San Diego Fleet has first pick in Alliance of American Football quarterback draft

Posted at 8:51 AM, Nov 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-27 12:31:16-05

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The San Diego Fleet has the first choice in Tuesday’s Alliance of American Football "Protect or Pick" quarterback draft.

The Fleet will have the option of protecting one of the three quarterbacks on their roster -- Josh Johnson, Keith Price and Marcus McDade -- or picking an unprotected quarterback from one of the league's other seven teams.

If they choose to pick a quarterback from another team, they have to wait to make their selection after all the other teams decide whether to protect a quarterback or pick one.

The Fleet received the first selection from a random draw. They will also pick first in the third round and fourth in the second and fourth rounds of the four-round draft.

"Our regional allocation system and the ‘Protect or Pick' draft format were designed to strike a competitive balance across the league and fuel local market interest," said Bill Polian, a co-founder of the league and its head of football.

"The quarterback position is critical to a team's success, so we knew the importance of making sure each Alliance team had a top-tier quarterback at the helm."

A watch party of the CBS Sports Network telecast of the draft will be held from 4-6 p.m. at barleymash in the Gaslamp District. The draft is set to begin at 5 p.m.

The Fleet is also set to reveal its uniforms at the party.

Fleet coach Mike Martz was not made available for an interview Monday. In an Oct. 2 interview with Dan Sileo on KWFN-FM (97.3) Martz indicated Johnson would be the starting quarterback, praising him as "very smart, very athletic."

The 32-year-old Johnson led the University of San Diego to Pioneer Football League championships in 2005, 2006 and 2007. He was the first player in school history to be selected in the NFL draft, chosen by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the fifth round of the 2008 draft.

Johnson has played 29 NFL games with the Buccaneers, Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals, starting five, completing 96 of 177 passes for 1,042 yards and 10 touchdowns between 2009 and 2013.

Johnson also spent time with the San Francisco 49ers, Indianapolis Colts, Buffalo Bills, New York Giants and Houston Texans from 2014-17, but never played in a regular-season game.

Price was the University of Washington's starting quarterback from 2011-13 and a backup for the Canadian Football League's Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2014 and 2015 and BC Lions in 2016.

McDade played two games at Fresno State in 2012, rushing twice for six yards, two games with Sacramento State in 2013, rushing once for eight yards and three games with the defunct Spokane Empire of the Indoor Football League in 2017, completing 13 of 32 passes for 130 yards and three touchdowns with one interception.

The Fleet will begin play Feb. 9 at San Antonio and play its first game at SDCCU Stadium Feb. 17 against the Atlanta Legends.