The past couple of days have been an absolute whirlwind for the USFL and its fans, as the league officially held their inaugural draft on February 22nd and 23rd. With the first draft including 35 rounds for eight teams, there was an unstoppable surge of information flowing from every USFL social media account from the moment it started, to the very last pick.
Quarterbacks were on the block for round one, giving every team an opportunity to choose their preferred signal caller. The first round delivered several exciting moments, and we should expect every one of these QBs to provide their organizations with high quality play.
Coming in as the first overall pick in the USFL draft, the Michigan Panthers selected Shea Patterson, the former standout from Michigan. Patterson threw for over 5,600 yards and 45 TD’s in just two years with the university, and looked like an excellent prospect coming out of his college years.
After a short stint with The Spring League in 2020, Patterson now has an opportunity to command his own team. To be fair, a lot is on the line for the #1 overall pick. This is his chance to prove himself on a professional level. The big question heading into the season is: Can Jeff Fisher’s style of offense mesh with Patterson? We’ll have to wait and see.
Without a doubt, Jordan Ta’amu is one of the brightest talents in this first round, and is an excellent choice for the Tampa Bay Bandits. Ta’amu provided Ole Miss with a solid quarterback for two years, putting up 5,600 yards and 30 TD’s during that tenure.
In the XFL’s 2020 season, Ta’amu was a star. The “Throwin’ Samoan”, as they called him, took the league by storm; leading the St. Louis Battlehawks to a 3-2 record before the XFL shut down. He was clearly one of the best quarterbacks in the XFL, proving to be a leader on and off the field.
Pulled two minutes of film on new #Chiefs quarterback Jordan Ta’amu. Dual-threat QB from XFL. Finished third in passing, seventh in rushing. Classic QB style that Reid likes and much closer to Patrick Mahomes’ manner than Chad Henne. You see that here. pic.twitter.com/bhBOWzroMt
While this move may have caught some by surprise, Scott and Andrus have a relationship that goes back to 2020, when the two of them ran through The Spring League’s fall season. Scott, Andrus, and the Generals went undefeated, largely in part due to Scott’s exceptional level of play. He made the most of the opportunity, dominating every defense that went up against him.
Now in the USFL, Scott has a golden opportunity to showcase his talents to the entire nation, and we should expect him to do so. The sky’s the limit for the Stars with Scott at the helm.
Ben Holmes is one of the lesser known picks to show up in the first round. He played for the Tarleton State Texans during his college career, before making an appearance in the TSL’s 2021 season.
Holmes did not fare all that well in The Spring League, struggling to find a rhythm as the Sea Lions were a team that never put it together. That being said, the young gunslinger can throw the football, and now has a chance to make his case in the USFL. New Jersey is taking a gamble with Holmes, but it might just work out for the Generals if they play their cards right.
Speaking of taking gambles…the Houston Gamblers selected Clayton Thorson with their first overall pick. Thorson is a Northwestern product, and holds the record for most passing yards (10,731), and most touchdowns thrown (61) with the university.
After an unsuccessful stint with the Philadelphia Eagles, Thorson is now back in control of a professional football team. Kevin Sumlin, head coach of the Gamblers, apparently likes what he sees in Clayton. Hopefully, the two can work together to bring a trophy back to the city of Houston.
Skip Holtz and the Birmingham Stallions grabbed Alex McCough with their first pick, which may prove to be a solid move. McCough is a sleeper – throwing for over 9,000 yards at Florida International in four years, before being passed around between a few NFL organizations.
McCough was excellent in college, and put up decent numbers in some preseason games for the NFL. But, similar to many of the other quarterbacks in the USFL, he never got a chance to start in an NFL game.
The USFL is now providing him with a chance to lead the Birmingham Stallions to the playoffs in their debut. Considering Skip Holtz plans on throwing the heck out of the football this season, McCough is going to have plenty of opportunities to show the world what he is capable of.
Coming in at pick number seven, the Pittsburgh Maulers selected Kyle Lauletta. Kyle had a solid college career at the University of Richmond, throwing for over 10,000 yards in four years. After short lived tenures with the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles, Lauletta now finds a home under Kirby Wilson’s leadership in Pittsburgh.
Lauletta has not accomplished a whole lot outside of his college years, but the 26 year old is ready to give professional football another go here in the USFL. With a change of scenery, alongside playing in an entire new league, Lauletta might just have what he needs to revive his career.
Despite being the last pick of the first round, Kyle Sloter is an absolute steal for Larry Fedora and the New Orleans Breakers. Sloter is one of those guys who has thrived in every place he’s been, but simply hasn’t had the chance to start at a professional level. In his final year with Northern Colorado, Sloter threw for over 2,600 yards and 29 touchdowns.
Kyle Sloter is best known for his preseason performances with the Minnesota Vikings and Denver Broncos. In his preseason “career”, Kyle passed for 1,222 yards, throwing 11 touchdowns to just one interception.
New Orleans got themselves an excellent athlete in Sloter. He is hungry to showcase his skills on a national level, and the USFL gives him the platform to do so. On top of that, Sloter worked with Fedora back in his earlier college days, so the two already have a relationship there. If all goes well for New Orleans and company, the Breakers are going to be a dangerous team in 2022.
At the end of the day, the USFL franchises drafted quite well. Each team is starting from scratch, and trust their #1 pick to lead them to victories once the season begins. In less than two months, we’ll finally get to watch the USFL take the field. Until then, fans will simply have to speculate about which quarterbacks will perform better, and who will take home the first Championship trophy.
Are you happy with your team’s #1 pick? Who are some quarterbacks you would want to see in the USFL’s future? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!