Former Stampeders’ DE James Vaughters becomes high XFL draft pick

A former CFL pass rusher has been made a high XFL draft pick.

James Vaughters was drafted fifth overall by the DC Defenders in the “defensive front seven” section of the draft, which will stretch eight rounds. The XFL has divided the draft by position due to the overwhelming number of players available.

Vaughters recorded 11 sacks with the Calgary Stampeders in 33 games over the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Winning a Grey Cup last year, Vaughters left Canada to sign with the Chicago Bears of the NFL.

The Stanford product was a popular pick to make the Bears’ active roster following a strong preseason, but was cut at the end of training camp. After a brief stint on the club’s practice roster, he was released again on September 12.

The XFL draft was streamed on YouTube to approximately 2,000 viewers. Many players with CFL ties have been drafted, most notably former Tiger-Cats’ receiver Jalen Saunders.

CFL fans will also recognize two of the XFL’s eight head coaches. June Jones is the head coach of the Houston Roughnecks, while Marc Trestman is the head coach of the Tampa Bay Vipers.