European League of Football Way Too Early Power Rankings: 11-6

Since the first section of these European League of Football power rankings went live, many more signings have been announced.

This means that this list has changed several times already over a matter of a day or two. If you have read the 12-17 instalment, then this won’t need any introduction. If you haven’t, I highly recommend so in case some teams are expected to be within the 11-6 range.

That is the range we will be operating in today, no need to ramble, let’s get straight into it.

6 – Frankfurt Galaxy

The Galaxy had to make massive moves this off-season after coming short to the Rhein Fire three times in one year. That big moves are the signing of wide receiver Markell Castle and offensive lineman Steven Nielsen, arguably the best in their positions in Europe. Further additions on the offensive line and receiver core are aimed at my previous expression that the team lacked speed. The massive question marks on the offensive side of the ball remain. The signing of quarterback Luke Zahradka made waves but the question remains . is he better than Jakeb Sullivan? The next question is even more compelling. Is Zahradka still a championship quarterback?.  Sitting on the fence is a sign of a bad analyst, so in my opinion, Jakeb is a safer quarterback with a clearly defined floor and ceiling. Zahradka is a lot more turnover-prone but has a history with Castle that was naturally a driving force in his arrival.

I think that factor swings it towards Zahradka. That is if they don’t fall into the mistake Milano made last season and devolve the offense into 40 deep throws a game. Defensively, defensive backs Divine Buckrham and Jamalcolm Liggins are a very exciting American duo. Safety Joshua Poznanski returns from his injury and 2023 Rookie of the Year nominee Darren Okoeguale makes a strong secondary. Veteran defensive linemen Karlis Brauns and Marc Anthony Hor return for another season. The linebacker position is an area of need for the team last losing Wael Nasri to the Munich Ravens and the retirement of Sebastian Silva Gomez. Sebastian Gauthier is an excellent start.

7 – Vienna Vikings

Having Vienna at #7 is going to cause some commotion from the former champion’s fan base. However, the signings so far have not been that of a team that is going for a championship. The offensive Americans I have been critical of, although the team remains strong in the receiver group after the retention of Jordan Bouah. The offensive line will be among the strongest in Europe if all the expected pieces return. Matthew Daltrey at center and Lukas Holub at tackle are perfect starts. Running back is also strong, Raphael Komeyli is a young star in the making and Karri Pajarinen is expected to have more carries this season. Defensively, still some things to wait for. Exavier Edwards will be somewhere on the field but who will be around him isn’t 100% clear. Hence their lower ranking.

8 – Raiders Tirol

The Raiders are desperate to overtake Vienna as the Austrian face of the ELF. If they’re going to do it, they have to push more chips into the middle. Like other teams in this range, many signings are not available for us to judge. What we can see if the receiver room is still stacked with veteran Phillip Platzgummer, surprise star Phillip Haun and established young talent, Marco Schneider. The defense is also taking shape slowly, as is the offensive line. But as of this writing, there are less than 30 signings and no American names to mention. They need to land with these picks if they want to dethrone the Vikings. There are a lot of question marks on the Raiders after last season’s drama. I believe them to have some of the most pressure to succeed than pretty much every other team in the league. The board doesn’t seem to want to wait to bring a championship to Tirol.

9 – Berlin Thunder

Berlin is in a hard position of being on the outside looking in at the title picture. They absolutely have all-star-level players in multiple positions. Kyle Kitchens and Emil Hovde at defensive end, Ludvig Myren and Paul Seifert at linebacker, Aaron Jackson and Robin Wilzeck at receiver, Harry Sayer at tackle and Ali Khalife at running back. So why aren’t they higher? It’s the depth, Munich, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, and Rhein have the majority of German talent. That is where the Thunder have noticeable disadvantages to their contemporaries. The offensive line is also a question mark, even more so with the new man behind centre, Jakeb Sullivan. As mentioned previously, I have doubts about if Sullivan can win a championship with this team. The league is massively different to 2021.

10 – Hamburg Sea Devils

During the off-season of 2024, the Hamburg Sea Devils have bled players. Evan Yeboah, the All-Europe defensive tackle is the main one. However, as the season is coming closer, they have slowly built more and more through free agency. Jarvis McClam is arguably a top 5 receiver in Europe right now, and Theodor Landström is an excellent secondary receiver. Quarterback Javarian Smith was one of the highest-hyped GFL newcomers to the ELF, they landed him. Lee Pitts showed flashes in his limited time in Wroclaw and their running back room is severely underrated. There are still many signings they haven’t announced, most importantly, the offensive and defensive lines. When those are secured, they may move up further. But for now, they’re still in recovery mode.

11 – Prague Lions

The Prague Lions are building a successful team on paper. Adam Žouželka and Tyrese Johnson Fisher could be an exciting duo if they can both stay healthy and a core of solid receivers, headlined by the return of Czech national Radim Kalous, will be imperative for new signal caller, Kare’ Lyles. Offensive lineman Lawrence Cornwall Baptiste is a good signing as a player who can practically play all across the line of scrimmage. On defense, all three levels are injected with youthful athleticism. Daniel Wright, the former starting safety for the Alabama Crimson Tide could be an all-star-level player if supported correctly. But like the offense, it may be the lack of homegrown talent that will limit their championship aspirations. Not on the same level as other teams like the Barcelona Dragons and Fehérvár Enthroners but still it is an over-arching problem.