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2022 USFL Top Ten Linebacker Candidates

USFL Top 10 Linebacker Candidates

2022 USFL Top 10 Linebacker Candidates

LIVE USFL DRAFT COVERAGE

The 2022 USFL Draft is on Tuesday! Now that the draft order is set, the teams will have to narrow down their shortlists and figure out who they want to represent them this season. Each round of the draft is assigned to a different position. Edge rushers will be selected in Rounds 2-4 and again in rounds 29-31. Inside linebackers will go in Round 21 which is going to be held on Wednesday. Here are the top-10 2022 USFL Linebacker Candidates.

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2022 USFL Top 10 Linebacker Candidates

1. Bryson Young

College: Oregon

Professional Experience: Falcons (NFL), Cardinals (NFL)

Measurements: 6’5″, 250 pounds 

Bryson Young could have the highest ceiling out of all the linebackers in the draft.  He is a former four-star recruit standing as a 6’5″, 250-pound pass rusher from the University of Oregon. He is full of raw potential. Also, if he continues on the same path of exponential growth as a football player that he showed in college, he could still have a lot more to prove. Especially since he is still in his early 20’s.

Young didn’t have a big impact with the Ducks until his breakout senior season. In it, he started all 13 games and captained the team in three of them. In his senior campaign, he had 56 tackles including 5.5 for a loss with 2 sacks.  He is very powerful off the edge and is tough to block.  He also can drop into coverage.  In college, he spent some time on the kick return unit as well. Young went undrafted in the 2020 NFL Draft. He went through training camp with the Falcons and then was picked up by the Cardinals in August of 2021. Given that two NFL teams gave him a shot, you can tell that he has the talent to play at a very high level if he can put all the pieces together.

2. BJ Blunt

College: McNeese State

Professional Experience: Commanders (NFL), Elks (CFL)

Measurements: 6’1″, 220 pounds

BJ Blunt is a 6’1″, 220-pound backer out of McNeese State.  He was also an NJCAA National Champion and All-American. BJ plays at 110% on every snap.  His lateral quickness across the field is impressive and he covers a lot of ground to make plays. He played defensive back in Junior College and again to start his career at McNeese State. In his last year at Junior College, he ranked 2nd in the nation with 8 interceptions. As a Junior, he moved to linebacker due to injuries on the team. He is a do it all guy that can lead a team in sacks or grab interceptions at safety.

3. Dale Warren

College: Chattanooga

Professional Experience: Bills (NFL), Blue Bombers (CFL), Surge (ELF), Express (AAF)

Measurements: 6’0″, 225 pounds

Dale Warren played at Chattanooga.  He had a big game against Alabama in which he sacked Jalen Hurts twice and had a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Warren is a hard hitter and is elusive when rushing the quarterback. He may be the most athletic linebacker in the draft. In 2019 as a Junior at Chattanooga, he was First Team All-SoCon and tied the single-season school record for tackles for a loss with 19. He has spent time in the CFL, EFL, and AAF.

4. Ahmad Gooden

College: Samford

Professional Experience: Broncos (NFL), Jets (NFL), Bills (NFL), Conquerors (TSL)

Measurements: 6’2″, 245 pounds

Gooden is a 26-year-old outside linebacker from Alabama.  He went to college at Samford where he was SoCon Defensive Player of the Year in 2017. Gooden has played on practice squads for the Broncos, Jets, and Bills. Gooden was pulled up to the Broncos’ active roster in 2019 and played in 3 games. He made one tackle with the Broncos. Last season he played for the Conquerors of The Spring League.

5. Jalen Choice

College: Jacksonville State

Professional Experience: Sea Lions (TSL)

Measurements: 6’3″, 234 pounds

In 2018 as a Junior at Jacksonville State, Jalen led the Gamecocks in tackles with 88 on his way to being named 2nd Team All-OVC.  His senior year he had another 80 tackles. Choice spent some time with the Sea Lions of The Spring Football League as well.  He’s 6’3″, 234-pounds, and has good quickness for his size.  He has long strides which makes him seem like he is all over the field.  Choice has a nose for finding the ball carrier and is all-around a great athlete and great football player.  He could be a 2022 USFL Linebacker dark horse to be one of the best linebackers in the league.

6. Mekhi Brown

College: Tennessee State

Professional Experience: N/A

Measurements: 6’5″, 241 pounds

Mekhi Brown played for Alabama and featured in the College Football Playoff before transferring to Tennessee State. Coming out of high school in 2015 he was a Top 150 recruit in the country.  In 2018 he was 2nd Team All-OVC. In 2019 he started the first 5 games of his senior season before suffering a season-ending injury.

7. Justin Hughes

College: Kansas State

Professional Experience: N/A

Measurements: 6’1″, 230 pounds

Hughes was a captain and leader of Kansas State. He was a 2020 grad, so he is still young and in great shape.  Unfortunately, he suffered an injury that caused him to miss his senior 2019 highlights, he received an extra year of eligibility in 2020 and is hungry to prove himself. He will get a chance to do so as a 2022 USFL Linebacker candidate.

8. Anthony Butler

College: Liberty

Professional Experience: Colts (NFL)

Measurements: 6’1″, 230 pounds

Butler is an all-around solid linebacker from Charlotte, NC. He spent some time at UNC-Charlotte before transferring to Liberty where he played one season on a Flames team that finished the season at #17 in the country.  In his senior season at Liberty, he was 2nd on the team in tackles with 67 including 4 for a loss. He also led the team in passes defended with 2 INTs and 4 pass break ups. He’s a very consistent tackler and wraps up very well. He is quick for a linebacker and can beat running backs to the edge.  Butler is also reliable in coverage.

9. Ty Schwab

College: Boston College

Professional Experience: Roughnecks (XFL), Stallions (AAF)

Measurements: 6’0″, 240 pounds

Ty Schwab is from Boston College. As a senior, he was 3rd Team All-ACC.  He was awarded Boston College’s MVP Award and led the team in tackles.  Schwab is 6’0″, 240 pounds, and played for the Roughnecks of the XFL and the Stallions of the AAF.

10. Tre Threat

College: Jacksonville State

Professional Experience: N/A

Measurements: 6’2″, 250 pounds

Tre Threat is an edge rusher from Jacksonville State.  He transferred to the Gamecocks from Auburn where he mainly just played on special teams. Out of high school, he had offers from Alabama, Clemson, Tennessee, Ole Miss, and more.

The Rest of The Field:

EJ Ejiya

College: North Texas

Professional Experience: Ravens (NFL), Aviators (TSL)

Measurements: 6’3″, 230 pounds

EJ Ejiya is a 6’3″, 230-pound linebacker from the University of North Texas. He’s 2nd in program history for tackles for a loss and the program leader for tackles for a loss in a season with 25 in 2018. EJ was First Team All-Conference USA in 2018. He had a shot with the Baltimore Ravens out of college and played in The Spring League for the Aviators.  Ejiya is good at getting into the backfield and clogging holes against the run. However, when a running back does get through the defensive line, he has room to improve in getting to the ball carrier before they break a play into the secondary. Sometimes he overcommits to the wrong gap and can leave his team exposed in the middle of the field.

Terrill Hanks

College: New Mexico State

Professional Experience: Dolphins (NFL)

Measurements: 6’3″, 235 pounds

Hanks is a hard-hitting linebacker from New Mexico State. He was projected to be a mid-round pick in the 2019 Draft but went undrafted. Hanks signed with the Miami Dolphins shortly after the draft. He is 26 years old and looking for another opportunity to prove himself.

Reggie Northrup II

College: Florida State

Professional Experience: Rams (NFL), Vipers (XFL), Apollos (AAF), Alouettes (CFL)

Measurements: 6’1″, 230 pounds

Reggie Northup II was on the National Champion Florida State Seminoles team in 2013. In 2015 he was All-ACC 2nd Team. He led the Seminoles in tackles during his Junior and Senior seasons (2014 and 2015). Thia 2022 USFL Linebacker candidate is a run-stopper but probably didn’t have an NFL career because of his size as he is only 6’1″. Although he did get a shot with the Rams before playing in the AAF, CFL, and XFL.  He stopped playing football for a little while to play MMA where he has the nickname “Black Dragon”. He is 4-0 in the Light Heavyweight Division.

Eric Assoua

College: Western Michigan

Professional Experience: Alphas (TSL)

Measurements: 6’2″, 240 pounds

Eric Assoua is an edge rusher out of Western Michigan. He is physical at the line of scrimmage and has an explosive lower body. He’s slightly undersized so he is much better when playing quarterbacks that like to scramble out of the pocket. He also shows a lot of patience in his pursuit of the quarterback. When playing against bigger offensive linemen he is a little predictable in always trying to fight toward the edge.  He isn’t always quick enough to get there but he also isn’t big enough to work inside.  Assoua has a good football IQ and can find advantages in every match-up. He played for the Alphas in The Spring League.

Jerimiah Spicer

College: Riverside

Professional Experience: Chargers (NFL), Wildcats (XFL), Aviators (TSL)

Measurements: 6’0″, 240 pounds

Jeremiah Spicer is a name to look out for.  He grew up homeless in Los Angeles and has had a chip on his shoulder his whole life. He didn’t play D1 ball, in fact, he never even played at a 4-year college.  Yet he still managed to get invited to a few Chargers practices. In 2018 he led the American Arena League in tackles. He also played for the Wildcats in the XFL and the Aviators in the TSL.  Spicer has a story that you can root for and he is worth keeping an eye on in the USFL. He lives and breathes football.

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