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Off-Season in Review: Birmingham Stallions Add Rico Gafford, Myron Mitchell and Austin Watkins

Stallions fans may have been a bit manic when they saw Osirus Mitchell and Victor Bolden leave for the NFL, however Head Coach Skip Holtz and GM Zachary Potter have been extremely active this off-season retooling the position. The Stallions have brought in three Wide Receivers to off-set the major loss of a tandem that totaled 755 yards and 4 touchdowns in 2022. Whether be via trade or signing the Stallions so far have been extremely at the position group in an effort to reload rather than rebuild.

New Faces in Familiar Places

The Stallions first order of business was to bring back UAB Receivers Myron Mitchell and Austin Watkins. Both receivers have spent a little bit of time in the NFL, with Mitchell appearing one game with the Vikings 2021. Mitchell and Watkins both earned All-Conference Honors while at UAB. The Stallions were about to acquire Mitchell by trading Super Bowl Champion Kyle Markway, while Watkins was acquired by trading Josh Nurse to the Showboats.

The Stallions also added veteran Wide Receiver/Cornerback Rico Gafford. Gafford was originally drafted by the San Antonio Brahmas during the 2022 XFL November Draft yet chose to sign with the Birmingham Stallions instead. Gafford has appeared in 8 NFL games, recording 2 receptions for 66 yards and One touchdown. Despite his versatility it appears that Gafford will remain as a Wide Receiver for 2023.

Gafford 37 during his time with the Green Bay Packers in 2022

The Current Wide Receiver Room:

The Stallions bring back Michael Dereus, Adrian Hardy, Marlon Williams, Peyton Ramzy, and Jeff Thomas, in addition to the three transactions previously mentioned. While Williams seems to be primed to take the WR1 spot, everything behind that is up for grabs. Between Dereus, Hardy, Ramzy, and Thomas, the four piece only accounted for 15 receptions, and 261 Yards, versus Marlon Williams’ 31 receptions and 466 receiving yards. With the addition of Gafford, Watkins, and Mitchell, Stallions GM Zachary Potter has done a great job at creating competition in an effort to improve the Wide Receiver position which lost NFL Caliber players Victor Bolden and Osirus Mithcell.

Closing Thoughts:

The Stallions are definitely in a reload not a rebuild, in hopes of defending their 2022 title. With Marlon WIlliams returning and continuity at the QB position with J’Mar Smith, the Stallions are in prime position with their new additions to become the champions of the southern division and possibly the repeating in 2023.

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Pat Rifino is a former Security Contractor turned writer. He began his writing career talking about geo-politics, and the defense industry. Now Pat writes about alt-league football, while hanging out with his dogs in his off time.

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