As most football fans are winding down from the Super Bowl or checking the prospects for the 2022 NFL draft set for late April, there was another draft taking place on Tuesday evening. The USFL had their inaugural draft bringing the fan favorite Pittsburgh Maulers back to their former glory led by former Steeler’s running back coach Kirby Wilson assuming the role of Head Coach.
The USFL will kick off on April 16th and this is how the Mauler’s inaugural draft class rounded out.
R1 – Kyle Lauletta – QB
R2 – Carlo Kemp – DL
R3 – Nasir Player – EDGE
R4 – Eric Assoua – EDGE
R5 – Chidi Okeke – OT
R6 – Isaiah Battle – OT
R7 – Charles Baldwin – OT
R8 – Ajene Harris – CB
R9 – Terrell Bonds – CB
R10 – Prince Robinson – CB
R11 – Jaylon McClain – CB
R12 – Josh Love – QB
Quarterbacks were the most valued positions, and as such the draft rounds correspond to this idea. The Maulers picked 7th overall in the first round and took Lauletta, who was a 4th round pick in the 2018 NFL draft by the New York Giants. Since then Lauletta has played with a number of NFL teams but has yet to find his home, those teams include the Eagles, Falcons, Jaguars, and Browns before being drafted by the Maulers.
With their second-round pick in the draft, the Maulers selected standout defensive lineman Carlo Kemp. Kemp, who went undrafted, has spent time with the Green Bay Packers and the Denver Broncos before donning the Mauler’s orange and purple.
Defense was a high priority for the Maulers who used their third and fourth-round picks to shore up their D-Line with players that spent time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
For their mid-draft picks, the Maulers turned to their O-Line. The 5th round pick, Okeke, was a top recruit with the LSU Tigers before playing at Tennessee State and was a 5th round draft pick for the then St. Louis Rams in 2015. Baldwin, a 5-star high school recruit who spent time with Alabama and Kansas before coming to Pittsburgh.
With their picks in the eighth through eleventh rounds, the Maulers drafted their secondary defensive positions. Harris, a former USC Trojan, brings Nickle package experience to the secondary. Bonds comes from Tennessee State and spent most of his career with the Baltimore Ravens, playing in four games. Robinson comes from Tarleton state and had three picks for touchdowns in 2019, and Mclain-Sapp spent his time with the Kansas City Cheifs.
To finish the draft Pittsburgh picked up a backup quarterback from San Jose State Josh Love. Love tossed 43 touchdowns for San Jose State and helped turn the team around after a losing season in 2019. Since then Love has played with the Los Angeles Rams and the Cleveland Browns.
With the USFL kick-off just around the corner on April 16th, there are plenty of reasons to stay excited about football. No more waiting all summer for a good game. We hope to see you at the games when the Maulers Bring The Hammer Down!
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