Ok, so within the first 24 hours of completion of the USFL draft, we learned about the CFL getting pretty mad about several, 55 to be exact, players getting drafted by this new league in the states. They even threw a temper tantrum over Derrick Jones. Sorry NOLA, better luck next time. Regardless of whatever may happen, there were some solid overall drafts by these upstart staffs. Yes, some names are more recognizable than others. Not as much “star power” as what many had hoped. A lot of dreams reborn. In the case of Paxton Lynch, one might say resurrected.
As opening day draws closer and camps take a toll, a supplemental draft is scheduled for March 10th. This gives teams one more shot to fix or fill any holes they may have. So take this with a grain of salt. I will provide updated rosters after the March 10 selections. Keep in mind this is strictly my opinions of each team. I have 20+ years of football knowledge and experience to draw from. But I get ’em wrong from time to time.
2022 USFL Pittsburgh Maulers
Even though they have some guys with real NFL experience, this team was made out of “last ditch effort to beat the clock” selections. Then some names you recognize. Tyson Graham, De’veon Smith, Kyle Lauletta, Arnold Tarpley. Blair Brown is another guy fans may be familiar with. The rest of the team leaves something to be desired. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying this team can’t win. Simply, that of the 8 teams, I am least impressed by this one.
2022 USFL Philadelphia Stars
Is it Pennsylvania based teams that I am biased against? There may be some truth to that. Most likely though, they just had bad drafts. Philly did come out better than Pittsburgh by a nose. With guys like Bradley Sylve, Jack Tocho, Solomon Wise and Channing Stribling, this is sure to be one strong defense. Offensively there isn’t much to write home about. Bryan Scott to Bug Howard could be dangerous in the red zone. If and when they manage to find it.
2022 USFL New Orleans Breakers
There may not be many stand out names for NOLA. As far as overall talent goes, they may actually have a shot at the title. This should be a fun team to watch. QB Kyle Slotter can sling it. Plain and simple this will be an offensive powerhouse. Larry Rose at RB will surprise quite a few people this year. Look for him to be an every down back on a pass 1st team.
2022 USFL Michigan Panthers
Here is where we find the rosters that start to look dangerous. Shea Patterson is a big arm QB. He can move the pocket and make defenses pay with his athleticism. The WR room is decent enough to keep secondaries from creeping up. The defensive line is stacked with big bodies. Look for Michigan to be serious playoff contenders.
2022 USFL Birmingham Stallions
The Stallions by far have the most talent at WR. The LB group is pretty impressive as well. Sprinkle in a few other solid picks and Birmingham is close to having one of the best rosters. Alex McGough is a question mark at QB. I’m far from impressed by the tail backs Coach Holtz settled on also. Hopefully the supplemental draft will solve these issues. With names like Luis Perez (QB- Bham Iron[AAF], NY Guardians[XFL], Tex. A&M Commerce[Div. 2 NCAA]) supposedly still in the draft pool there is no reason Birmingham can’t improve.
2022 USFL New Jersey Generals
New Jersey looks to be built as a Ground-N-Pound style offense, with a “punch your teeth in” defense. Mike Weber is easily the best Running Back in the league. Injuries plaugued his NFL career. Don’t sleep on this guy though. He will make opposing defenses pay if they do. TE Braedon Bowman is another one who injuries have been an issue for, but talent is plentiful. If the Generals play to their strengths, there may be only one team who can stop them.
2022 USFL Houston Gamblers
It was a toss up here for me. Houston got edged out of the top spot by one guy. Its the most important guy on the field, so i thought that is enough to put the Gamblers at 2. Hands down this is the team with the highest potential on defense. Offensively they aren’t too shabby either. CB Jamar Summers is the best DB in the league. Don’t believe me? Just go watch the tape on him. How he hasn’t made an NFL roster is beyond me. Beniquez Brown at ILB plays like his hair is on fire. The big question marks are at QB and WR. The OL should hold its own against the best pass rush the USFL will offer.
2022 USFL Tampa Bay Bandits
Here it is folks. The cream of the crop. The Alpha dog. My pick to win it all. QB Jordan Ta’amu gets paired back up with his center from St. Louis (XFL) Bruno Reagan. Former Alabama RB BJ Emmons is capable of being the best in the league. Top to Bottom the Bandits should walk through the competition. Coaching will have a huge impact as it always does in this game. Solely based on talent though, Tampa is the pick to win it all.
So there you have it. As I stated earlier, take this with a grain of salt. It shouldn’t be viewed as the gospel. Just a basic outline to get an idea of who you may want to hedge your bets this spring. The best part of the game is that no piece of paper or metric can determine the outcomes of the games. A lot of us get close more times than others. At the end of the day, it’s all just speculation.