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USFL standouts who could make NFL rosters: Kyle Sloter, Case Cookus highlight players to look at in 2022 playoffs


The USFL has made it further than another spring football start-up has in recent history. Its postseason will begin on June 25 when the Latest Jersey Generals and Philadelphia Stars face off for the proper to go to the USFL championship game.

Making it this far is a large feat for the USFL. The following challenge the league will face once the season ends might be organizing its rosters for 2023.

It seems highly likely that the USFL will lose a few of its current players to the NFL. These players aren’t sure-fire NFL stars; they usually tend to fill in as solid role players. Still, teams are all the time trying to find 90-man roster depth through the offseason, so grabbing a couple of potential-packed projects with recent on-field playing experience should intrigue a handful of teams.

Who’re the USFL’s probably NFL prospects? Here’s a take a look at a few of one of the best bets to make the jump.

MORE: Explaining how the inaugural USFL postseason works

Players to look at in USFL playoffs 2022

Below is a run-down of the highest players to look at on playoff-bound USFL teams.

Kyle Sloter, QB, Breakers

Sloter has one of the best skill set of any quarterback within the USFL. He finished second within the league in passing yards with 1,798 and helped the Breakers turn into considered one of the league’s top offenses. Sloter had just nine touchdowns in comparison with 11 interceptions, but he was way more accurate to start out the season before a groin injury bothered him down the stretch. He should get a probability to compete for a backup job in NFL camp after being named the quarterback of the All-USFL offensive team.

Case Cookus, QB, Stars

Cookus wasn’t the starter for the Stars firstly of the season, but once he took over for Bryan Scott, he showcased a solid arm and excellent accuracy. Cookus accomplished 62.5 percent of his passes for 1,334 yards, 12 touchdowns and just five interceptions. He hit his stride late within the season and demonstrated better-than-expected mobility. Like Sloter, Cookus has the potential to turn into an accurate, quality backup on the NFL level.

Case Cookus ➡️ Devin Gray for six!

The Stars extend their result in 10.

(via @USFLStars, 📺: @FS1)pic.twitter.com/NFItJHVrsm

— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) May 7, 2022

J’Mar Smith, QB, Stallions

Smith doesn’t have the identical passing ceiling as Sloter and Cookus, but he has good mobility within the pocket and customarily avoided turnovers. He passed for 1,573 yards and 10 touchdowns with just six interceptions. Smith should get a probability to compete for a roster spot and could possibly be viewed as a developmental passer.

MORE: Full schedule for the 2022 USFL playoffs including dates, times, TV channels

Bo Scarbrough, RB, Stallions

The Stallions already had a great offense before they signed Scarbrough. After, they were considered one of the league’s best units. Scarbrough averaged 4.2 yards per carry and used his big, physical frame to wear down defenses. He could possibly be a solid rotational power back and big-time goal-line weapon on the NFL level.

Darius Victor, RB, Generals

Victor is 28, but he still has quite a lot of tread on the tires. He has demonstrated that while playing within the USFL, as he has been the driving force behind the Generals’ top-ranked rushing offense, racking up 577 rushing yards and a league-high nine rushing touchdowns. He’s thickly built at 5-8, 209 kilos and has enough strength, shiftiness and speed to be an honest NFL running back.

Matt Colburn II, RB, Stars

Colburn has improved because the season has unfolded, identical to the Stars’ offense. He has averaged 4.5 yards per carry and has generated eight rushing touchdowns as Philadelphia’s top back. He’s a great pass-catcher and is essentially the most explosive running back within the playoffs.

KaVontae Turpin, WR, Generals

Speaking of explosive, Turpin is a real playmaker and could be the best offensive weapon the Generals have. The 25-year-old led the USFL in receiving yards with 540 and was utilized in a wide range of ways by Latest Jersey. Turpin, who was named the USFL MVP and an All-USFL return man, is a weapon with the ball in his hands and has potential as a gadget weapon and return man within the NFL.


Maurice Alexander, WR/KR, Stars

Speaking of return men, Alexander should draw attention from NFL teams trying to upgrade their punt and kick return spots. Alexander averaged a league-high 31.5 yards per kick return and 12.6 yards per punt return. He has great vision and the quick-cut ability needed to seek out open lanes. He’ll probably be given a probability to prove himself on the NFL level, and a few might even see the previous Florida International quarterback as a gadget-type player on offense, too.

Davin Bellamy, DE, Breakers

Bellamy burst onto the USFL scene by recording three sacks within the Breakers’ first game. He only recorded 5.5 total on the season, but he generated loads of pressure and push to open up space for the Breakers’ terrific linebacker duo. He could possibly be a pleasant rotational pass rusher in any defense due to his 6-5 size.

DeMarquis Gates, LB, Stallions

Scooby Wright III got quite a lot of the eye within the early going for the Stallions, but Gates eventually established himself because the team’s top linebacker in racking up 62 tackles with a league-high 11 tackles for loss. Gates can play a wide range of roles inside a linebacker corps and has solid size at 6-2, 221 kilos. His playmaking ability will get him a glance this offseason.

Vontae Diggs, LB, Breakers

Diggs is comparable to Gates in that he has good athleticism and generally is a flashy playmaker. He had the USFL’s first pick-six and totaled 75 tackles and 7 TFL within the Breakers’ strong defense. Diggs is an amazing downhill playmaker and has proven that he can delay in coverage due to his athleticism. If things don’t work out within the NFL, Diggs can all the time return to the CFL, where he has previously played with Edmonton.

Latest Orleans Breakers are back after a 38-year hiatus. Vontae Diggs with a pick-six. Breakers 7-0 Stars.


— Garland Gillen (@garlandgillen) April 17, 2022

Jerod Fernandez, LB, Breakers

Fernandez has the slight edge over Diggs when discussing Latest Orleans’ best linebacker. He racked up 86 tackles, nine TFL and 1.5 sacks as the important thing, glue player in the course of the Breakers’ defense. He doesn’t do as well in coverage as Diggs — or at the very least doesn’t make as many plays — but at 6-1, 226 kilos, he generally is a strong, downhill linebacker and special teams contributor.

Shalom Luani, S, Generals

Luani’s play throughout the 2022 USFL season is a giant a part of the rationale that the Generals lost only one game. He has been a do-it-all playmaker at safety and ranks second within the league with five interceptions despite missing two games as a result of an injury. Luani made some big hits through the season and given his previous experience as a backup safety and special teams ace, he should get a probability to compete for an NFL roster spot.

Channing Stribling, CB, Stars

Stribling played in seven games for the Stars. He had seven interceptions in those contests, which was good for the USFL lead. Stribling has good instincts and great size at 6-2, 180 kilos, and he has been with 4 different NFL teams since going undrafted in 2017. Perhaps he’ll find a way to stay around this time if his All-USFL-level performance has sharpened his ball skills as much because the numbers indicate.

MORE: USFL ticket prices for playoff games at Pro Football Hall of Fame

Other USFL players who could make NFL rosters

There are many other talented players within the USFL who saw their seasons come to an end prematurely. 4 teams didn’t make the USFL postseason, but at the very least a handful of their players should get a probability to prove themselves as a part of 90-man NFL rosters through the offseason.

Below is a run-down of the players to keep watch over as back-end roster depth and potential preseason stars.

Jordan Ta’amu, QB, Bandits

Ta’amu was the USFL’s leading passer, as he racked up 2,014 yards and 14 touchdowns in 10 starts for the Bandits. He was removed from perfect — he threw 12 interceptions and accomplished just 57 percent of his passes — but he was often under pressure and showcased good mobility (365 rushing yards). An NFL team may take a look at him and see a player with developmental potential. A CFL team could do the identical and sign him to function a short-yardage quarterback.

More Ta’amu Touchdowns please!@JTaamu10 | #BanditBall pic.twitter.com/gy9a4H6OgI

— Tampa Bay Bandits (@USFLBandits) May 5, 2022

Reggie Corbin, RB, Panthers

Corbin was one of the explosive running backs within the USFL. He averaged 5.5 yards per carry, which was second-most amongst running backs behind only Tony Brooks-James. Corbin, 26, had 519 rushing yards in only eight games (six starts) for the Panthers and would have led the league in rushing yards if not for a late-season injury. The house-run threat should discover a home due to his shiftiness, though NFL teams will need to see if his apparent speed translates to the NFL.

Cheyenne O’Grady, TE, Bandits

O’Grady was considered one of the USFL’s best tight ends, as he tied for seventh within the league in receiving yards with 371 on 32 catches with two touchdowns. He’s 6-4, 256 kilos and has the receiving skills NFL teams search for of their tight ends. The query is whether or not he can develop as a blocker.

Jarron Jones, OT, Bandits

Jones (6-6, 320 kilos) was an all-USFL selection at right tackle and drew loads of praise from coach Todd Haley. NFL teams are all the time in search of quality offensive linemen, and on condition that Jones was solid at right tackle, he should get a probability to battle for a swing tackle job.

Chris Odom, DE, Gamblers

Odom won the USFL’s Defensive Player of the Yr award and was arguably the league’s best overall player in 2022. He recorded a whopping 12.5 sacks in 10 games and was virtually unblockable throughout the season. He had eight TFL, six forced fumbles and got his hands on some kicks as well. Odom is 6-4, 262 kilos and had two sacks in 4 games with Washington in 2019. He looks like an amazing rotational pass rush option and NFL teams needs to be lining as much as sign him.


Donald Payne, LB, Gamblers

Payne is considered one of the few USFL players who could rival Odom because the league’s best defensive player. Payne racked up a league-high 117 tackles and did just a little little bit of every thing for the Gamblers. He had six TFL, three interceptions, two sacks and a forced fumble. He was a real three-down linebacker for Houston and was a productive five-game starter for the Jaguars in 2019. As such, he could be the player probably to stay on a 53-man NFL roster.

DP on a mission 🚀🤫

All aboard the Payne Train!! @7PayneTrain pic.twitter.com/aWcOUPlJhv

— Houston Gamblers (@USFLGamblers) May 30, 2022

Frank Ginda, LB, Panthers

Ginda didn’t do rather a lot in coverage, but the previous San Jose State star was an instinctive tackler for the Panthers. He generated 90 tackles on the season, good for the second-most within the league, and that included six TFL. Ginda is 6-1, 230 kilos so he’s built to be a two-down thumper and special teams contributor. 

Will Likely, CB/KR, Gamblers

The Gamblers had a stud at each level of their defense. Likely had 4 interceptions — good for the third-most within the USFL — and likewise generated a few forced fumbles on his 63 tackles. He has a nose for the football and is ranked fourth within the USFL in punt return average at 12.2 yards per return. His combination of ball skills and returning skills make him an intriguing backup.

Cole Murphy, K, Panthers

Murphy’s 60-yard field goal didn’t stand as a USFL record for long, as Ramiz Ahmed of the Maulers made a 61-yard attempt in the ultimate weeks of the season. That said, Murphy was more accurate than Ahmed, making 11 of 12 kicks for a USFL-best field goal percentage of 92, in comparison with Ahmed’s 14 of twenty-two. Murphy’s accuracy and large leg make him a super goal for teams in search of kicker competition. Do not be surprised in case you hear his name often through the preseason.

USFL kicker Cole Murphy just hit a 60-yard field goal 😳

(Via @USFL)pic.twitter.com/DGsAsQbMpl

— Pickswise (@Pickswise) May 29, 2022

Brandon Wright, P, Bandits

Wright was one of the best punter within the USFL this season, as he averaged a league-high 48.4 yards per punt and placed 16 of his punts contained in the 20-yard line, good for the third-most within the USFL. Wright was considered one of two punters with a net average of over 40 yards per punt (his was 41.1) and he also generated seven touchbacks on kickoffs, tied for the third-most within the league.

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