Thunder claim 4 in AFL Dispersal Draft Oct 16, 2015 19:27:45 GMT -8
Post by David on Oct 16, 2015 19:27:45 GMT -8
Oct. 16, 2015 -- Three former Spokane Shock players are among four players the Portland Thunder have obtained in the Arena Football League's Offseason Assignment Process (a.k.a. Dispersal Draft) on Oct. 15.
The Offseason Assignment Process, held in the same manner as a player draft, dispersed players under contract from the three AFL teams who left the league this season. The Shock moved to the Indoor Football League, and the New Orleans VooDoo and Las Vegas Outlaws were shut down by the league. Free agents or, as the AFL calls them players yet to be assigned, were not a part of Thursday night's dispersement.
Defensive back Mike McMillan (Shock), wide receiver Jabin Sambrano (Shock), kicker Ernestoi Lacayo (Outlaws) and offensive lineman Larry Banks Shock) claimed by the Thunder, who selected third in all four rounds.
In the first round, Portland selected McMillan (5'11, 205 lbs). He made his rookie debut in Week 13 of the 2015 season against the Thunder, recording 5 tackles and 2 interceptions. He finished the season with 51.0 total tackles, 0.5 tackles for loss, 4 pass breakups and 5 interceptions.
Prior to joining the Shock, McMillan (pictured atop this article) spent the early part of the 2015 season with the Bemidji Axemen (now re-branded Minnesota Axemen) of the IFL, notching 24 tackles, 1 interception and a fumble recovery. He played his collegiate career at Ashland University, earning honorable All-GLIAC mentions.
Sambrano was selected in the second round. He played eight of his nine games last season with the Shock (the other with the Los Angeles KISS) last season, registering 542 yards on 41 receptions and 11 touchdowns. Sambrano, 5'11" and 175 lbs., may be somewhat familiar to Portland fans, as he attended Portland St. rival Montana.
Sambrano's (5'11, 175) rookie debut came with the Los Angeles KISS in 2015, playing in only 1 game for them, recording 4 catches for 61 yards and 2 touchdowns in a 48-61 loss. A month later, he was traded to the Spokane Shock in exchange for QB Danny Southwick.
Sambrano played college football at Montana, recording 1,787 total receiving yards as a 3-year starter. In 2011, he earned Second Team All-Big Sky honors, leading the Grizzlies with 632 reception yards and 10 touchdowns. He also received honorable All-Big Sky recognition in 2010. After graduating from Montana, Sambrano went undrafted in the 2012 NFL Draft and signed with the Indianapolis Colts as a free agent. He served as a practice squad player for the Colts, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Jacksonville Jaguars from 2012-13. He signed with the Atlanta Falcons in 2014, but was released a month later.
"Mike is a model player to have in this league; he will outwork anyone, and is a difference maker in every game," said Thunder head coach Andy Olson in a team press release. "Jabin came on strong at the end of 2015 as a rookie. I only expect him to get stronger and smarter this coming season. I'm excited to add him to the roster."
In the third round, Portland selected Lacayo (5'8'', 180 lbs). As a rookie with the expansion Las Vegas Outlaws in 2015, Lacayo played in 10 games as the team's primary kicker, going 54/59 on PAT attempts and 2/4 on field goals with a long of 35 yards. He led all AFL kickers with a 91.5 PAT percentage. Prior to joining the Outlaws, he played at Hastings College. Lacayo recently had an off-season workout with the San Francisco 49ers, but did not make the final roster.
In the fourth and final round, the Thunder added Banks (6'4', 315 lbs). As a rookie in 2015, he appeared and started one game for the Shock. Banks played his collegiate career at Louisiana Tech, playing in 21 games (9 starts). Banks was a member of the offensive line which allowed the seventh fewest sacks in the nation. The defense also finished 17th in rushing defense and fourth in passing defense.
The Dispersal Draft was held quietly and the Thunder, as well as some other teams, announced today the assignments of McMillan, Sambrano, Lacayo and Banks. The league made no formal announcement that the draft was occurring on Thursday night. Players were not informed by the league of the AFL Player's Union, and players were reportedly questioning it openly, according to the ArenaFan.com site.
Image credits: McMillan, The Portland Tribune; Sambrano, Spokane Shock; Lacayo, Ernesto Lacayo / Instagram.
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