Top 15 offensive weapons in the ELF

Defense may win championships, but offense sells the tickets.

We are just a couple of weeks away from the kickoff of the second season of the European League of Football and if the burgeoning league wants to continue to grow, it will have to be driven by star power. In year one, the league had tremendous success with several marketable offensive stars, sending a handful on to the USFL and CFL.

This year, rosters are loaded with plenty of fresh faces, but the goal remains the same: to get fans, both in stadium and watching at home, out of their seats with explosive plays and viral highlights. An offence is only as good as the sum of its parts but having a marquee playmaker or two sure goes a long way towards putting your team in contention.

We’ve already ranked the top quarterbacks in the league, but here’s a look at the 15 most exciting offensive weapons heading into year two.

1. Jean Constant, WR, Hamburg Sea Devils

The ELF leader with 74 receptions for 1,038 yards last season, Constant was nothing short of electric with the ball in his hands. Trading in the explosive chaos that was the Barcelona offense for the stability of Hamburg should serve him well, with the Stony Brook product sure to be schemed into space often to help out his inexperienced QB.

2. Joc Crawford, RB, Berlin Thunder

Two hundred and thirty-eight pounds of raw power, Crawford racked up 1,057 yards and seven touchdowns on 156 carries last year, an average of 6.8 yards per carry that was topped only by Madre London. He should be a menace on a much improved Berlin squad and brings surprising mismatch ability as a receiver as well.

3. Weston Carr, WR, Vienna Vikings

No receiver in the GFL averaged more yards per game last year than the 131.8 Carr posted with Kiel. While his season stat line of 62 receptions for 1,318 yards and 15 touchdowns was aided by a monster outing against the eventual champion Monarchs — 355 yards and six touchdowns on 18 catches — it is rare to find a player with the ability to take over a game to that extent.

4. Lamar Jordan II, WR, Hamburg Sea Devils

Truly a wild card, the five-foot-ten, 185-pound Jordan was a dual-threat quarterback at New Mexico and rushed for 2,283 career yards and 14 touchdowns. He’s been a receiver ever since he was signed by the Atlanta Falcons in 2018 and could contribute in a variety of ways thanks to his 4.46 speed.

5. Malik Stanley, WR, Wroclaw Panthers

The departure of Kavontae Turpin denied the Panthers a chance for a full season with an undersized sparkplug in their offense, but Stanley provides them something entirely different and better suited for quarterback Justice Hansen. The big-bodied target from Louisiana Tech put up 649 yards and three touchdowns on 40 catches as a senior and should be a matchup nightmare in an offence likely to throw it up a whole lot.

6. Kyle Sweet, WR, Barcelona Dragons

The Dragons were in desperate need of a new number one receiver this year and Sweet should fit the bill. While never a star, he put up 139 receptions for 1,454 yards and five touchdowns in four seasons as a reliable slot for Washington State and also served as the team’s punter for stretches.

7. Robin Wilzeck, WR, Berlin Thunder

The Berlin Thunder finally have a competent quarterback to throw the deep ball and they’ve brought in one of Europe’s best young weapons to take the top off for him. Wilzeck was a crucial piece of Dresden’s GFL title last year with 42 catches for 961 yards and 13 touchdowns and the German still has not reached his potential.

8. Przemyslaw Banat, WR, Wroclaw Panthers

Mazan may have started as the Panthers’ top pass catcher, but down the stretch, it was Banat who was the deep threat. With a big-armed quarterback in his corner, he should challenge the 901 yards and nine touchdowns he put up with 61 catches last year.

9. Adria Botella Moreno, TE, Vienna Vikings

I don’t expect the best tight end in Europe to be quite as productive in Austria as he was as the driving force behind the Hamburg offence, but there is nobody else in the ELF quite like him. Good luck finding another big body who can rack up 59 catches for 750 yards and six scores on the continent, let alone one with a Euro passport.

10. Tre King, RB, Cologne Centurions

The loss of ELF MVP Madre London hurts the Centurions, but King should ensure they remain one of the league’s top rushing attacks. The Texas Tech product is slower and smaller than his predecessor, but put up 623 yards and five touchdowns in his best NCAA season.

11. Nathaniel Robitaille, WR, Rhein Fire

After spending the last few seasons as a dominant two-way player in Finland, Robitaille’s return to Germany is one of the most underrated stories of this ELF season. He may be pushing thirty, but the Stonehill College product amassed a ridiculous 3,597 receiving yards and 53 touchdowns from 2017 to 2019 with the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns, while also being a dangerous return man.

12. Jakub Mazan, WR, Wroclaw Panthers

People argue that non-German ELF teams are at a disadvantage because of the limited national talent supply, but they clearly haven’t met the Panthers’ Polish pass catchers. Nobody saw Mazan as a star entering 2021, but he left as the ELF’s third-leading receiver having caught 56 passes for 832 yards and six touchdowns.

13. Timothy Knuettel, WR, Rhein Fire

Knuettel will now command the outside for a new team, but the result should be much the same for the ELF leader in receiving touchdowns last season. The Seton Hill product should be something of a safety net to new quarterback Matt Adams after he posted 51 catches for 701 yards and 12 scores last year.

14. Quinten Pounds, WR, Cologne Centurions

Despite rarely being the true focal point of the Centurions’ run-heavy attack, Pounds managed 44 receptions for 669 yards and 8 touchdowns last season. The former University of Washington pass-catcher might be higher on this list if his big-play ability was allowed to truly shine.

15. Anthony Dable-Wolf, WR, Leipzig Kings

The former NFL receiver may be closer to the end of his career than its start, but he’s still a mismatch nightmare in the red zone. After catching 43 passes for 532 yards and four touchdowns in a loaded receiving corps last year, the Frenchman will be the veteran leader of a younger group this season.

J.C. Abbott is a student at the University of British Columbia and amateur football coach in Vancouver, Canada. A CFL writer for 3DownNation, his love of travel has been the root of his fascination with the global game.