Five QBs selected franchise players in MLFB’s inaugural draft


You can’t start a franchise without a quarterback, right?

So five head coaches in the eight-team Major League Football selected quarterbacks as their franchise players on Wednesday.

But not Dave Campo, Ted Cottrell or Buddy Geis.

Campo, former head coach of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, chose former Arkansas All-American wide receiver Joe Adams on the first day of the MLFB’s three-day draft.

Cottrell, former defensive coordinator for four NFL teams, also went with a wide receiver with his first pick — Taylor Belsterling of Huntingdon College in Alabama. The 6-4, 204-pounder caught the attention of several NFL teams last year because of his size, speed, hops and hands.

Geis, former receivers and quarterbacks coach for three NFL teams, including the Troy Aikman-Michael Irvin Dallas Cowboys, went defense with end Emmanuel Stephens from Mississippi. Leave it to a quarterbacks coach to understand the importance of defensive pressure.

The five quarterbacks selected include Chris Bonner (Colorado State Pueblo), Casey Pachall (TCU), Stephen Garcia (South Carolina), Dan LeFevour (Central Michigan) and Darron Thomas (Oregon).

  • The 6-7 Bonner, who led CSU Pueblo to the Division II national championship last season, was touted last year as the best quarterback draft prospect you haven’t heard about yet.
  • Pachall, TCU’s No. 3 all-time leader in passing yards (5,415), completions (431), and touchdown passes (42), entered the 2014 NFL Draft but was not selected. He played in Canada and last season in the Experimental Fall League, based in New York state.
  • Garcia played in Canada and the Arena League after a troubled career with the Gamecocks, where he passed for 7,597 passing yards and 47 touchdowns with 41 interceptions and rushed for 777 and  15 touchdowns.
  • LeFevour, who played for four NFL teams and in Canada, led Central Michigan to three MAC championships and finished as the conference’s all-time leader in total offense. He is s the only player in NCAA history with over 12,000 passing yards and 2,500 rushing yards.
  • Thomas passed for nearly 6,000 yards and 66 touchdowns in two years as the starter in Oregon. He led the Ducks to the 2011 BCS National Championship Game, where they lost 22-19 to Auburn. He was not draft by the NFL and played in Canada and the Arena League.

“I’m just extremely thankful for this opportunity,” Pachall said. “These guys having the trust and being willing to take a chance with me is huge, I appreciate what they have done so much and for giving me the opportunity to play again.”

Six quarterback were selected in Thursday’s territorial draft, which concludes Friday.

They will get the chance to become real franchise players in MLFB, which plans to kick off in April with teams in eight cities. Those cities have not been determined, so for the draft each team is designated by the head coaches, including Charlie Collins (Bonner), Robert Ford (Pachall), Galen Hall (Garcia), Larry Kirksey (LeFevour) and Steve Miller (Thomas).

MLFB games will be broadcast on the American Sports Network.

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Above: MLFB head coach Ted Cottrell selected wide receiver  Taylor Belsterling as his franchise player on Wednesday. (Courtesy MLFB via Twitter)

Mike Bambach

Mike Bambach is senior web producer for ASN