Breaking down the Apollos QB Draft class of 2018
The 2018 QB Protect or Pick Draft is over, and the Apollos have their men. Two of the QBs selected by Orlando were already on the allocation list for the team.
Apollos’ General Manager Tim Ruskell and Quarterbacks Coach David Reaves were on-site in Las Vegas to make the selections. Head Coach Steve Spurrier was not available due to back surgery, but appeared on the draft broadcast after the Apollos first selection.
“Our team is being built to win right away and it starts with our quarterbacks,” said Ruskell. “We’ve been diligent in our preparation watching these players compete at the QB Skills Camp in San Antonio and analyzing their football careers. Coach Spurrier and his staff will be ready to put the player who gives us the best chance to win The Alliance championship under center in Week 1 against The Atlanta Legends.”
The full draft:
- 1st Round: Garrett Gilbert
- 2nd Round: Stephen Morris
- 3rd Round: Austin Appleby
- 4th Round: Kevin Anderson
For more on first round pick Garrett Gilbert, check out this article. By nature of being the first pick, we’re projecting Gilbert as the starter going into training camp.
I previously wrote about 2nd Round pick Stephen Morris in our QB breakdown piece. He was projected as the starter at the time, and should give newly projected starter Garrett Gilbert some competition for the QB 1 role. Fans were very excited to see him come off the board to the Apollos at the draft party as well, so he’s got that going for him. Even as a backup, Morris brings a lot of NFL experience to the roster and should provide some solid leadership to the team.
New to Apollos fans, but not necessarily to Gators fans, is 3rd Round pick Austin Appleby. While not the most popular Gators signal caller, Appleby was good enough to lead the 2016 Florida squad to a 9-4 record and an SEC East title. He started seven games, going 4-3 overall after initial starter Luke Del Rio was injured. Prior to his time with Florida, Appleby started for two seasons at Purdue. Long story short, he’s no stranger to pressure playing in two Power 5 conferences in college. Appleby has limited pro experience having spent some mini-camp time with the Dallas Cowboys in 2017, but he did not join the team for full training camp.
Closing out the selections is Kevin Anderson, a true rookie out of Fordham. We previously profiled Anderson here. I had suspicions the Apollos would look to keep Anderson around. Although he’s a developmental prospect, Anderson shows promise and was clearly valued enough by the Apollos to use their last pick on him.