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USFL Draft Day 1 Recap: USFL Quarterbacks, Edge Rushers, and Defensive Backs

USFL Draft Day 1 Recap: USFL Quarterbacks, Edge Rushers, and Defensive Backs

USFL Draft Day 1 Recap: USFL Quarterbacks, Edge Rushers, and Defensive Backs

The USFL completed its first round of the draft in an extremely fast-paced whirlwind!  Much like any draft we had drama.  We had surprises.  We had guys taken before you expected and guys still out there you think should have already been drafted.  The picks came in faster than you could react, so it is time to reflect on the players selected. On Day One the USFL teams selected quarterbacks, edge rushers, and defensive backs.


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USFL Draft Day 1 Recap: USFL Quarterbacks, Edge Rushers, and Defensive Backs

What Positions Were Drafted on Day 1 of the USFL?

Unlike some drafts you may have watched, teams had to draft a specific position within each round. The first round consisted of quarterbacks.  Rounds two through four consisted of defensive ends.  Rounds five through seven were all offensive tackles.  Rounds eight through eleven were all cornerbacks.  In the last round of Day 1, another round of quarterbacks went to new USFL homes.

Round 1 – Quarterbacks

USFL Team Player
Michigan Panthers Shea Patterson
Tampa Bay Bandits Jordan Ta’amu
Philadelphia Stars Bryan Scott
New Jersey Generals Ben Holmes
Houston Gamblers Clayton Thorson
Birmingham Stallions Alex McGough
Pittsburgh Maulers Kyle Lauletta
New Orleans Breakers Kyle Sloter

The biggest surprise on the Day 1 of the USFL was Shea Patterson going number one.  The Quarterback out of Michigan gets his chance to start again and prove himself at a professional level in a return to Michigan.  The Tampa Bay Bandits may have gotten a steal in Jordan Ta’amu.  While he never had the opportunity to really flourish in the NFL, he has elite arm talent and the ability to throw on the run.  Ta’amu threw for 3,918 his senior year at Ole Miss, finishing second in the SEC behind only Tua Tagovailoa, who played three more games.

Other names taken were TSL MVP Bryan Scott.  Another quarterback popular in the Spring League was Ben Holmes who went to the Generals.  Clayton Thorson and Alex McGough were taken next, both surprises in round 1 of the USFL draft.  To close up round one of Day 1 of the USFL, two players who have had some NFL chances, Kyle Lauletta and Kyle Sloter were taken.  They’ll both look to make the most of their additional chance in professional football.

Round 2 – Defensive Ends

USFL Team Player
New Orleans Breakers Davin Bellamy
Pittsburgh Maulers Carlo Kemp
Birmingham Stallions Aaron Adeoye
Houston Gamblers Chris Odom
New Jersey Generals Bryson Young
Philadelphia Stars Freedom Akinmoladun
Tampa Bay Bandits Mekhi Brown
Michigan Panthers Adewale Adeoye

In round two of Day 1 of the USFL, defensive ends started flying off the board quicker than they fly after quarterbacks on the field.  Round two may have brought one of the best feel-good stories as brothers Aaron Adeoye and Adewale Adeoye will both get an opportunity to prove themselves on the professional level.  Another guy taken, Freedom Akinmoladun, had a great college career at Nebraska.  He was a four-year starter who finished with 16 tackles for losses, 12 sacks, and 106 total tackles.

Other names taken in the 2nd round were David Bellamy and Carlo Kemp.  The Gamblers took Chris Odom and the Generals followed it with Chris Odom.  Bryson Young was taken just before Akinmoladun, which was a surprise to me. Finally, Alabama defensive end Mekhi Brown was taken by the Tampa Bay Bandits.  Brown was a four-star prospect with good length and burst and a lot of untapped potential.


Round 3 – Defensive Ends

Michigan Panthers Cavon Walker
Tampa Bay Bandits Michael Scott
Philadelphia Stars Gus Cumberland
New Jersey Generals Kolin Hill
Houston Gamblers Ahmad Gooden
Birmingham Stallions Chauncy Hany
Pittsburgh Maulers Nasir Player
New Orleans Breakers Anree Saint-Amour

Day 1 of the USFL kept pushing along with Cavon Walker being taken by the Panthers.  The Bandits followed them, picking Michael Scott.  No, not the one from The Office.  Gus Cumberland was taken by the Stars and Kolin Hill by the Generals.  A player to watch is Nasir Player.  He isn’t a household name, playing at East Tennessee State but in college, he had 40 starts, 182 tackles, 40 tackles for loss, 18.5 sacks, and 5 forced fumbles.

Other names drafted in the 3rd round were Kolin Hill from Texas Tech.  He has experience at both defensive end and linebacker positions.  Ahmad Gooden was taken by the Gamblers after him. Followed by Chauncy Hany.  The last pick on Day 1 of the USFL at the end of round 3 was Anree Saint-Amour.

Round 4 – Defensive Ends

New Orleans Breakers James Folston Jr
Pittsburgh Maulers Eric Assoua
Birmingham Stallions Seth Thomas
Houston Gamblers Drequan Brown
New Jersey Generals Malik Hammer
Philadelphia Stars Carroll Phillips
Tampa Bay Bandits Adam Shuler
Michigan Panthers Chase DeMoor
New Orleans Breakers Nigel Chavis
Birmingham Stallions Jonathan Newsome

The final round of defensive ends on Day 1 of the USFL saw several names we weren’t as familiar with go.  James Folstno Jr. and Eric Assoua were the first two taken.  Seth Thomas was taken by the Stallions, followed by Drequan Brown.  Somebody with the most untapped potential is Malik Hammer, drafted by the Generals.

A player I’m looking forward to seeing get another shot is Chase Demoor out of Central Washington.  He’s a strong player with good finesse moves and quick snap-off-the-line.  DeMoor is most recently known for his appearance on the Netflix dating show “Too Hot to Handle”.  Other names taken in the 4th round on Day 1 of the USFL were Adam Shuler, Nigel Chavis, Jonathan Newsome, and Carroll Phillps.

Round 5 – Offensive Tackles

Pittsburgh Maulers Chidi Okeke
Birmingham Stallions Darius Harper
Houston Gamblers Brandon Hitner
New Orleans Breakers Paul Adams
Michigan Panthers Keith Williams
New Jersey Generals Garrett McGhin
Philadelphia Stars Blake Alan Camper
Tampa Bay Bandits Tyler Catalina

The first offensive tackle taken on Day 1 of the USFL is also one of the most interesting.  Chidi Okeke didn’t play football until 2013 when he moved here from Nigeria.  He was a 5-star prospect at LSU and has bounced around different practice squads in the NFL.  Taken after him were Darius Harper, Brandon Hitner, and Paul Adams.

Keeping the big boys moving right along Keith Williams and Garrett McGhin were taken next.  And finally in the first round of offensive tackles on Day 1 of the USFL Blake Alan Camper and Tyler Catalina were taken.

Round 6 – Offensive Tackles

Tampa Bay Bandits Corbin Kaufusi
Philadelphia Stars Michael Rodriguez III
New Jersey Generals Calvin Ashley
Michigan Panthers Teton Saltes
New Orleans Breakers Donnell Greene
Houston Gamblers Avery Gennesy
Birmingham Stallions O’Shea Dugas
Pittsburgh Maulers Isaiah Battle

The offensive tackles kept flying off the board and the first in round six on Day 1 of the USFL was Corbin Kaufusi.  Calvin Ashley and Teton Saltes were also taken in the sixth round. Isaiah Battle, who played at Clemson was taken at the end of the round.  He has had some controversy but is a talented player who could flourish.

O’Shea Dugas, Avery Gennessy, and Donnell Greene were taken in round six on Day 1 of the USFL Draft.  One of the names to watch, taken by the stars is Michael Rodriguez III.  A three-year starter at Louisiana Tech, Rodriguez has long arms and the athleticism of a tight end.  I expect him to be a great offensive tackle in the USFL and to have a great year.

Round 7 – Offensive Tackle

Pittsburgh Maulers Charles Baldwin
Birmingham Stallions Justice Powers
Houston Gamblers John Yarbrough
New Orleans Breakers Marquis Lucas
Michigan Panthers Joshua Dunlap
New Jersey Generals Terry Poole
Philadelphia Stars Jacob Paul Burton
Tampa Bay Bandits Juwann Bushell-Beatty
Birmingham Stallions Matthew Snow
Michigan Panthers Joshua Taylor

The last round of offensive tackles on Day 1 of the USFL draft started with the maulers taking Charles Baldwin.  Baldwin is a 6-5, 305-pound tackle who spent time at Alabama and Kansas before ending with Youngstown.  He was a 4-star recruit and this may just be the chance he needed.

There were plenty of names in round seven that weren’t as well known but don’t let that deceive you.  These big guys can all play and will all look to make the most of this professional opportunity.

Round 8 – Cornerback

Tampa Bay Bandits Delrick Abrams Jr
Philadelphia Stars Channing Stribling
New Jersey Generals De’Vante Bausby
Michigan Panthers Tino Ellis
New Orleans Breakers Adonis Alexander
Houston Gamblers Jamar Summers
Birmingham Stallions Brian Allen
Pittsburgh Maulers Ajene Harris

The first round of quarterbacks went in round 8 on Day 1 of the USFL Draft. We saw USFL teams move away from the long lanky cornerbacks and go with some cornerbacks that are more around six feet or under and bring a lot of speed.  Delrick Abrams was the first cornerback taken, followed by Channing Stribling.  Many of the names may have been unknown but Jamar Summers was one we did know.  He has excellent ball skills and will give wide receivers and quarterbacks problems.


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Round 9 – Cornerback

Pittsburgh Maulers Terrell Bonds
Birmingham Stallions Tae Hayes
Houston Gamblers Will Likely
New Orleans Breakers Derrick Jones
Michigan Panthers Jameson Houston
New Jersey Generals Trae Elston
Philadelphia Stars Marcus Lewis
Tampa Bay Bandits Davante Davis

The next round of cornerbacks on Day 1 of the USFL Draft had more speedy cornerbacks taken.  Terrell Bond was first off the board, followed by Tae Hayes.  The Gamblers took Will Likely and Breakers took Derrick Jones.

Jameson Houston from Baylor has had some time moving around NFL teams. He’ll now get another opportunity at the professional level to show his skills and show that he’s an NFL-caliber corner.  Trae Elston, Marcus Lewis, and Davante Davis.

Round 10 – Cornerback

Tampa Bay Bandits Christian Campbell
Philadelphia Stars Mazzi Wilkins
New Jersey Generals David Rivers
Michigan Panthers Dominique Martin
New Orleans Breakers Manny Patterson
Houston Gamblers Howard Wilson
Birmingham Stallions Bryan Mills
Pittsburgh Maulers Prince Robinson

More cornerbacks with speed were taken in the tenth round on Day 1 of the USFL Draft. Christian Campbell was first off the board followed by Mazzi Wilkins.  The Generals then selected David Rivers, followed by Dominique Martin.

Manny Patterson was drafted by the Breakers, and then Howard Wilson by the Gamblers.  Byran Mils and Prince Robinson were the last guys taken.  Christian Campbell played at Penn State before playing for the Rough Riders.  He had stints with the 49ers as well.  A 6th round pick, it is great to see Campbell get another opportunity to play at the professional level.

Round 11 – Cornerbacks

Pittsburgh Maulers Jaylon McClain-Sapp
Birmingham Stallions Lorenzo Burns
Houston Gamblers Jerry Cantave
New Orleans Breakers Ja’len Embry
Michigan Panthers Jalin Burrell
New Jersey Generals DeJuan Neal
Philadelphia Stars Bradley Sylve
Tampa Bay Bandits Rashard Causey
New Orleans Breakers Ike Brown

In the last round of cornerbacks on Day 1 of the USFL Draft, Jaylon Mclain-Sapp was taken by the Maulers.  Lorenzo Burns and Jerry Cantave were taken next.  The Breakers then drafted Ja’len Embry, who was followed by Jalin Burrell.

Other names like DeJuan Neal and Bradley Sylve were taken, followed by Rashard Causey.  The last cornerback taken on Day 1 of the USFL Draft was Isaiah “Ike” Brown from Florida International.  Brown is a great man-to-man cornerback.  He stays very physical with wide receiver.  He lowers his shoulder and delivers hard hits and will be a nightmare for wide receivers.

Round 12 – Quarterbacks

New Orleans Breakers Zach Smith
Pittsburgh Maulers Josh Love
Birmingham Stallions J’Mar Davis-Smith
Houston Gamblers Kenji Bahar
New Jersey Generals De’Andre Johnson
Philadelphia Stars Case Cookus
Tampa Bay Bandits Brady White
Michigan Panthers Paxton Lynch

In the last round on Day 1 of the USFL Draft, teams got to go back to taking quarterbacks.  It was a big win for some guys from smaller schools who deserve more opportunities such as Josh Love and J’Mar Davis-Smith.  Kenji Bahar was also taken.  The Stars took Case Cookus and the Bandits took Brady White. With some strong second quarterbacks taken here, the USFL may have some quarterback competitions.

While Paxton Lynch will overshadow this round, De’Andre Johnson is a player to keep an eye on.  Johnson was supposed to take over from Jaemis Winston at Florida State before an unfortunate event had him removed from the team.  He finished his college career at Texas Southern throwing for 1,927 yards as well as rushing for 180 yards.

Day 1 of the USFL Draft

That’s the end of all the players taken on Day 1 of the USFL Draft.  Day 2 returns tomorrow with rounds 13 through 35.  Sports Gambling Podcast will be live streaming coverage through the very last round.  Make sure you tune in early and get all the expert analysis, reactions, interviews, and more. With a whole new crop of USFL quarterbacks ready to roll, the 2022 season will be special.

Check out the Full FIVE HOUR USFL Draft Show from SGPN Below and be sure to tune in for Day Two starting at 9:45 AM Eastern on February 23.

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Born and raised in Iowa, Justin Mark is an avid Chicago Bears fan. He is a self-published author and loves writing almost as much as he loves sports, especially football. Whether it's the NFL, College Football, CFL, or spring football, he loves all football. He lives in the small town of Winterset, IA with his wife and their dog and cat. Justin is co-host of SGPN's Fantasy Football show "Old-Fashioned Football", cohost of an NFL Gambling Podcast, and the XFL Gambling Podcast.


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