Ralph Webb

Marquis Flowers, Sterling Moore, Sealver Siliga among ex-Patriots taken in XFL draft

Marquis Flowers, Sterling Moore, Sealver Siliga among ex-Patriots taken in XFL draft

Former Patriots linebacker Marquis Flowers, ex-Pats Sterling Moore, a cornerback, and Sealver Siliga, a defensive tackle, were among the players with New England ties selected in the XFL draft.

The spring football league that played one season in 2001 is being rebooted and will begin play in February with eight teams. Its two-day draft concluded Wednesday.

Players were picked in five phases of the draft in the following order: skill position, offensive line, defensive front seven and defensive backs. An open portion concluded the draft.

Flowers, 27, who played for the Patriots in 2017, was selected with the Dallas Renegades' second pick of the open portion.

Siliga, 29, a Patriot from 2012-15, also went to Dallas with their second pick of the front seven phase.

Moore, 29, known for stripping the ball from Baltimore Ravens receiver Lee Evans in the end zone and denying what would've been a winning touchdown catch in the Pats' 2011 AFC Championship Game victory, was picked by the Seattle Dragons in the defensive back phase.

Other notable ex-Patriots, defensive end Kony Ealy, acquired in a trade by New England in 2017 but cut that summer in training camp, was the first pick of the Houston Roughnecks in the open phase. Running back Ralph Webb, an undrafted free agent who had a strong preseason opener in 2018 before being cut, was the first pick of the Tampa Bay Vipers in the open phase and linebacker Scooby Wright, who played for the Patriots this past preseason and was cut from their practice squad Oct. 1, was chosen by the DC Defenders in the front-seven phase. 

Former Boston College running back Andre Williams was selected by Houston in the skill position phase.

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Looking at potential replacements at RB for Jeremy Hill

Looking at potential replacements at RB for Jeremy Hill

A grand total of four carries and 25 yards, plus one reception for six yards. That'll be Jeremy Hill's stat line for the entire 2018 season, after the Patriots running back tore his ACL in Sunday's season-opening win over the Bills.

That's a disappointing development for what's otherwise been a revelatory 2018 campaign. In training camp, the 6-foot-2, 236-pound former Cincinnati Bengals running back beat out Mike Gillislee, now of the New Orleans Saints, for the big-back role that Bill Belichick cherishes as a change of pace to the compact, pass-catching backs he deploys in garden variety.

There's always the possibility practice-squadder Ralph Webb gets called up to the varsity too, though he fits the latter mold. Should the Pats be in the need for a Hill-type back, there are a few intriguing options they could explore on the market -- provided there's still gas in the tank:

DeMarco Murray

The former AP Offensive Player of the Year is only a season removed from his last 1,000-yard campaign, taking on a more diminished role in 2017 with the Tennessee Titans as Derrick Henry slowly took over lead back duties. But at 30 years old, more than 1,600 career carries to his record, and with a new role this fall as a college football analyst for FOX, it’s fair to wonder how much he’s got left in the tank – and what kind of football shape he’s in.

Eddie Lacy

The former University of Alabama star has never come close to replicating the back-to-back 1,100-yard campaigns he put together in his first two years in the league in 2013-14, his star fading as he battled injuries and weight issues. Last season in Seattle was his nadir, averaging just 2.6 yards a carry. Given the flash-in-the-pan production at the start of his pro career, and the Saban-Belichick connection, it might be worth checking in with the burly back.

Andre Williams

This one has more of a local flavor, but it wouldn’t be the first time Belichick has kicked the tires on a local college hero (Mike Cloud, anyone?). Williams, a former Heisman Trophy finalist, has never come remotely close to replicating his college production in the pros. But he’s still only 26, and fits the Hill-like prototype at 6-foot, 220 pounds. 

Jordan Todman

This one’s a long shot -- and purely sentimental, if we’re being honest. The well-traveled pride of Dartmouth, Mass., and UConn is often regarded as one of the greatest high school running backs to ever come out of Massachusetts, and carried the Huskies to their first and only Orange Bowl berth. Todman has suited up for eight teams in his seven years in the league; it would be all too fitting if the 200-pounder ended his career on the same Gillette Stadium turf where his legend began in the MIAA state finals.

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Patriots continue to go heavy on the SEC with undrafted rookie class

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Patriots continue to go heavy on the SEC with undrafted rookie class

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