Graphic: Igor Lazarevic
Although the European League of Football 2024 season is still three months away, based on player signings and the experience of the past three seasons, we have put together a ranking of the 17 teams set to battle for the ELF title.
Power rankings can provide insight into each team’s preseason development. They can also serve as somewhat of a time capsule when returned after the season’s conclusion.
With the ELF and many other leagues in Europe, the championship window is dramatically smaller than in leagues such as the NFL. One-year contracts, inpatient boards, uncompetitive signings, and financial problems can all close the window in less than a season.
The ELF in particular is of major interest, and today we will lay out the preseason power rankings for the start of the 2024 season. This first installment will contain rankings 17-12. The rest will be released gradually.
Let’s get into it.
12. Madrid Bravos
This writer predicted Madrid would go winless in 2024. That was before they signed nearly every Spanish player available. Although the quarterback is unconfirmed (rumored to be Chris Helbig, former Vienna Viking), the addition of Mario Flores, Connor Bolton, William Paterson, D’Wanye Obi, and Jean Claude Madin Cerezo make for an exciting offense. Couple that with a stacked defense featuring Alejandro Fernandez, Ja’len Embry, Luke Glenna, Kevin Fortes and Jonell Pelie and it’s a serious team that is expected to win more than initially thought. The squad building has been excellent so far. If they continue building the defense to combat the Fire, Musketeers and Galaxy they could potentially win a shoot out with one of them.
13. Cologne Centurions
The Cologne Centurions are in somewhat of an uncomfortable place. Former NFL wide out Connor Wedington is a potential superstar, Lucky Ogbevoen is one of the best young linebackers in the ELF and Fabian Kratz is a severely underrated offensive lineman. Yet, there are many questions. Can quarterback Isaiah Weed make the massive step from GFL2 to the ELF? Will the offensive line be able to continue being built? Will Lucky have help on defense while playing multiple incredible offensives throughout the season? Cologne has a start, but they need more options at receiver, more depth at defensive back and more foundations on the offensive line.
14. Milano Seamen
Milano has had a lot of issues with attracting Italian talent. Many reside within the IFL for at least a few weeks of the ELF, or within rival franchises in the ELF itself. The theme this year, seems to be very Brazilian-heavy, mixed with a lot of speed. Wide receivers Tommy Wilson and Juan Flores Calderon certainly have the speed and will give quarterback Zach Bronkhorst and running back Patrick Carr some much-needed relief. Like last season, the defense is where the team needs to continue to build. Size, speed, and athleticism are still required to get them out of the bottom half of the league. Defensive tackle Gabriel Montagner and defensive back Marquise Manning are great building blocks.
15. Helvetic Guards
The Guards had well-documented struggles last season. This is expected to improve this year, but they still are not expected to perform as a contender in 2024. Wide receiver Leonardo Sophoclis is expected to compete for Rookie of the Year if he can connect with his former quarterback from the Silesia Rebels, Calton Aiken. Defensive lineman Dominik Liechti, linebacker Andreas Buri, defensive linemen Mike Kimpiabi and Tim Hänni, linebacker John Falk and wide receiver Nils Jonkmans make up the core of Swiss talents. Ken Hike was also quietly an elite defensive back in 2023. The issues come with the experience and athletic ability within key positions. The Guards could see a few wins this season, but it’s doubtful they’ll come easy.
16. Barcelona Dragons
Barcelona has, pretty unanimously, lost the battle between the Spanish franchises to sign the best homegrown talent. They did retain some of their starters from last season, but many of the previous Dragons have made the move to Madrid. The skill position of American players, wide receiver Imoni Donadelle and defensive back Dominique Shelton are two points of emphasis for excitement. My concerns are with the offensive line line and allocation of Europeans. Overall, it’s not looking too good.
17. Fehérvár Enthroners
There is little to no surprise that the Enthroners are at the bottom of the power rankings once again. The lack of elite homegrown talent will ultimately be their disadvantage in games against every team in the league. Ben Dixon is a solid addition to the offensive line, wide receiver Samuel Bhoedjang is a young potential star who could be in the running for rookie of the year if he can get off to a hot start, and defensive lineman Jebrai Regan is a veteran within the team who was a bright spot in the 2023 season. Apart from that, there haven’t been very many announcements about the roster’s construction, and there are legitimate questions about some of the key positions.