Grading European League of Football Signings – Part 2

Another week provides us with many more signings as we progress through the off-season. Every team has now announced at least one signing at this point, so let’s see who’s made the biggest impression thus far.

Zach Bronkhorst – Milano Seamen

Grade: C-

The signing of a Division Two quarterback in the 2024 season already raised some eyebrows as it was announced. The Milano Seamen needed to make a statement this season, not only to give the fans something to cheer about but also to be competitive within their conference. The Central is going to be stacked and is possibly going to be the hardest of all to achieve a playoff berth. That being said, Bronkhorst may not be able to get to the same level as others. He is skittish in the pocket and lacks a deep-threat arm. There is also a concern that he was not dominant at Angelo State University. He is mobile and can throw on the run, giving some offense variety, but this signing doesn’t feel like the marquee move that is required from the Italian franchise.

Lewis Thomas – Paris Musketeers

Grade: A+

Thomas is a premier pick-up for the Parisian franchise. The two-time All-Star was a bright spark in a poor Milano team last season. Previously, he was a cornerstone of Hamburg where he helped Glen Toonga to be one of the best players in the league. Paris’ offensive line issues may be a thing of the past after Thomas’ announcement was made soon after Thomas Fileccia’s. This is an excellent signing and a display of how to build around the lines with European talent. Lewis Thomas also holds a French citizenship according to his Europlayers profile. He will be a Great Britain national, but in terms of logistics, it is an overall great move.

Patrick Carr – Milano Seamen

Grade: C

American running backs are a hot topic personally. They very rarely see the desired outcome because of the amount of support the position needs to flourish. The offensive line has to be better than the front seven of the defense to see any results. A receiver, on the other hand, has much more of a mismatch taking on a European defensive back. Carr does have standout college stats from his time in Houston, notably having 6.0 yards per carry. The problems arrive when it comes to his long layoff from football as he last suited up for the Ottawa REDBLACKS in 2021. If you take into consideration some injuries in his career and the loss of two premier offensive linemen from the Milano team then there are reasons to be concerned for how much he can carry this team to success. The Italian franchise also was known for having blocking receivers in 2023, leading to more questions on how they plan to build around their American core.

Christoph Nitzlnader – Munich Ravens

Grade: B+

This signing has a lot of positives. Defensive back is the hardest position to find in Europe due to the years of training and elite athletic ability required. The weakening of a conference rival in said position is also an incredible advantage. Nitzlnader is twitchy, long, and fluid at corner. He can also come into the slot and be a nickel player. In zone and man coverage, he has enough skill in movement and aggression to be more than capable in both areas. He is possibly one of the most underrated players in Europe, regardless of the position so adding him to the secondary to improve that defense is a great step in the right direction.

Nicolai Schumann – Berlin Thunder

Grade: A-

Another multiple-time All-Star, Nicolai Schumann, has signed for his third year as part of the Berlin Thunder and continues to build on his legacy within Europe. Schumann had a similar year last year with Berlin but got somewhat lost in the shuffle of playmakers at the Thunder’s disposal. He had a career-high in touchdowns with five and considering the early season struggles at quarterback, he could go even higher in 2024. Schumann is a massive part of what makes the Berlin Thunder, The tight end is very balanced in the run and pass games and offers a lot of flexibility going forward. As a German player, it’s great value.

In summary…

More signings are coming in daily, there are nearly 50 players in total who have committed to their teams in 2024. A lot of new players are included in this group giving a lot of new storylines to develop and players to learn about in the coming months.

Until next time.