Falcons vs Lions
Darrin Paulo OT #66 Lions
Darrin Paulo played this spring for the Tampa Bay Bandits of the USFL. Lions must have seen something in him because the Bandits offensive line as a unit was not one of the best in the USFL. Darrin is listed as the 3rd string tackle so unfortunately it sounds like he is a camp body. Hope Darrin can make some good plays tonight and try to make a push for the practice squad. Not much word out of local Lions reporters about him, good or bad.
Maurice Alexander WR #15
Maurice Alexander was an electric receiver and special teamer for the Philadelphia Stars this past USFL season. He was the league leader in kick return yards(787) with an average of 31.5 per return. He also averaged over 10 yards per return on punts as well. He's listed with the 3rd team WRs currently on the Lions unofficial depth chart. Look for him to be fielding kicks tonight trying to solidify himself a spot on the special teams.
Jets vs Eagles
Rashard Davis WR #18 Jets
Rashard Davis was the number 2 receiver for the Tampa Bay Bandits this USFL season. Finished the season with 369 yards on 22 catches for an average of 16 yards per catch. Rashard didn't play much special teams and is listed with the 3rd team receivers. The Jets don't have any super stars really, so good organization for Rashard to try to move up the roster and secure a spot on the 53. He's putting in some extra work in training camp so let's see if it translates to the field.
Lance Lenoir WR #34 Eagles
Lance Lenoir was the Panthers top receiver this past USFL season gaining 484 yards on 52 receptions for an average of 9 yards per catch and 2 TDs. Looks like he's running with the 4th team receivers on the Eagles unofficial depth chart currently. There have been some reports of Eagles coaches being impressed with Lenoir but nothing I can find to corroborate it. Hope he makes some splashes tonight to move his way up the depth chart.
Deandre Torrey RB #46
Torrey was signed before the last game of the USFL regular season and got a little bit of action in the Panthers last game. He amassed 2 carries for 8 yards. Everyone who watched him at North Texas university says he is a great running back and explosive. The USFL did find the greatest picture of him looking absolutely shredded for their graphic though. No word on Torrey yet from local reporters but he also just showed up this week so hope to see him play tonight and make some plays.
Packers vs 49ers
The Packers have signed 5 USFL players this off-season, the most in the NFL, while the 49ers have one. I didn't want to overload you guys with a huge article about the 17 USFL guys playing in preseason games tonight so I tried to break it down by the games.
Tomasi Laulile DT #55 49ers
Tomasi Laulile is the lone USFL player that San Francisco has taken a chance on. Tomasi has a big man TD with a scoop and score during the USFL season after a blocked FG. Again this is another guy buried on the depth chart as the 4th string DT, but he has had a couple flashes in training camp. That being said I wouldn't think Tomasi is high on the 49ers list to make the final 53. Hopefully he can come out and make some impact plays in this preseason game and survive another week or two of preseason.
Osirus Mitchell WR #82 Packers
Osirus Mitchell was a solid WR in a loaded WR room with the Birmingham Stallions this USFL season. Green Bay took a chance on him and shortly after signing he suffered some quad issues and missed a couple practices. Afterwards he was cut due to injury, which now that he has cleared waivers means he will be on Packers injured reserve this NFL season. He'll be able to get a solid settlement from the Packers but hopefully this isn't the last time we see Mitchell play football.
Dexter Williams RB #34 Packers
Dexter Williams signed on with the Philadelphia Stars before the USFL championship game and had 8 carries for 29 yards in a loss. The Packers drafted Williams in the 6th round of the 2019 NFL draft. Now they bring him back as the 4th string RB currently on the unofficial depth chart. With his familiarity with the team he might be able to stick around the practice squad but I'm not sure he's gonna crack the final 53.
Ishmael Hyman WR #5 Packers
Ishmael Hyman played the last 6 games of the USFL regular season racking up 158 yards on 15 receptions for an average of 10 yards per catch and 2 TDs. The Panthers team he came from was a run-first team that struggled at QB most of the season or else he might've been much better stats-wise. He has made a little bit of a buzz in Packers training camp. He's listed as the 7th or 8th WR on the Packers unofficial depth chart. He and Aaron Rodgers seemed to have shared a pretty cool moment in camp.
Sal Canella TE #80 Packers
Sal Canella was by most accounts the best TE in the USFL last year. Great combination of helping in the run game blocking with great catch radius from the big 6'5 frame of Canella. Finished the USFL regular season with 368 yards on 34 catches for an average of 10 yards per reception and 2 TDs. The Packers have had some troubles at TE the past year when Robert Tonyan went down. I believe Canella has a great chance to make the roster as a great depth piece for the TE room and a special teamer. I have a feeling he might have a huge game tonight if he and the QB get on the same page.
Micah Abernathy DB #46 Packers
Micah Abernathy was starting safety for the Houston Gamblers in a secondary that caused havoc for opposing QBs and WRs. Micah himself finished the season with 71 tackles and 2 interceptions, one of which was a game-clinching interception against the then undefeated Birmingham Stallions. The Packers safety room is tough this year so hopefully he can carve out a niche on special teams or prove he's better than the guy ahead of him. Seems he impressed almost immediately according to this tweet.
Jaguars vs Browns
Matt Colburn RB #43 Jaguars.
Matt Colburn was the Philadelphia Stars lead running back for them this past USFL season. He racked up 457 rush yards over 10 games with an average of 4.5 yards per rush and 8 rushing TDs. His best game in the USFL was a 140 yards rushing and 3 TD performance. The Jaguars already have 3 RBs in Travis Etienne, James Robinson, and draft pick Snoop Conner. Gonna be an uphill battle for Colburn to make the final roster but could be a great practice squad/depth piece to keep around. Especially since the #1 and #2 RBs for the Jaguars are both coming back from serious injuries.
Derrick Dillon WR #80 Browns.
Derrick Dillon played for the Tampa Bay Bandits this spring in the USFL. Dillon was the Bandits leading receiver with 386 yards, 13.8 yards per reception, 4 TDs, and #2 in the USFL in YAC behind league MVP KaVontae Turpin. The Browns have Dillon currently with the 5th team WR but that was before we learned about their rookie Jakeem Grant going down with injury. That loss could shake up the depth chart enough to give Derrick a shot on special teams or 4th team receiver possibility.
Chris Odom DE #61 Browns.
If you watched one minute of a Houston Gamblers game this USFL season you probably saw the defensive player of the year wreaking havoc on an opposing offense. He's currently on the 4th team defense so like most of these USFL guys he has a good way to go to prove he's worthy of a shot. He had some blocked FGs in the USFL so he could be a great special teamer and rotational depth piece if he puts on some good performances in these upcoming preseason games. I personally have high hopes for Odom to work his way up to an impactful rotational guy giving Myles Garrett and company some relief when needed.
Cardinals Vs Bengals
Victor Bolden WR #38 Cardinals
The USFL championship game MVP was electrifying to watch all USFL season long, especially on special teams as Stallions lead return man. He racked up 618 return yards averaging 24.7 yards per return on kickoffs. On top of return duties he was an excellent WR tallying 415 receiving yards (4th in USFL) averaging almost 10 yards per catch. He has turned some heads at training camp fielding punts and catching diving TDs. Has a great shot in my opinion to make the team most likely on special teams.
Tegray Scales LB #45 Bengals
Tegray Scales was part of the Houston Gamblers defensive unit that was one of the best, if not the best, in the whole USFL. He signed with the Gamblers for their last 3-4 games and unfortunately didn't make much of an impact stats-wise. That I could find anyways. But it seems the Bengals saw something or needed a camp body. Haven't heard much out of Bengals beat writers about him turning heads at practices. He's currently the 4th string LB on the unofficial depth charts.
Domenique Davis DT #72 Bengals
Domenique Davis was the DT taking up blocks to allow his teammates like Chris Odom and Donald Payne to rack up sacks and tackles. Davis fared well for himself in the middle accruing 54 total tackles and 4 sacks. He is listed as 4th string nose tackle on the Bengals unofficial depth chart. In my opinion Davis has a better shot to make the final 53 or practice squad than his Gamblers teammate mentioned before.
Guys listen I know most of these guys we talk about in training camp are not gonna make it on the team or be a superstar in the NFL. But I'm gonna root for all of them regardless and talk highly of them because the football I saw played in the USFL this season was just as good as college ball if not better. This league is to give guys more opportunities and I'm here for it.
Be sure to join the conversation on the USFL official discord channel!!!
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