16 quarterbacks were drafted in the USFL Draft on Tuesday with fans already asking who is the best quarterback in the league.
During the USFL Draft on Tuesday, there were two different rounds consisting of teams picking quarterbacks. There was the first round and the 12th round where it was dedicated to all quarterbacks being picked. Each team currently has two quarterbacks on the roster.
We examined all 16 quarterbacks and came up with the best eight quarterbacks in the league heading into training camp. Here is the list starting from number eight to number one.
Top 8 Quarterbacks
8. Ben Holmes, New Jersey Generals
Ben Holmes was a college star at Division II’s Tarleton State only losing two games in two seasons as the starting quarterback. Holmes racked up 5,997 yards with 62 passing touchdowns and only nine interceptions. He also added 560 rushing yards and three touchdowns in his Tarleton State career as well.
His professional career began in the Indoor Football League for the Arizona Rattlers playing in just one game last year. He was also a member of The Spring League where he played for the Sea Lions splitting reps with fellow USFL quarterback De’Andre Johnson.
Holmes does have the arm talent and can use his legs to make plays. He still needs some coaching and has tendencies to turn the ball over on the professional level. All of this will be repetition and did show improvement through the season in The Spring League. With a strong running game supporting him with the Generals, he should be set up for success.
7. Clayton Thorson, Houston Gamblers
Houston nabs Clayton Thorson in the hopes to use him the same way that Gamblers head coach Kevin Sumlin used other quarterbacks like Johnny Manziel. Thorson owns the Big Ten record with 53 consecutive starts at quarterback leading Northwestern as a four-year starter. He never posted a losing record and threw for 10,731 yards with 61 passing touchdowns. Thorson also added 27 rushing touchdowns on the ground.
The Philadelphia Eagles drafted Thorson in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft, but didn’t end up making the final roster. He played with the Cowboys the rest of the season and joined the Giants the next season never stepping on the field in the regular season.
Thorson can use his feet to make plays with a good pocket presence. He’s accurate with the football on short to immediate passes. He’s more known for his short passes as he won’t use his arm strength to beat defenses. There’s a good chance Thorson comes into camp as the starter and should be able to hold the position throughout the season.
6. Kyle Lauletta, Pittsburgh Maulers
Three years as a backup quarterback in the NFL now gives a chance for Kyle Lauletta a chance to start for the first time since college. At Richmond, he broke the school record for passing yards with 10,465 yards and threw 73 touchdowns in four seasons. He participated in the 2018 Senior Bowl where he threw for 198 yards and three touchdowns winning the MVP award for the game.
The New York Giants drafted Lauletta in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft. His rookie season didn’t go smoothly as he was arrested for eluding police and resisting arrest. He would find the field in 2018 as he threw five passes, but failed to complete a pass and threw an interception. His next three seasons consisted of him being on the Eagles, Falcons, Browns, and Jaguars’ rosters.
Passing accuracy and his mechanics have been a strength to his game. Pittsburgh will look for him to be the leader of this team which was something scouts were saying about him coming out of college that was good. He doesn’t possess the arm strength needed to make all the throws but can rely on his accuracy to help make up for it. Being around the NFL is a plus and as long as he shows improvement, another NFL shot might be in his future.
5. Kyle Sloter, New Orleans Breakers
Of the 16 quarterbacks drafted to the USFL, Kyle Sloter is among the most experienced from his time in the NFL. Sloter started his college career at Southern Miss where he bounced between quarterback and wide receiver before transferring to Northern Colorado. He owns Northern Colorado’s school record for passing touchdowns in a season with 29 in 2016.
The Denver Broncos was Sloter’s first stop in the NFL as he completed 31 of 43 passes for 413 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions for a passer rating of 125.4 in the 2017 preseason. He was still released and found his long-term home with the Minnesota Vikings. He would spend the 2017 and 2018 seasons with Minnesota before he was cut in August of 2019. Sloter would bounce around between the Cardinals, Lions, Bears, Raiders, and Vikings again.
Sloter has a quick release of the football and has proven to have all the mechanics of being a solid backup quarterback in the NFL as he was in the league for five seasons. His experience is a major plus that should make him successful right off the bat for New Orleans. He is a part of one of the stronger rosters in the USFL. There’s no doubt he will be a day one starter and should get some looks from the NFL should he perform well this season.
4. Paxton Lynch, Michigan Panthers
The biggest name of the league goes to Paxton Lynch as he became available in the eleventh hour. Lynch was a three-year starter at Memphis and proved to be one of the best quarterbacks in the country in 2015 throwing for 28 touchdowns and only four interceptions. He instantly became a first-round candidate with his size and football IQ.
The Denver Broncos traded two picks to draft Lynch 26th overall in the 2016 NFL Draft. He played backup to Trevor Siemian starting just two games in his rookie season and second year in the NFL. An ankle injury in 2017 cost him a chance to get significant playing time which resulted in him being released in 2018.
He would jump between Seattle and Pittsburgh before landing in the CFL with Saskatchewan Roughriders. Lynch spent the 2021 CFL season as the third-string quarterback and never dressed for a game. On USFL Draft Day, Lynch was cut by the Roughriders which opened the door for the USFL to bring him to the league.
Lynch has all the tools to be an NFL quarterback with his quick release and outstanding footwork. He took care of the football well in his career and can sling the football with great speed. With his 6 foot, 7 inches height, he’s everything you would want out of a quarterback. He just couldn’t put it together in the NFL and never had a chance in the CFL. Lynch is going to push Shea Patterson hard in training camp for the starting quarterback job. My assumption is either Patterson or Lynch could eventually move teams as Lynch should be a starter in the USFL.
3. Shea Patterson, Michigan Panthers
Another decorated quarterback in college for the Panthers as they took Shea Patterson number one in the draft to keep him home. Patterson found success with Ole Miss and later Michigan in college having a combined stat line of 8,800 passing yards, 68 passing touchdowns, and 27 interceptions in four seasons. During college, Patterson was drafted in the MLB Draft by the Texas Rangers in the 39th round of the 2018 draft. He decided to focus on the NFL and went into the 2020 NFL Draft.
No team drafted Patterson in the 2020 NFL Draft and signed with the Kansas City Chiefs joining former teammate and Tampa Bay Bandits quarterback Jordan Ta’amu. He was waived a short time later and joined The Spring League as he played for the Blues. In part of 2021 and 2022, he was on two CFL rosters with the BC Lions and Montreal Alouettes.
Patterson is tough in the pocket and can work in a pro-style offense. Panthers head coach Jeff Fisher should use more RPO plays as he can make quick decisions in the pocket. Arm strength is a weakness to his game but makes up for it with his work in the pocket. As previously mentioned, he will have a tough battle with Paxton Lynch in training camp. It’ll be hard to believe that he won’t start in the USFL whether that’s with the Panthers or another team. He was a top pick for a reason.
2. Bryan Scott, Philadelphia Stars
Spring football fans know of Bryan Scott and will have a chance to showcase his skills on one of the biggest levels. Scott is known as the “Aaron Rodgers of Division III” and has left no doubt starting in his college career at Occidental College. He owns school and SCIAC conference records with 9073 passing yards, 77 passing touchdowns, and 22 interceptions in 33 career games.
People first took notice when he completed 62 of 64 passes at USC’s pro day (one drop pass) in 2017. This helped him sign with BC Lions in the CFL for a short time and got a workout with the Los Angeles Rams the same year. In 2018, he played in The Spring League that got him workouts with the Chiefs and Falcons. He spent almost a year with Edmonton in the CFL before rejoining The Spring League in 2020.
Scott became the only quarterback to throw for over 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns that season with the Generals. He led the Generals to a 4-0 record and a league title as well as earning MVP honors in the process. The Colts would work him out last year before being drafted by the Stars in the USFL.
He’s got great arm strength, great pocket presence, and is accurate with the ball. His only flaw is that he hasn’t gotten a chance to play in the NFL and show what he can do. Now being on Fox and NBC, Scott has a chance to show the football world that he deserves more than a workout.
1. Jordan Ta’amu, Tampa Bay Bandits
It was clear from the start that Jordan Ta’amu was not only the top quarterback in the draft but might be one of the best players in the USFL. Ta’amu made an early impression on Ole Miss after transferring to the school from the New Mexico Military Institute. He would beat out Michigan Panthers quarterback Shea Patterson for the starting quarterback job as ended up recording 3,918 passing yards, 19 touchdowns, and 8 interceptions in his senior season in 2018. He also ran for 342 yards and six touchdowns.
Ta’amu wasn’t drafted in the NFL in 2019 as he was signed by the Houston Texans and cut before the season started. He became a star in the XFL with the St. Louis Battlehawks finishing top three in passing yards (1,050) and passing rating (101.3) in five games. After the XFL canceled their season, he would be on multiple NFL rosters including the Chiefs, Lions, Washington, and the Carolina Panthers.
His playmaking ability makes him a threat through the air and on the ground. He has a cannon of an arm and has no problems using his feet to make plays. Bandits head coach Todd Haley will have fun having Ta’amu run the offense making him a good fit for his system. Ta’amu was one of the best quarterbacks in the XFL and now goes into the USFL season as the top guy. He will be the face of the league when it starts in April.
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