Although the big offensive names will get more attention. The new AAF has some studs on the defensive side of the ball that could dominate in the inaugural season. The former college star quarterbacks and running backs will be the headliners, but here are some guys who can shut them down this spring.
Rahim Moore, S, Arizona Hotshots
Moore started all 16 games just four seasons ago for the Denver Broncos. He was top ten in interceptions with four as well. However, after signing a three year contract with the Texans, his career in the NFL hit a steep decline. He was signed and cut by Houston, Cleveland, and the Giants over the next three seasons. Since training camp in 2017, he has been a free agent and has found a home with the Hotshots to begin the AAF.
At just 28, Moore is still in a position where he could be a star ballhawk safety for the Hotshots. He had nine interceptions in his short NFL career and 21 passes defended. Moore can definitely cause problems for quarterbacks this season and will be somebody to watch for on the backend of Arizona’s defense.
Chris Davis, CB, Birmingham Iron
The Kick Six. That is what Davis’s entire career has been labeled is. He was the star of the Iron Bowl when he returned a missed field goal for a touchdown with Auburn to beat Alabama. However, Davis was a talented cornerback as well. In his senior season he had 74 total tackles and 14 passes defended. He went undrafted, but bounced around to a few NFL teams including the Chargers and 49ers.
Davis will obviously have an impact in the return game. He was an All-American as a return specialist in 2013. However, look for him to cover some of the quicker receivers other teams have to offer. Davis can be a solid cornerback for the Iron and could make some exciting plays on interceptions, punts, or kickoffs.
Damontre Moore, DE, San Diego Fleet
Moore never succeeded in the NFL, but he was an intriguing draft prospect coming out of college. He was a consensus All-American as a junior and was expected to be drafted in the top ten. However, a bad combine performance dropped him down to a third round pick. The Giants selected him and he had 8.5 sacks during his three seasons there, but couldn’t stick. He played as recently as this year with the Raiders, but was cut late in the season and moved on to the AAF.
Moore is just 26 years old and obviously has a lot of raw talent. If he can get back to where he was at Texas A&M, the Fleet may have an elite pass-rusher on their roster. The tackles aren’t as skilled in the AAF as they are in the NFL, so Moore may be able to dominate and possibly work himself back to the league.
Will Hill, DB, Orlando Apollos
A consistent starter for the Ravens in 2014 and 2015, Hill hasn’t found his way since he was suspended for failing a drug test. He has another chance with the Apollos this year. He was obviously skilled with four interceptions in his last three years in the league. Had he not failed the drug test, he may still be in the league right now.
Hill will be an interesting player for the Apollos this year. If he can keep it together off of the field, he can find a way to make an impact on the field. Hill should start in the secondary for Orlando and could be a star if he can return to form.
Scooby Wright, LB, Arizona Hotshots
Wright looked like the best linebacker in the country after his sophomore season. He had 29 tackles for loss and 14 sacks and was an All-American. Wright also earned the Nagurski, Lombardi, and Bednarik awards that season. However, after injuries and a disappointing senior season, he dropped to a seventh round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. Wright found a home with the Cardinals in 2017, but did not make it to the 53 man roster this past season.
Wright showed that he has the talent to be one of the best linebackers in football during his sophomore season. The Hotshots are lucky to have him on their roster because he could be a complete game-changer when the season rolls around.