Alliance of American Football QB Draft: Aaron Murray, Christian Hackenberg highlight QBs taken in AAF event

USATSI

The Alliance of American Football begins its inaugural season in 74 days, and on Tuesday night the league held its first-ever Protect or Pick Quarterback Draft. 

You can find an explanation of the draft rules below, followed by the four-round results.

Draft rules

Dozens of players have already signed to the league's eight franchises, but quarterbacks are assigned in the draft. Any quarterback already signed to the Alliance is eligible to be selected in the draft, which uses a "Protect or Pick" format. All signed quarterbacks are also allocated to the team located closest to their college or last NFL or CFL team before the draft.

The "Protect or Pick" method allows each team to either protect one quarterback that's already been allocated or choose to draft another one. If a team elects to protect, they name the player they are protecting as their first selection in the draft, but if they decide to pick, they wait until every other team has made their decision before selecting from the remaining pool of all available quarterbacks.

Round 1

  1. San Diego Fleet: Josh Johnson (protected)
  2. Atlanta Legends: Aaron Murray (protected)
  3. Memphis Express: Troy Cook (protected)
  4. San Antonio Commanders: Dustin Vaughan (protected)
  5. Birmingham Iron: Luis Perez
  6. Arizona Hotshots: Trevor Knight
  7. Orlando Apollos: Garrett Gilbert
  8. Salt Lake Stallions: Josh Woodrum

Round 2

  1. San Diego Fleet: Mike Bercovici
  2. Birmingham Iron: Blake Sims
  3. Arizona Hotshots: John Wolford
  4. Orlando Apollos: Stephen Morris
  5. Atlanta Legends: Matt Simms
  6. Salt Lake Stallions: B.J. Daniels
  7. Memphis Express: Christian Hackenberg
  8. San Antonio Commanders: Marquise Williams

Round 3

  1. San Antonio Commanders: Logan Woodside
  2. Memphis Express: Brandon Silvers
  3. Salt Lake Stallions: Austin Allen
  4. Atlanta Legends: Peter Pujals
  5. Orlando Apollos: Austin Appleby
  6. Arizona Hotshots: Quinn McQueary
  7. Birmingham Iron: Scott Tolzien
  8. San Diego Fleet: Philip Nelson

Round 4

  1. San Antonio Commanders: Dalton Sturm
  2. Memphis Express: Zach Mettenberger
  3. Salt Lake Stallions: Matt Linehan
  4. Atlanta Legends: Justin Holman
  5. Orlando Apollos: Kevin Anderson
  6. Arizona Hotshots: Jack Heneghan
  7. Birmingham Iron: Alek Torgersen
  8. San Diego Fleet: Alex Ross

And in case you're wondering, here are the head coaches for each team:

  • Atlanta Legends: Brad Childress (Michael Vick is the offensive coordinator)
  • Arizona Hotshots: Rick Neuheisel
  • Birmingham Iron: Tim Lewis
  • Memphis Express: Mike Singletary
  • Orlando Apollos: Steve Spurrier
  • Salt Lake Stallions: Dennis Erickson
  • San Antonio Commanders: Mike Riley 
  • San Diego Fleet: Mike Martz 

Charlie Ebersol -- the son of NBC executive Dick Ebersol, and Vince McMahon's partner during the XFL's first stint -- announced last March that the Alliance of American Football will debut on Feb. 9, 2019 on CBS.

The younger Ebersol, who directed ESPN's "30 for 30" documentary on the XFL, brought in former NFL general manager Bill Polian to help oversee the league. Former Steelers safety Troy Polamalu will oversee the player side and former USC standout and executive J.K. McKay will oversee the team side. Advisors include former players Hines Ward and Justin Tuck, and Dick Ebersol.

"The Alliance of American Football represents a fundamental shift in the way we approach professional sports," Charlie Ebersol said at the time. "We believe fans and players are what's most important, so our approach is simple -- we've created an Alliance where fans and players share in the success of their teams."

"Players have our commitment that we will seek the highest degree of safety and our support as we continue to invest in their success off the field with post-football career scholarships and financial wellness programs," he continued. "With the expertise of Bill Polian and a leadership team of respected former All-Pro players and executives, we are committed to putting the best football product possible on the field every weekend, ensuring that 2018 will be the final year fans have to experience a six-month period without football."

CBS will air the league's debut game on Feb. 9, 2019, one week after Super Bowl LIII on CBS. The network will also carry the Alliance of American Football's championship game on the final weekend of April 2019. One regular-season Alliance game will air exclusively on CBS Sports Network each week as well. You can view the entire AAF schedule here.

The league will have eight teams in Atlanta, Orlando, San Diego, San Antonio, Memphis, Birmingham, Salt Lake City and Phoenix. Each team will have 50 players each and will be built primarily through a regionally based draft. To differentiate the Alliance of American Football from its competitors, there will be no TV timeouts and 60 percent fewer commercials. Other differences will include no kickoffs and instead of onside kicks, the trailing team will receive the ball on their own 35-yard line facing fourth down and 10. There will also be a 30-second play clock and mandatory two-point conversion attempts after touchdowns.

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson joined CBS Sports in June 2011. He covers the NFL and NFL Draft for CBSSports.com and CBS Sports HQ, and is a regular on the Pick Six Podcast. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from... Full Bio

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