European League of Football: Way Too Early 2022 Power Rankings

Yes, we know it’s only February, however, the European League of Football has been busy, to say the least. An onslaught of player signings, big-name coaches, and new teams have dominated the European football news cycle since September.

Which means it’s time for our way too early power rankings kicking off our coverage of the 2022 season, now only 14 weeks away.

12: Stuttgart Surge:

In 2021, the Surge posted a 2-8 record which placed them dead last in the league at season’s end. Adding to that, Stuttgart’s offense was the worst in the league by a large margin. However, Surge head coach Martin Hanselman has made some key additions to his team adding quarterback Randall Shroeder and several impact Germans as the Surge look ahead to their June kickoff.

11: Istanbul Rams

The Rams have ambitions of fielding a competitive squad in their debut ELF season this year. The Turkish powerhouse is eager to prove itself once again on the international stage. While coach Val Gunn has signed some experienced imports such as Jared Stegman and Zachary Blair his core of Turkish players will have to step up to make the Rams competitors week in and week out.

Barcelona Dragons Photo: Eric Ribe

10: Barcelona Dragons

The ELF’s lone Spanish team finished their 2021 campaign with a 3-7 record. This year the Dragons and their wild fans are hoping for a post-season run as quarterback Zach Edwards returns to Spain. The new additions like former CFL receiver Benjamin Plu and the return of a large group of local players have the Dragons feeling ready to show improvements this summer.

9: Leipzig Kings

The Kings were a hard team to read in 2021. Without quarterback Michael Birdsong the team struggled. However, when healthy, Birdsong and the Kings looked like dark horse candidates for the title. The Kings have undergone some changes this off-season as new ownership and many new players has stepped in. Head coach Fred Armstrong and the Leipzig defense have added import standout linebackers Myke Tavarres and AJ Wentland and are bringing back ELF All-Star Roedion Henrique.

8: Berlin Thunder

One of the first moves of new head coach Johnny Schmuck was getting a new quarterback to the capital city as the Thunder snagged Joe Germinerio away from the GFL’s Kiel Baltic Hurricanes. Germinerio and new pass rusher Kyle Kitchens hope to have the Thunder make some noise this summer.

Madre London escaping defenders Photo Credit Cologne Centurions

7: Cologne Centurions

Last year, the Centurions rode ELF MVP Madre London to a playoff berth. The league’s star tailback has signed to return to Cologne along with homegrown quarterback Jan Weinreich. However, the offensive duo and new head coach Frank Roser will need some help from the defense if Cologne are too become title contenders this summer.

6: Rhein Fire

Former San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Tomsula leads the Fire into their return to the gridiron after a 15-year absence. Leaning into the NFL Europe nostalgia, Tomsula actually coached the Fire for one season back in 2006. Tomsula and an impressive core of domestic talent could shake up the league. That said, they will need a quarterback, as the man behind center has yet to be announced in Düsseldorf.

5: Wroclaw Panthers

The league’s lone Polish franchise nearly made it to the postseason in 2021 after a terrific season. Now head coach Jakub Samel and a solid core of Polish talent go into the 2022 with high expectations and a few new faces. Former Oklahoma & Arkansas State quarterback Justice Hansen brings standout potential to a tough and gritty team that embodies its home country. 

Photo Credit: Raiders Tirol

4: Raiders Tirol

The Raiders joined the ELF to achieve one simple mission. Prove the are the best on the continent. Veteran quarterback Sean Shelton and an experienced roster of many of Austria’s finest look to take their winning ways across Europe after three straight titles in the AFL. This is a disciplined and athletic team with few weaknesses. However the lack of imports currently on the roster could hurt their depth in what looks to be a very tough schedule.

3: Hamburg Sea Devils:

The league’s 2021 runner’s-up go into 2022 keen on redemption after falling just short in the league inaugural title game. In an effort to hoist this year’s trophy the Sea Devils have signed head coach CharlesYogiJones to lead a talented squad into their second year together. The team will rely on German quarterback Salieu Ceesay to be the signal caller for team with high expectations.

The Sea Devils have signed top receiver Jean Constant away from Barcelona along with adding several impact European players. However, they’ll have to prove they can beat Frankfurt and the new Austrian talent to climb this rankings list.

2: Vienna Vikings

The Vikings have signed some of the top talent available in Europe this offseason. The influx of new players along with Vienna’s strong recruiting at home has lured many impact players from near and far to proudly wear purple this season.

That said, it’s tough to crown them number one, as the the last time we saw the Vikings in the field they were blown out in the Austrian Bowl by fellow league newcomers the Raiders. It will be interesting to see how head coach Chris Calaycay and his Austrian core mesh with the influx of talent joining them this summer.

1: Frankfurt Galaxy

Head coach Thomas Kosling and Frankfurt looked sharp all season putting together a 11-game winning streak to take home the inaugural ELF title. The Galaxy look ahead to this year with the majority of their championship team returning. Quarterback Jakeb Sullivan, running back Gennadiy Adams, linebacker Sebastian Gauthier, and defensive tackle Marc AnthonyHor have all re-signed to chase back-to-back rings.

There are still many questions remaining in the league as new stars and vacant import spots have yet to be announced. However, looking at the teams on paper, the league has already begun to show which teams will be true contenders for ELF’s second title.

Alex is a former professional American football player who is now studying in London. His goal writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and players and sharing different football