOP has the best political environment in a decade leading into the midterms — and the last thing top party operatives want is for the Democratic base to become energized if the Supreme Court narrows or overturns Roe v. Wade.

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