Sammie Coates

Former Auburn wide receiver Sammie Coates (18) celebrates a catch in the first half against Alabama on Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014 in Tuscaloosa.

Four former Auburn football players were picked up on the first day of the XFL Draft ahead of the league’s re-launch next spring.

Sammie Coates, Cameron Artis-Payne, Tre’ Williams and Darius James were all picked up during the early phases of the draft on Tuesday.

Defensive backs and special teams players are still to be selected in the next stages of the draft on Wednesday.

Coates, a Tiger star on Auburn’s 2013 SEC Championship team, was Auburn’s first player taken in the draft, in the third round of the skill-position players phase by the Houston Roughnecks. Artis-Payne, Auburn’s leading rusher in 2014, was selected by the Dallas Renegades two picks later.

Joining Artis-Payne with the Renegades will be James, who started at Auburn on the offensive line in 2016 and 2017. They’ll play with the Dallas team under former Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops and former Sooners quarterback Landry Jones.

Williams, who played linebacker at Auburn from 2014-17, was picked up by the Los Angeles Wildcats in the phase for drafting players in the defensive front seven.

Former Auburn standouts like Kick Six legend Chris Davis and his old teammate Trovon Reed are still on the board and eligible to be drafted on Wednesday.

Davis and Reed both played for the Birmingham Iron in the short-lived Alliance of American Football last spring, and seem to be prime candidates to join rosters for the XFL, aiming to run a similar pro football alternative starting in the spring of 2020.

The XFL is the revived brainchild of WWE chairman Vince McMahon. Williams will be among those players for the new Los Angeles franchise looking to capture the league’s championship after the L.A. Xtreme won the only title game in the league’s first and only season before this recent revival in 2001.

Coates, Artis-Payne, Williams and James all saw time in the NFL before signing up for the XFL’s re-launch.

Robenson Therezie and Stephen Roberts are two other former Auburn defensive backs signed up for the XFL’s draft pool that could be picked up Wednesday. The league broke its draft into phases with teams selection skill position players, offensive linemen and players on the defensive front seven in three different stages on Tuesday.

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