Here is a second week look at the Alliance of American Football and players the Houston Texans should be watching.
The second week of Alliance of American Football wrapped up as a clearer picture of the league dynamic is painted. Players have also started to become more comfortable with other tendencies, and coaching schemes, meaning the quality of football has started to increase.
Last week, we failed to see a 100-yard rusher in the AAF, this week there were two. To top off some big stats, comebacks were a regular theme of the weekend as both the Arizona Hotshots and the Orlando Apollos pulled off 12-point comebacks in enemy territories.
After considering all the impressive performances — and there were a lot — I have compiled my list of the Top 5 standout prospects in Week 2 that the Texans should consider, beginning with a running back.
Ja’Quan Gardner, RB, San Diego Fleet
Week 2 stats: 15 carries, 104 yards, 2 rushing touchdowns, 1 reception out of 2 targets, 7 receiving yards
Remember when Tarik Cohen took the NFL by storm despite his short stature in 2018? Ja’Quan Gardner is doing the same exact thing in the AAF.
Gardner, a 23-year old 2018 undrafted free-agent out of Humboldt State spent time with the San Francisco 49ers during the preseason and could be winning back a spot on an NFL roster because of his performance with the Fleet.
The 5-7, 205-pound back was able to dice through the Atlanta defense using his explosive short-area burst, excellent vision and long speed. He isn’t afraid of contact though, as he often is playing bigger than his height due to a strong lower body and never-ending effort.
Although I would like to see more reps as third-down back, there is little doubt that Gardner could offer NFL offenses with a spark plug as a complementary back or even returner.