With the future of the AAF very much in doubt right now, the NFL should be looking to sign some of the league's players now that they're expected to be on the open market. There are already a handful of former NFL players in the AAF, so a return to the big stage isn't out of the question. Here are six players we could see make the switch.
6. RB D'Ernest Johnson, Orlando Apollos
D'Ernest Johnson may not have the number of carries you'd like to see out of a three-down back, but he more than makes up for it with his big-play ability. This season, he's amassed 372 yards on just 64 carries, giving him a 5.8 yards per touch. His 372 rushing yards are good for second in the entire AAF, which pretty solid for a guy who has approximately 30 fewer touches than the leading rusher in the league. His home run ability could land him a spot on a practice squad once training camp rolls around.
5. WR Rashad Ross, Arizona Hotshots
Rashad Ross of the Arizona Hotshots has been balling out all season, leading the AAF in receiving touchdowns with seven. He does have a small frame, standing at 6-feet and 179 pounds, but he plays bigger than his size. He's spent time bouncing around NFL practice squads before getting his opportunity to shine in the AAF. He's 29, so he's a mature guy who could probably teach the young wideouts a thing or two during camp.
4. WR Charles Johnson, Orlando Apollos
Charles Johnson is a big body who could add some great depth to an NFL team in search of wide receiver help. Like Ross, Johnson has also spent time bouncing around the NFL. Standing at 6-foot-2 and 216 pounds, he has the frame to succeed at the next level. And he's proven what he can do with his talent on the field during his time in the AAF; totaling 45 receptions, 687 yards and 5 touchdowns. If injuries start piling up in a team's wideout group, don't be surprised if Johnson gets a call.
3. CD De'Vante Bausby, San Antonio Commanders
De'Vante Bausby actually played in the NFL during the 2018 season, helping the Eagles combat their plethora of injuries in their secondary. But upon being released, he decided to take his talents to the AAF. During his time with the San Antonio Commanders, he's become quite the ball hawk, leading the league in interceptions with four. He's also relatively young at just 26 years old. With his age and what he's shown on the field with the AAF, he'll more than likely end up on an NFL team come September.
2. LB Jayrone Elliot, San Antonio Commanders
If your team is in desperate need of some sack production, Jayrone Elliot is your guy. He leads the AAF in sacks with 7.5. He's a versatile player who can play the outside linebacker position in a 3-4 scheme or drop down to a three-point stance as a defensive end. At age 27, he could step into a defensive line rotation almost immediately in the NFL.
1. QB Garrett Gilbert, Orlando Apollos
The quarterback play in the AAF has been sub-par to put it nicely, but Garrett Gilbert of the Orlando Apollos has stood out among the rest. This season he's amassed 2,152 passing yards, 13 touchdowns to only 3 interceptions with a completion percentage of 60.6. With the importance of the QB position at an all-time high in the NFL, Gilbert will definitely get a shot to compete for a backup role during training camp.