When it comes to the Alliance of American Football League, there’s a lot we have to learn and on Tuesday, the AAF hosted its first ‘Protect or Pick’ quarterback draft.
Since the rosters are regionally based, teams were assigned players earlier in the offseason. The organizations are onboard with the idea, but the one position they wanted flexibility with is the quarterback spot. That is how the idea of a ‘Protect or Pick’ draft originated.
All eight teams had a chance, before the draft, to protect a quarterback on their roster. If you protect a quarterback, they cannot be drafted by another team. Only four of the eight teams elected to protect a QB instead of keeping its first round pick.
San Antonio was one of those teams and kept Corpus Christi native Dustin Vaughan. It’s a surprising move because the team was given former Reagan QB Trevor Knight. The Commanders did not ‘protect’ Knight, so he was selected in the first round by the Arizona Hotshots.
Vaughan will enter the preseason as the presumptive top quarterback on the roster for coach Mike Riley. Vaughan, who was allocated to the Commanders by virtue of most recently playing with the Dallas Cowboys, is a Corpus Christi native and product of West Texas A&M University.
“We were looking for a quarterback who has a good record of production,” Commanders head coach Mike Riley said. “He had to be a passer with good athletic qualities to move around and make plays. We wanted a good decision maker with great leadership skills and a great appetite for football - a real football junkie - and Dustin exemplifies all those qualities.”
The 6-foot-5, 220-pound Vaughan, who prepped at Calallen High School, was a three-year starter at West Texas A&M, finishing his career with a school record 10,525 yards and 123 touchdowns. He was twice honored as the Lone Star Conference Offensive Player of the Year and was a finalist for the Harlon Hill Trophy, which is awarded to the top player in NCAA Division II, during his time at WT.
San Antonio selected Marquise Williams out of North Carolina in the second round. Williams played the 2017-18 season with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League. While at North Carolina, Williams totaled 99 touchdowns to rank fifth on the Atlantic Coast Conference all-time list. He also has big hands, apparently.
The team added Logan Woodside out of Toledo in the third round. The 2017 Mid-American Conference Player of the Year, Woodside was a seventh round selection of the Cincinnati Bengals in 2018 NFL Draft. He tallied 10,514 passing yards and 93 touchdowns in his college career.
In the final round, the Commanders added another name that should be familiar to football fans in the Alamo City: UTSA product Dalton Sturm. At UTSA, Sturm finished with 5,768 yards and 49 touchdowns through the air. He also added 1,227 yards and seven scores on the ground to bring his career total offense output total to 6,995 yards and 56 TDs. Sturm signed an undrafted free agent contract with the Dallas Cowboys in 2018. He'll now have the chance to prove himself and earn playing time in the dome where he became a local hero.