By Rohit Ghosh on May 12, 2014
As American football continues to take over India, the potential for the NFL to bring in talent from the EFLI is not too far away. Just as MLB developed cricket players to play baseball, the NFL will have the opportunity to import international talent to the best American football league in the world. Here is a list of five athletes who shined so bright in season one that they may get American scouts watching their production in season 2.
Waqar Javaid, along with Ashean Karthelis, led the EFLI in tackles in Season 1. Considering that Javaid played both the receiving position on offense and the tackle position on defense, his production - especially on defense - is without a doubt very special. He also had 113 yards on 60 percent completion rate.
Javaid’s size and athleticism not only make him a threat in the EFLI but a viable candidate to find a role on an NFL team.
Despite inserting much of their roster into the receiving slots, no one on the Bangalore Warhawks was able to match the production of Sharma who finished the season with 202 yards and three touchdowns. He averaged 13.5 yards per reception, getting downfield easily. Sharma won the award for best receiver after just one season with the sport. After another season, Sharma will have the experience to go along with the talent he has now.
Anant Verma was one of the most productive players, let alone receivers, in the inaugural season of the EFLI. Finishing the season with a second-best 198 receiving yards, Verma led WRs in season 1. He averaged a first down for every completion (11.4 yards) and led his team with two touchdowns. At 6-foot-1, Verma has the size to dominate the EFLI for years to come. With continued training he could easily transition into more competitive leagues.
At 5-foot-8 and just 21 years of age, Ramachandran Rahul was easily one of the best running back in Season 1 of the EFLI. Rahul’s 316 rushing yards helped the Marathas rank as one of the top 3 teams in terms of yards gained on the ground. His performance in the championship game helped lead Pune to a title in the inaugural season.
Rahul picked up the game very quickly, tallying at least 50 yards and a touchdown in each of his first two games.
The No. 1 reason the Delhi Defenders made it to the title game of the inaugural EFLI season was because of quarterback Mayank Sharma’s play. Within months of learning the game of American football, Sharma finished the season with 475 yards and 6 TDs - second only to Bangalore’s Jitendra Shetty. His passer rating of 118.7 and completion percentage of 57.1 ranked No. 3 in the league. Sharma led the league in for most touchdowns in one game (3).
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