When the USFL announced that they were having a college draft in February of 2023, a lot of fans and media were extremely surprised, confused, and hopeful for the new wave of players that could be suiting up for the 2023 season and beyond. As we look at the USFL Draft about 15 months removed lets take a look at the 2nd round of USFL Draft picks from the 2023 Draft.

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#8 Overall Michigan Panthers Quarterback Tanner Morgan

Morgan was a tenured starter at the University of Minnesota before taking on the gauntlet of Professional Football. After spending NFL training camp with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Morgan actually joined P.J. Fleck’s coaching for a short while before getting a call from the Minnesota Vikings and having Two stints with their Practice Squad. Currently he is doing private coaching for younger prospect in addition to having a cameo on the Big-10 Network every once in a while.

#9 Overall Pittsburgh Maulers Defensive End Malik Hamm

Hamm was a Two-Time Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year coming out of school while also setting a school record with 32 sacks during his college career. After being selected by the Pittsburgh Maulers, Hamm went undrafted earning a contract with the Baltimore Ravens. Hamm would earn a spot on the Ravens 53-Man roster however would be placed on injured reserve Two days later.

#10 Overall Houston Gamblers Defensive Back Justin Ford

Ford would sign with the Houston Gamblers before the XFL-USFL merge and would be protected by the reimagined Houston Roughnecks. Ford would be released by the Roughnecks and would head north to the CFL with the B.C. Lions. Unfortunately, Ford would be released by B.C. on May 10th after the CFL Draft.

#11 Memphis Showboats Defensive Back Isaiah Bolden

Bolden was a 7th round pick for the Patriots in the 2023 NFL Draft coming out of Jackson State. Despite a promising pre-season, Bolden would injure his knee on in week Two colliding with Calvin Munson. Bolden would spend 2023 on the Patriots injured reserve, hoping to earn a roster spot in 2024.

#12 New Orleans Breakers Linebacker Noah Taylor

Despite a standout career in college, Taylor garnered little NFL interest coming out of Virgina in 2023. He’d remain un-signed by NFL teams and would not be signed by the New Orleans Breakers. Taylor remains inactive out of football in 2024.

#13 Philadelphia Stars Offensive Tackle Anderson Hardy

Hardy was an All-Sun Belt selection in 2022, which helped him earn an opportunity with the Kansas City Chiefs as a UDFA. Hardy would be waived at the end of training camp and signed a futures deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the 2024 season.

#14 Birmingham Stallions Offensive Tackle Quinton Barrow

After being selected by the Stallions, Barrow would opt for the NFL with Kansas City Chiefs having a quick stint with the Super Bowl Champs. He’d also workout for the Buffalo Bills in the middle of August with former General and current Renegade Garrett McGhin losing out to the veteran. Since then Barrow has remained out of football, and appears to be active training for another opportunity.

#15 New Jersey Generals Quarterback Adrian Martinez

Arguably the most impactful pick of the 2023 USFL Draft, Adrian Martinez is currently “tearing up” the UFL, and not even for the team that drafted him. After being selected by the New Jersey Generals, Martinez opted to join the Detroit Lions as a UDFA before getting waived by the Lions at the end of the 2023 training camp. Martinez would then sign with the Birmingham Stallions in December of 2023, and after battling with Matt Corral for the first several weeks of the UFL season Martinez has emerged as an MVP candidate, leading the league in rushing while also leading the Stallions to a 7-0 record enroute to their consecutive playoff berth.

Closing Thoughts:

Out of the Eight USFL Second Round picks Four remain active in professional football. With the 2024 season coming to an end, there has been limited clarity of the “rights” of unselected players who are in limbo since the dispersal draft. With Jim Popp recently coming out to state that there will be an off-season draft it is extremely “up in the air” for the players not only selected in the USFL’s 2023 Draft but also the 2023 XFL Draft.

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Patrick Rifino

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