P.J. Walker, Cam Phillips among 10 XFL players NFL teams should target in free agency

The XFL season was brought to an abrupt end by the coronavirus pandemic. 

The rebooted league played just half of its scheduled games, with five weeks remaining in a 10-week regular season. 

In that limited time, players from all eight teams had their moments. Some took their first (or second, or third) shot at pro football and made the most of it, potentially extending their careers — with a shot at the next level possibly awaiting. 

The process of XFL players jumping to the NFL may begin as soon as Monday, when NFL teams can begin signing players who participated in the XFL this season. 

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Here are 10 players who showed out in the XFL that warrant a shot in the NFL: 

P.J. Walker, QB, Houston Roughnecks

The "Mahomes of the XFL" is probably an unfair comparison. But Walker played like an MVP from Week 1 to Week 5 and seemingly has NFL prospects; multiple reports have indicated interest from NFL teams. 

Walker extended plays with his legs and ran productively when needed. Coach June Jones ran one of the league's best-designed offenses and in it, Walker displayed accuracy, completing 65% of his passes, and admirable decision-making abilities, throwing four interceptions on 184 attempts.

Walker finished with 15 touchdowns and 1,338 yards. For any team looking to spice up its backup quarterback competition, they should find Walker's number by Monday morning. 

Houston Roughnecks quarterback P.J. Walker runs the ball during a game against the Los Angeles Wildcats. (Photo: Troy Taormina, USA TODAY Sports)

Cam Phillips, WR, Houston Roughnecks

Yes, he had the best player in the league creating plays and throwing to him. But Phillips took advantage, and it could result in a NFL opportunity for him. It's one he deserves, because he was the best receiver in the XFL in 2020. 

The Virginia Tech product led the league in targets (44), catches (31), receiving yards (455) and touchdowns (nine). 

Jordan Ta'amu, QB, St. Louis BattleHawks

Ta'amu's emergence was a major factor in the BattleHawks becoming the XFL's most surprising team. The BattleHawks relied on a run-first, option offense, which meant Ta'amu had to be efficient when he was throwing. The Ole Miss product obliged by completing 72% of his passes (97-for-134) for 1,050 yards and five touchdowns with two picks. 

The scheme also gave him a chance to show off his legs — Ta'amu averaged 5.3 yards per attempt, and his 217 rushing yards ranked seventh in the league. Above all, he led a team not expected to do much to a 3-2 record. He's worth a flyer for a team who could use another body in the quarterback room. 

Jordan Ta'amu warms up before a game against the DC Defenders at Audi Field on March 8. (Photo: Scott Taetsch, Getty Images)

Storm Norton, OT, Los Angeles Wildcats

Norton protected quarterback Josh Johnson's blind side and in a league where not many linemen stood out, he did. The Wildcats made him the first pick of the "linemen" phase of the draft and he lived up to expectations. At 6-foot-8 and 317 pounds, he will be of interest. 

Tre McBride, WR, Los Angeles Wildcats

On the two occasions the Wildcats' offense exploded (39 points and 41 points, respectively), Johnson took full advantage of his weapons. McBride emerged as the group's most efficient.

Among players with 20 receptions or more, he led the league in yards per catch (16.9). He also led the team with four receiving touchdowns and 271 yards.

Donald Parham, TE, Dallas Renegades

Dallas quarterbacks (mostly Landry Jones) targeted the tight end 43 times, one behind Phillips for the league lead. He was one of only three players to eclipse the 300-receiving yard mark and finished tied for second in the league with four touchdowns. 

Dallas found success in its running game, with Parham proving to be a capable blocker. 

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