The USFL wrapped up its regular season over the weekend, and with just three playoff games left on the schedule, the league’s players can be searching for their next gigs. As Pro Football Network’s Aaron Wilson recently reported, any USFL player on a team that didn’t qualify for the postseason is straight away eligible to field and pursue NFL opportunities.
Once the USFL playoffs are over, players within the four-team tournament should give you the chance to focus on NFL contracts as well. With that in mind, listed here are 10 USFL players we predict deserve a shot within the NFL.
10 top USFL players that would land NFL contracts
The talent level within the USFL is just a few rungs below the NFL, however the cream rises to the highest. These players have shown enough to earn deals with NFL teams.
Jordan Ta’amu, QB, Tampa Bay Bandits
Asked to throw greater than any quarterback within the league, Jordan Ta’amu led the USFL in attempts (302), passing yards (2,014), and passing touchdowns (14). But perhaps more impressive was his usage on the bottom, where he accrued 365 yards and a rating at a 6.19 yards-per-carry clip. He’s a viable rushing threat, and that’s a skill that may very well be used on the NFL level.
The second overall pick within the USFL draft, Ta’amu has NFL practice squad/offseason roster experience with the Chiefs, Lions, Commanders, and Panthers. He’s got NFL size at 6’3″, 214 kilos. Still only 24 years old, Ta’amu could make sense as a developmental QB for plenty of NFL clubs.
Reggie Corbin, RB, Michigan Panthers
Reggie Corbin wasn’t a starter when the USFL season got underway. He wasn’t even a clear-cut No. 2. Yet, he ascended to grow to be the Panthers’ best running back and was named to the All-USFL team.
Corbin’s 5.5 yards per carry were the very best (by far) of any player with at the least 100 rushing attempts, and he also offers kick-return experience. After amassing 375 attempts over 4 seasons on the University of Illinois, Corbin could now land a spot on the back end of an NFL roster.
Victor Bolden Jr., WR, Birmingham Stallions
Listed at just 5’8″, 178 kilos, Victor Bolden Jr. may not have the dimensions to be an NFL receiver. Nevertheless, that didn’t stop him from becoming the USFL’s fourth-leading receiver with 415 yards. Still, his shot within the NFL would likely come on special teams.
In 4 seasons at Oregon State, Bolden returned 108 kickoffs and punts, totaling 4 touchdowns in the method. He was essentially the most heavily-utilized return man within the USFL, and he may be used as a rushing threat within the NFL after handling 95 attempts in college. Bolden has accrued NFL playing time with the 49ers but was suspended for PEDs in 2018.
Marlon Williams, WR, Birmingham Stallions
Bolden’s Stallions teammate Marlon Williams also needs to be on NFL radars. At 5’11”, 204 kilos, he has more size than Bolden. Plus, he’s still only 22 years old, so he has youth on his side.
Amongst players with at the least 40 targets within the USFL, Williams led the way in which with 14.8 yards per reception. He showed improvement in every season while at UCF from 2017-20. In his COVID-shortened senior season, Williams managed 71 catches, 1,039 yards, and 10 touchdowns in only eight games.
Sal Cannella, TE, Latest Orleans Breakers
Sal Cannella was a large receiver for Auburn from 2017-19, but he never topped 12 receptions or 200 yards in a single season. He exceeded each those marks within the USFL this season, posting 34 receptions for 368 yards and two touchdowns because the league’s best tight end.
Canella was certainly one of only two TEs among the many USFL’s top 10 receiving yardage leaders. Provided that he’s only 228 kilos at 6’5″, Canella would likely have to bulk as much as play tight end within the NFL.
Chris Odom, EDGE, Houston Gamblers
If there’s a USFL alum virtually guaranteed to draw NFL interest, it’s pass rusher Chris Odom. Arguably the very best player within the league, Odom led the USFL with 12 1/2 sacks. NFL teams are all the time searching for rotational edge rushers, and the 6’4″, 257-pound Odom deserves one other shot.
After a wonderful senior season at Arkansas State in 2017, Odom went undrafted and signed with the Falcons. He appeared in seven games with the Packers in 2017 and posted two sacks in 4 games with Washington in 2019. It would be a surprise if Odom just isn’t in an NFL camp this summer.
Davin Bellamy, EDGE, Latest Orleans Breakers
After starting the yr off right with three sacks within the season opener, Davin Bellamy cooled down over the remaining of the season and finished with only 5 1/2 total sacks. Still, like Odom, he’s a solid edge rusher with NFL experience who should garner some interest.
Bellamy put up 13 sacks over 4 years at Georgia before going undrafted in 2018. He’s been on offseason/practice rosters with the Texans, Bengals, Titans, 49ers, and Chargers, but he’s yet to play an NFL snap. That would change in 2022 if he gets the possibility to latch on with a team in training camp.
Donald Payne, LB, Houston Gamblers
Donald Payne is the one player on this list who’s actually began a game within the NFL. Payne appeared in 30 games for the Jaguars from 2017-19, primarily serving as a special teamer. He began five contests for Jacksonville in 2019 before spending time with Washington, Miami, and San Francisco over the subsequent two years.
Tackles aren’t all the things, but Payne seems to have a nose for the ball. He led the USFL with 117 tackles, while the second-place finisher had only 75. That’s the identical gap between No. 2 and No. 18 on the USFL tackle leaderboards.
Channing Stribling, CB, Philadelphia Stars
Channing Stribling can have more experience in skilled football leagues than any player within the country. After playing at Michigan, Stribling bounced across the NFL with the Browns, Colts, 49ers, and Chargers. He’s played within the AAF, XFL, CFL, and USFL, and he was drafted into The Spring League. If nothing else, Stribling probably has an ideal jersey collection.
Stribling was excellent for the Stars this season, leading the USFL with seven interceptions. Already 27 years old, Stribling might want to capitalize on his next NFL likelihood, which he should receive after his ball-hawking campaign.
Cole Murphy, K, Michigan Panthers
We’ve seen kickers like Younghoe Koo and Nick Folk use spring league success as a springboard to an NFL opportunity, and Cole Murphy may very well be next on that list. Murphy only appeared in six games, but he was the USFL’s most accurate kicker with a 92% field goal conversion rate.
Along with being accurate, Murphy also easily nailed a 60-yard field goal, proving he’s got good enough leg for the NFL. He even took over punting duties for one game, so he’s versatile too.