Tae Hayes, CB: Hayes played six games in the NFL with the Dolphins, Jacksonville Jaguars and Minnesota Vikings in 2019 and 2020. Hes never appeared in a regular season NFL game, but has shined in multiple preseasons. As Pro Football Networks Aaron Wilson recently reported, any USFL player on a team that didnt qualify for the postseason is immediately eligible to field and pursue NFL opportunities. Rogers should have an immediate impact in Tampas offense, especially with Jordan Taamu throwing in his direction. Odom has shined as a defensive lineman, but was also known for his contributions on special teams. With the first pick in the 3rd round, we selected Cavon Walker #USFLDraft pic.twitter.com/rRVZ9pbx09, Michigan Panthers (@USFLPanthers) February 23, 2022. In 2018, he won the Senior Bowl MVP, and would go on to be a fourth-round draft pick by the New York Giants. Asked to throw more than any quarterback in the league, Jordan Taamu led the USFL in attempts (302), passing yards (2,014), and passing touchdowns (14). Blair Brown, LB: Brown was a linebacker and played in 28 games for the Jaguars in 2017 and 2018. He also earned the MVP award in The Spring League in 2018 and '20 and led the Generals to The Spring League title in 2020. He had close to 1,000 receiving yards in his NFL career, and would later be a top target in the XFL as a DC Defender. Houston is riding a six-game losing streak, too, although half of those setbacks have been by one point. Rogers spent four seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, three of which were under Bandits head coach Todd Haley (offensive coordinator at the time). He played for the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers as well. Luis Perez is with the New Jersey Generals now. Bryan Scott, QBUSFL: Philadelphia StarsCollege: Occidental, Scott won a gold medal and the Most Valuable Player Award as quarterback on the U-19 U.S. International of American Football in 2014. We have selected our first DB of the draft! #BanditBall pic.twitter.com/CsCVuIlNBj, Tampa Bay Bandits (@USFLBandits) February 23, 2022, Shea Patterson, QB, Michigan (Michigan Panthers), JMon Moore, WR, Missouri (New Jersey Generals), Ahmad Gooden, DE/OLB, Samford (Houston Gamblers). Welcome to the squad, Scooby! The Birmingham Stallions and New Orleans Breakers are also were featured three times each, respectively. Toby Johnson, DT: Johnson made two appearances for the Minnesota Vikings in 2016. Kyle Lauletta of the Pittsburgh Maulers tossed the ball. Franklin starred in the Netflix series "Last Chance U" and won a Bowl Championship Series national title at Florida State (2013) and a Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2020). With theUSFL Draft concluding a couple of weeks ago, its a good time to reflect on some of the best or most notable players that were selected. He was on a few practice squads after that. As with Stribling and Tampa Bays Jordan Taamu and a lot of the USFLs players Tarpley deserves credit for trying to keep the dream alive. Slightly above average, based both on the record (4-3) and the fact that those three losses came against the USFLs other likely playoff teams (New Orleans, Birmingham and New Jersey). (: @FOXSports, via @USFLStallions)pic.twitter.com/uJQIshembE. The first season will begin when the New Jersey Generals face the Birmingham Stallions Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. With the inaugural 2022 USFL season upon us, I decided to look at the 10 most exciting players selected for the inaugural season. Given that hes only 228 pounds at 65, Canella would likely need to bulk up to play tight end in the NFL. Undrafted in 2017, Stribling spent time on five different NFL rosters before spells in the AAF, XFL and CFL. As a former five-star prospect, he led IMG Academy to its first undefeated season as a senior in 2016. He had one catch for two yards. 1 overall selection in the inaugural USFL Draft. Smith may be exiting his prime at the age of 27, but still appears to have enough gas left in the tank to be at the top of USFL leaderboards. Its no coincidence the Generals are 6-1 as a result. He returned punts and kickoffs. Adams and teammate Johnnie Dixon (former Ohio State star) have been great for Kyle Sloter, as Dixon has chipped in with 28 catches for 300 yards and four TDs. He signed with the Atlanta Falcons as an undrafted free agent in 2017, but didnt see much action until he landed with the Washington Redskins (now Commanders) in 2019. John Franklin III, WRUSFL: Tampa Bay BanditsCollege: Florida Atlantic. Wright will be a familiar face to both teammates and fans, and perhaps there will be flashes of the potential seen eight years ago. The second overall pick in the USFL draft, Taamu has NFL practice squad/offseason roster experience with the Chiefs, Lions, Commanders, and Panthers. All Rights Reserved. ET and can be seen on FOX and NBC. Paxton Lynch, QB: Lynch was a former first-round pick of the Denver Broncos in 2016. The Tampa Bay Bandits selected Rogers in the 13th round of the USFL draft. With a plan so simple it just might work, Mike Rileys team has produced the leagues top offense via an efficient run game built by offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Steven Smith. Lacina was the first center picked in the draft. He became one of the most accomplished players in the history of Occidental College, where the play-by-play announcer, Mike Wells, nicknamed him "Division III Aaron Rodgers.". The Generals made a great choice by adding Bausby to their roster, and he should be a strong voice both on the field and in the locker room. Additionally, he completed 74% of his passes and recorded ball speeds of up to 58 miles per hour. After joining the Denver Broncos as an undrafted free agent in 2017, Sloter became somewhat of a journeyman. American Football International is your source for news and updates about American Football outside the United States! Hes also put in the work to have this opportunity. Theyre coughing up a league-worst 162.7 yards per game, and in that Stribling-less loss to the Stallions just could not get off the field. Some of the habits that dinged him coming out of college (he takes a lot of sacks) are still a work in progress but he keeps getting better. Jonathan Newsome, LB: Newsome was a fifth-round pick of the Indianapolis Colts in 2014. He played seven games in his NFL career and had 10 tackles. Tampa Bay Bandits quarterback Brady White owns the school record at Memphis for passing TDs in a career, with 90. 2 overall USFL pick by the Tampa Bay Bandits, from his time as a member of the St. Louis BattleHawks in the XFL. 2022 FOX News Network, LLC. Its not over till its over. He is not on a StepMill. He was reinstated in 2021. After an excellent senior season at Arkansas State in 2017, Odom went undrafted and signed with the Falcons. Taamu started the final five games of the 2017 season. After amassing 375 attempts over four seasons at the University of Illinois, Corbin could now land a spot on the back end of an NFL roster. New Orleans is 5-2. He even took over punting duties for one game, so hes versatile too. USFL EXEC DARYL JOHNSTON PREVIEWS 'UNPRECEDENTED' FAN EXPERIENCE FOR UPCOMING SEASON, New Orleans Breakers players on the sideline during a scrimmage. Taamu might be the best QB in the league. He also had 5 tackles for loss and 9 quarterback hits. Smith started his pro career as a receiving back for the Miami Dolphins in 2017, but quickly became known for his running abilities. In four seasons at Oregon State, Bolden returned 108 kickoffs and punts, totaling four touchdowns in the process. We singled Bolden out as our favorite draft pick for Birmingham in February and were, perhaps, onto something.. Boldens 33 catches are a league-best through seven games. Head coach Skip Holtz is his own offensive coordinator (with longtime SEC assistant John Chavis running the defense) and that decision has paid off. Despite Odoms efforts, the Gamblers have the USFLs worst defense (368.1 yards and 25.3 points allowed per game) and an offense that has struggled to move the ball (league-low 248.3 yards per game). Weber rushed for 1,096 yards as a spell back on the 2016 Buckeyes squad behind first-round selection and current Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. He played for the Eagles, Cardinals, Broncos and the Chicago Bears between 2016 and 2020. He also won the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, the Chuck Bednarik Award (both awarded to the nations best defensive player) and the Lombardi Award (player who best embodies the values and spirit of legendary coach Vince Lombardi). In 2018, he was selected by the Texas Rangers in the MLB Draft. Victor Bolden Jr, WR: Bolden played for two teams in the NFL the San Francisco 49ers and Buffalo Bills. He was with the Jaguars and Chargers in 2018 and 2020. Defensively, former Ole Miss linebacker DeMarquis Gates has five sacks in seven weeks, along with two forced fumbles, an interception and two pass breakups. Terry Poole, Robert Myers and Evan Heim have also made contributions here. He was with the Arizona Cardinals when he was suspended for gambling on NFL games in 2020. Ahmad Dixon, S: Dixon played in the NFL in 2014. Not that there was much doubt about Striblings impact after he started the year with four interceptions in four games, but when he missed Week 5 a matchup with Birmingham the Stars didnt really have any way to cover that absence. CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE ON FOXNEWS.COM, Philadelphia Stars and Michigan Panthers square off in a scrimmage. Chad Williams, WR: Williams was in the NFL for three seasons. Houston has selected Chris Odom in the #USFLDraft pic.twitter.com/hOZ1hX4N8C, Houston Gamblers (@USFLGamblers) February 23, 2022. Trae Elston, DB: Elston was on the Eagles during their Super Bowl-winning season as well even though he played one game for them. Welcome to the Breakers, Taywan Taylor #GeauxBlueWave pic.twitter.com/AgTmm4VMYz. Lucas was with the XFLs Tampa Bay Vipers in 2020, and was the anchor for the leagues best offensive line. T.J. Logan, RB: Logan played running back for the Cardinals and Buccaneers in 2018 and 2019. Former NFL quarterback Paxton Lynch had a shot, too, but he suffered an ankle injury that shelved him.
Marable has yet to play in a meaningful professional game, but dont let that hinder your enthusiasm. #GiddyUp pic.twitter.com/SxIf3PnT02, CHAMPIONSTALLIONS (@USFLStallions) February 23, 2022. If nothing else, Stribling probably has a great jersey collection. Were gonna take you closer to the game than weve ever taken you before.". Isaiah Zuber, WR: Zuber made four appearances for the New England Patriots in 2020. Lynch left Memphis ranked fourth all time, with 59. Shea Patterson, QBUSFL team: Michigan PanthersCollege: Michigan. Smith is a 45-year-old ex-college fullback who has coaching experience in NFL Europe, the Arena League, Division II and the most recent incarnation of the XFL. Each of his seven TDs went to a different receiver. Taamu gained some traction during his time with the St. Louis BattleHawks, as he became one of the best quarterbacks the XFL had to offer. The audio were gonna have, all the communication thats between the coach and the player, were gonna be able to interview the coaches through their headset. A year later, he became the XFLs rushing yards leader as a member of the Tampa Bay Vipers. The Sloter-Taylor duo should definitely be one to keep an eye on as the USFL season progresses. Donald Payne is the only player on this list whos actually started a game in the NFL. Stribling was excellent for the Stars this season, leading the USFL with seven interceptions. FOX Sports USFL announcer Joel Klatt previews the 'quality' talent and technology behind the league on 'Fox & Friends.'. Brady White, QB: White was a standout quarterback at Memphis but failed to latch onto an NFL team in 2021. He won Super Bowl LII as a member of the Eagles practice squad, and after spending time in the AAF, made a comeback with the Denver Broncos. Early signs of trouble for Jets? He appeared in two games but never made a completion in five attempts. RJ Young breaks down why the Panthers' Shea Patterson and Paxton Lynch, the Bandits' John Franklin III and Jordan Ta'amu, and the Stars' Bryan Scott make his list of the most exciting players to watch in the USFL. The Breakers have the top pass attack in the USFL, which is hard to get overly excited about due to some of the inefficiency everywhere else but dont fault Larry Fedora and Noel Mazzones crew for that. He had two tackles. Scooby Wright III, LB: Wright was a seventh-round pick of the Browns in 2016. Runner-up here might be former Alabama running back Bo Scarbrough, a local favorite who signed with the team earlier this month and has posted back-to-back 100-yard games. Delrick Abrams, CB: Abrams was with the Falcons for three games in 2020. Among players with at least 40 targets in the USFL, Williams led the way with 14.8 yards per reception. He played in 24 games. Odom leads the league with 7 1/2 sacks he had 2 1/2 of them in Week 6 against the Generals and hes also swatted five passes and blocked a pair of field goals. Compared to Patterson, Taamu finished averaging more yards per pass attempt (9.7 vs. 8.7), a better passer efficiency rating (164.5 vs. 151.5), a better completion percentage (66.5 vs. 63.8) and a better TD-INT ratio (11:4 vs. 17:9). The former Arkansas State standout has been one of the top downfield receivers in the USFL this season, with 22 catches for 317 yards and three touchdowns in seven games. Dating back to his days at Illinois, Corbin has been a patient runner with good vision and feet. He appeared in two games and returned kicks. Paxton Lynch, QBUSFL: Michigan PanthersCollege: Memphis. Alex McGough is playing quarterback for the Birmingham Stallions. He bounced around practice squads in the NFL before getting to the USFL. He picked up a Super Bowl ring with the Eagles during the teams win in 2017. Adonis Alexander, CB: Alexander was a cornerback for Washington in 2018. Powered and implemented by FactSet Digital Solutions. It is not. And express your love and support for your favorite teams and players. Dont let the draft position fool you, though, as New Orleans may have found a gem here. #dropthehammer pic.twitter.com/7jcMUEURFg. Chris Rowland, WR: Rowland was with the Falcons in 2020. He will likely be the starting quarterback. Sloter leads the league with 1,499 yards and hes had some of the top targets to throw to in Dixon, Adams and tight end Sal Cannella (Auburn). The inaugural campaign of the relaunched USFL is in its stretch drive with three weeks remaining in the regular season. Get more from United States Football League. If quarterback Case Cookus heats up for a couple of playoff games, who knows. David Rivers III, CB: Rivers was a cornerback for the Buccaneers in 2018 and 2018. All rights reserved. Its hard to say whether Taamu who has had opportunities with five NFL teams, including two shots with both the Texans and Lions will get his shot to stick at the next level. 1 Ranked Show with RJ Young." Badet's quarterback, Baker Mayfield, won the Heisman Trophy that season. The Panthers probably would have at least one more win if Murphy had been their kicker all year they lost in Week 4 on a missed 21-yard field-goal try. Pro Football Network, LLC. He had two catches for 29 yards in four games. Jameson Houston, DB: Houston played defensive back for the Eagles in 2020, appearing in three games. 2022 FOX News Network, LLC. The 6-2, 210-pounder had a fifth-/sixth-round grade from Dane Brugler ahead of the 2021 draft. Still, like Odom, hes a solid edge rusher with NFL experience who should garner some interest. Regardless, Walker should give fans plenty of entertainment throughout the season. (Ryan Gonzalez/USFL). Ethan Westbrooks, DT: Westbrooks had a nice run in the NFL. He played 30 games for the Colts and had 7.5 sacks and 47 total tackles. In 2014, he recorded one of the best linebacker seasons of the century, with 164 tackles, including 31 tackles for loss, 15 sacks and five forced fumbles. He had one catch for seven yards. But Scarbroughs addition to a backfield that already included ex-Coastal Carolina running back CJ Marable gives Birmingham playmaking options outside of the QB spot (which has featured both JMar Smith and Alex McGough). Every day, get free NFL updates sent straight to your inbox! Wright is one of the best collegiate linebackers of the past decade. Taiwan Jones, LB: Jones played three games for the New York Jets in 2016. Marable was signed by the Chicago Bears as an undrafted free agent in 2021, but didnt make the final roster. Freedom Akinmoladun, DE: Akinmoladun played three seasons in the NFL from 2019 to 2021. He made an impact in all three leagues, and now has an impressive resume heading into the upcoming USFL season. In his final two seasons at Michigan, Stribling recorded 15 pass deflections and 6 interceptions. Gamblers head coach Kevin Sumlin held the same position at Texas A&M while Gennesy was there, so the two already have a connection, and Sumlin now has a guy he can trust. Patterson was signed by the Kansas City Chiefs as an undrafted free agent in 2020. Josh Shaw, CB: Shaw was a standout at USC before being a fourth-round pick by the Cincinnati Bengals. Hes a viable rushing threat, and thats a skill that could be used at the NFL level. Odoms five blocked kicks were the second-most in Arkansas State history, which helped him get NFL attention. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, He only appeared in five games in the NFL. Birmingham iced that game with a 17-play, fourth-quarter drive that ate up nearly 11 minutes. Bausby can be considered a veteran at this point in his pro career, but has seen and done plenty since getting his first NFL opportunity in 2015. He left Memphis with the school record for total offense in a season (4,015 yards). While the defense has kept it in games, the offense hasnt been able to take full advantage of wide receivers Tre Walker and Bailey Gaither. Two Tampa Bay running backs (DeVeon Smith and Jacques Patrick) finished within the top five for rushing yards, which simply wouldnt have been possible without a player of that caliber. Is the team any good? If the run game can find a way to be a bit more explosive to take some of the pressure off the pass down the stretch, the Breakers have what they need to make some noise if they can secure a playoff bid. He had six tackles. The Generals top two backs (Darius Victor and Trey Williams) rank No. Odom most recently played for the CFLs Calgary Stampeders in 2021, where he recorded 5 tackles in 3 games. Check out the highlights of Philadelphia Stars first-round pick Bryan Scott while he played for the Generals in the Spring League. 1 in Wolverines history in passing yards per game in a career (217.7). Is this team good? Hes 7 for 8 on field goals, in all, and 5 for 5 on extra points. Gennesy, similar to another player on this list (Marquis Lucas), was one of the best offensive linemen in the XFL. Tampa Bay has a one-point loss to Houston, a six-point loss to Birmingham and seven-point losses to both Philadelphia and New Jersey. Leagues like the USFL (and XFL) give guys like Taamu quality players who dont stop working opportunity.
He had 792 passing yards and four touchdown passes. Wright dominated college football in 2014, and was arguably the best player in the nation at one point. Tackles arent everything, but Payne seems to have a nose for the ball. He tried to latch on in the NFL but never made an appearance in a regular-season game. Odom didnt play at a large college football program like some other players on this list, but that didnt stop him from making as many plays as possible. (Ryan Gonzalez/USFL). Scooby Wright, ILBUSFL: Birmingham StallionsCollege: Arizona. He was selected seventh among outside linebackers in the 29th round the first round OLBs were available for selection in the USFLs unique snake draft. But his production all season long likely has earned him another shot somewhere, especially considering how desperate teams always are to find active hybrid-edge defenders. He averaged nearly six yards per carry while No. Nope. Considering how many running backs NFL teams need to get through training camp and the season, Corbin could get a look. He played in 14 games and had 22 tackles. Brian Allen, CB: Allen played cornerback in the NFL from 2017 to 2021. Yet, he ascended to become the Panthers best running back and was named to the All-USFL team. If the Bandits can get hot and start closing games out, finding a way into the postseason as a result this is the USFL, for crying out loud. In addition to being accurate, Murphy also easily nailed a 60-yard field goal, proving hes got more than enough leg for the NFL. He played 13 other games for the Buffalo Bills. He appeared in 20 games and had six total tackles. Who is USFL's version of Justin Herbert, Cooper Kupp, Tyreek Hill? In 2018, Dobbins rushed for 1,053 yards on 230 rushes. He was with the Bears, Dolphin and Vikings. Mike Weber, RBUSFL: New Jersey GeneralsCollege: Ohio State. He has 31 NFL games under his belt and 28 tackles. He had 20 catches for 202 yards and a touchdown. #ForPhilly pic.twitter.com/FtrEfYj4np, Philadelphia Stars (@USFLStars) February 23, 2022. Corbins 5.5 yards per carry were the best (by far) of any player with at least 100 rushing attempts, and he also offers kick-return experience. Defensively, ex-Washington State safety Shalom Luani has four interceptions and 6-1 former Pittsburg State cornerback DeVante Bausby leads the league with 11 pass breakups. Powered and implemented by FactSet Digital Solutions. He played for the New York Guardians of the XFL. He caught 26 passes for 400 yards with three touchdowns during the 2017 season, which ended with OU securing the Big 12 title and an invitation to the College Football Playoff. Its important to note that there will be a supplemental draft on March 10, which will see 80 new players join the league. Chris Orr, LB: Orr was signed as a linebacker in 2020 for the Panthers. He played for the Rams from 2014 to 2018 and then caught on with the New Orleans Saints in 2021. He had 76 combined tackles and a sack. Jordan Moore, OLBUSFL: Philadelphia StarsCollege: University of Texas-San Antonio. He was the most heavily-utilized return man in the USFL, and he could also be used as a rushing threat in the NFL after handling 95 attempts in college. The talent level in the USFL is a few rungs below the NFL, but the cream rises to the top. JMon Moore, WR: Moore also played for the Packers for a short time. In the final regular-season game of his career against Ohio State, Patterson topped Tom Bradys career passing yard total, and then he passed UM coach Jim Harbaugh in the Citrus Bowl against Alabama. Taamus been a hard-luck player this year as the teams had some rough losses. JMar Smith delivers! He might be able to parlay this USFL performance into another cup of coffee in an NFL camp, though. #Steelers #NFL #USFL https://t.co/DdVCcV4i79, Steelers Depot 7 (@Steelersdepot) February 24, 2022. "I think what people will understand when they see these players play is that COVID really messed up the transition from college to the NFL. This is a decent team, by league standards, that hasnt been able to get over the hump. He started games at Ole Miss and Michigan, earned All-Big Ten honors twice at the latter and finished No. He had 10 tackles in that span. Honorable mention here for kicker Cole Murphy, who recently nailed a 60-yard field goal and has been USFL Special Teams Player of the Week for two weeks running. Tracking the NFLs strange yet momentous sexual assault case against Deshaun Watson How long will he be suspended? Ryan Gaydos is the sports editor for Fox News and Fox Business. He was mostly on the special teams unit. If Walker wants to lead the USFL in sacks, its less about the guard or tackle hes going up against, and more about where hes put on a specific play.