AFI’s Way Too Early ELF Power-Rankings: The Bottom Third (17-11)

As mid-April is rapidly approaching AFI’s core of European League of Football writers have been combing through the off-season signings, the team needs, conferences, schedules, and more as the highly anticipated third season of the ELF is set to kick off in less than two months.

After voting on all the European League of Football’s top teams we’ll be splitting the rankings into three parts starting today with the bottom third of the league taking a look at teams voted in slots 17-11. Later this week we’ll drop the top teams ranging from spots 10-6 and then of course 5-1, followed by the complete list.

Cologne gets the short end of the stick so far this off-season as the Centurions recently parted ways with head coach Khalil Carter. While they have a capable replacement in 2021 GFL Coach of the year Christos Lambropoulos, Cologne has lost several of its star German players to the nearby Rhein Fire and other teams this off-season.

Cologne moved on from stars of the past such as German quarterback Jan Weinreich and receiver Quinton Pounds, signing former Villanova dual threat passer Daniel Smith and ex-Istanbul Rams receiver Terryon Robinson, along with ELF All-star linebacker Zachary Blair as they look to compete in a tough Western Conference.

Check out AFI’s Cover 7 State of Franchise – Cologne Centurions Episode Here:

The Kings have shown flashes during their two years in the ELF that they can potentially push to be a dangerous playoff  team. However inconsistent play has marked the expansion franchise since their berth. After parting ways with head coach Fred Armstrong, former NFL player John Booker takes over in Leipzig, bringing back star defenders AJ Wentland, Roedion Henrique, and Aslan Zetterberg.

New faces to the program include GFL All-Star quarterback Kenyatte Allen along with former Western Illinois standout tailback Steve Mcshane. Allen was one of the top passers in the GFL last season and could be dangerous if paired with the capable weapons, yet those weapons are currently a mystery.

Expectations in Barcelona have dropped after their historic semi-finals run last year. Much of the stars of the 2022 have moved on as head coach Andrew Weidinger, quarterback Zachary Edwards, and receiver Kyle Sweet have all signed elsewhere. Spanish talents have also joined the exodus as breakout defender Alejandro Fernandez and several others have signed for other teams in 2023.

The new era of the Dragons will be led by Mexican head coach Gabriel Martinez, who brings with him experienced quarterback Conor Miller as well former NFL and XFL receiver Austin Duke and ex-Ohio State defensive end Darius Slade. However, with several Spanish players opting for other teams the Dragons depth will be a question mark heading into the season, especially in the trenches.

Our first expansion team on the list, the Lions enter the ELF with a lot of prove and doubters galore. After dominating the Czech league over the past decade, the Prague hopes to take that success, into the international stage. The Lions were competitive on the international stage in 2022 making it to the CEFL Cup final before loosing to the Fehervar Enthroners who they will meet agian in the ELF this season.

The head coach Zach Harrod is bringing back quarterback Shazzon Mumphrey as well as adding several Czech talents to his championship core. former Cal Golden Bear Victor Wharton III also joins the Lions with dominant Japanese League All-Star James Brooks  and several intriguing European imports.

Coming in at number 13 the league’s Swiss Franchise joins the ELF looking to make some noise in the central conference. The Guards made plenty of waves this off-season already by signing former USC offensive coordinator and Hawaii head coach Norm Chow to lead their inaugural season. They followed that up by signing a quarterback with the  league’s top NCAA pedigree in former Colorado State and South Carolina starter Collin Hill. The import class only got better as Chow helped bring in and former Tennesse Titan defender Jr Tavai and luring former German Football League star Silas Nacita out of retirement.

Hill battled injuries in his college career and his health is certainly a question mark going into 2023. That, along with a Swiss team will have to rely domestic talent making a huge jump in the level of play coming from the NAL to the ELF.

The Enthroners join the ELF after being the class of american football in Hungary for the past several season’s. They will be led by former BYU coach Jaime Hill as the veteran coach has helped build the Enthroners into one of the top programs in Eastern Europe.

The Enthroners recently parted ways with quarterback Gabriel Cunningham who was seen as one of the top signings of the off-seasons after Cunningham put together a strong end to the 2022 season with the Leipzig Kings. Hill and Enthroners management will now have to scramble to find a replacement quarterback to lead their talented offense with just two months to go before the season.

 Key import players include speedy American receiver Jay Griffin IV and Hungarian cornerback David Toth.  We shall see how the team will perform on this new stage.

The Ravens join the list as the second highest ranked expansion team finishing just outside of top ten rankings. The trust that our voters have in Munich comes from the Ravens management hitting the recruiting trail hard signing several of the GFL south’s top free agents as they look to become the top team in the Bavarian region. So far the Ravens have plucked top southern German talents such as Dominic Siegel, Junior Nkembi, Patrick Engelhardt, and Johannes Zirngibl.

The import class also features some of the top veteran on the market as the Ravens have signed ELF-All Star and former Clemson standout Darius Robinson, as well as former Milano Seamen star Markell Castle, perhaps one of the top receivers in Europe. They’ve also added Irish tail back Tomiwa Oyewo and linebacker Amin Black. Head coach John Shoop will look for Chad Jeffries to lead his squad at quarterback as the veteran of the Austrian Football League makes the jump to the ELF.

Stay tuned for our next edition (10-6) of the ELF power rankings coming later this week

Alex is a former NCAA and semi-pro American football player who is now located in London, where he works in digital marketing. His goal in writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and