Falcons sign four XFL players, including standout defender

4880909200397 Panthers at Falcons

In the wake of several injuries, including to defensive tackle Ikenna Enechukwu, the Falcons have made corresponding moves, dipping back into the XFL, signing standout defender Caeveon Patton as well as defensive tackle Matthew Gotel, center Michael Menet, and receiver Mathew Sexton, according to NFL insider Aaron Wilson,

The Falcons have regularly searched other professional leagues for talent. Most notably, Atlanta found a gem in Dee Alford out of CFL

Patton played for the Orlando Guardians after making the All-XFL team. Appearing in all 10 contests last season, Patton recorded 40 total tackles, 11 of which came in one game against the Vegas Vipers, and five tackles for loss.

Prior to the XFL, Patton was a Texas State Bobcat, where he was an Honorable Mention All-Sun Belt Conference defensive tackle in 2019. His best campaign came in 2021, though, when recorded 51 total tackles in 11 games, including four tackles for a loss and 1.5 sacks.

There are several former XFL stars that have gone on to have respectable NFL careers, including Ben DiNucci, who got starting time with the Cowboys following a Dak Prescott injury,  and P.J. Walker, who Falcons fans are familiar with from his time with the Panthers.

Caeveon Patton has an uphill battle to making the final 53-man roster, likely battling Joe Graziano and Ade Ogundeji for one of the last roster spots along the defensive front. Everything is in front of him, though. Patton will have every opportunity. The Falcons defensive front features Grady Jarrett, Calais Campbell, and David Onyemata, who will likely not play at all in the preseason, leaving the door open for Patton.

Menet was a seventh-round draft pick by the Cardinals in 2021 but didn’t make the 53-man roster out of training camp, sticking on the practice squad. Eventually, he was released that year and then was picked up by the Packers towards the end of the 2021 season, spending the entire next year in Green Bay without making it to the active roster.

Most recently, he spent time with the Seattle Sea Dragons and eventually received an invitation to Falcons minicamp earlier this year. He’s also got unlikely chances of making the roster.

Mathew Sexton, a former Eastern Michigan wide receiver, played for the Vipers after bouncing around the league, including in Pittsburgh and Kansas City, without making either roster. Sexton’s most notable moment came against the Sea Dragons when he prematurely celebrated a touchdown and was stripped right before the goal line. That kind of stuff isn’t going to cut it in the NFL

Photographer: Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire

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