Video: Rating the Cologne Centurions Class of 2024 imports

The Cologne Centurions have been stuck in European League of Football purgatory for the last three seasons. They have never being a serious contender, but also never been considered as one of the worst teams in the league. Having said that, this off-season was a chance to go in a new direction and push the franchise into the future.

They certainly went for an approach that sets them apart from the rest of the league!

The American positions start us off unorthodox. Will Lydle will start as an American defensive lineman. Lydle is an accomplished Division II player (Western Colorado University) who finished second in the school’s history for career sacks (21). He spent last season with the Helsinki Roosters in Finland’s Maple League where he earned 1st team All Star honors. Joining him on the defense is elite cornerback Dajon Owens who re-signed for another year. Owens is twitch, aggressive and is one of the top corners in today’s league. His return is a massive bonus for the Centurions

The signing of Isaiah Weed is maybe not as unorthodox as some think. The dual-threat quarterback is joining the Centurions from the Rostock Griffins in the GFL 2 but has played for the Swarco Raiders in the Austrian Football League (2022) and also the Kragujevac Wild Boars (Serbia, 2021) and Aarhus Tigers (Denmark, 2019). Although there may be questions as to whether he can make the step up to the ELF level, he does have a former NFL practice squad wide receiver (Connor Wedington) in his arsenal which will certainly help.

Connor Wedington, the former Stanford receiver, will be making his debut. A player who spent time with the Houston Texans, Seattle Seahawks, and San Francisco 49ers, in his college career he did struggle in consistency and finding the endzone but with a 4.44 forty he is going to be a huge weapon on offense.

The European connection continues down this path. Two tight ends make up two of the spots. Robin Merjenburgh is the receiving threat and a more experienced athlete. Daniel Luoma is a former Division 1 athlete (Eastern Illinois University) with blocking and special team expertise. Young Swedish tackle Viktor Neumann makes up the last European player on offense who is a powerful player who can extend the run game to the outside.

Swedish tackle Viktor Neumann, #71, was a member of the 2023 Berlin Rebels in the German Football League

On defense, star linebacker Lucky Ogbevoen made the surprise move to Cologne from the Tirol Raiders. Ogbevoen is a premier linebacker who can play all over the core. This one is an A+ signing.

Sverri Finson, the Faroe Islander, formerly of Wheeling University will join him. He has high experience in college and will contribute to the run game from the outside linebacker position very well. Joining Lydle on the defensive lineis former All-Star defensive tackle from American Samoa, Lance Leota makes a return to the ELF after playing for the now defunct Leipzig Kings. Leota struggled with injuries last season and that is the big question mark. Can he remain healthy? If he can recapture his 2021 form, then Cologne has a steal.