Believe it or not, the USFL officially kicks off this Saturday. It has taken quite a while to get to this point, but the league is nearly upon its debut date. As week one approaches, rosters have practically been set in place for the 2022 season.
Week One starting quarterbacks have not been officially confirmed quite yet. That being said, we can make some assumptions simply based on how teams drafted their QB’s, along with some of the roster moves that came after the draft.
⚠️ QBs at work ⚠️ pic.twitter.com/TiKCeyebvM
— USFL (@USFL) April 12, 2022
Let’s take a look at our likely USFL week one quarterbacks, and what to expect from these matchups.
Alex McCough vs. DeAndre Johnson
The USFL kicks off with the Birmingham Stallions facing off against the New Jersey Generals, on April 16th.
For Birmingham, Alex McCough was their first round draft pick, which makes him the likely starter. J’Mar Davis-Smith is also an active QB on the team, but was drafted later on.
McCough has more professional experience, making a preseason splash for the Jacksonville Jaguars. All signs currently point to McCough as Birmingham’s starting QB on Saturday.
Alright…so who was gonna tell me about Alex McGough?
I had to find this myself? pic.twitter.com/TTBsdpHEKP
— Adam Lefkoe (@AdamLefkoe) August 17, 2019
New Jersey tells a vastly different story. Their first round pick, Ben Holmes, broke his toe and is no longer on the roster. The team did pick up Luis Perez, but he has not spent much time with the organization.
With all of this in mind, DeAndre Johnson certainly could be the starter for the Generals this weekend. He has been with the team longer than Perez, and has loads of potential as a quarterback. Not to mention, Johnson was the quarterback featured in the USFL’s latest quarterback video on social media.
This is the ability that De’Andre Johnson flashes from time to time. Hits KaVontae Turpin in stride deep down the field.
Beautiful placement, touch, and great deep ball ability. pic.twitter.com/IxSlUBcmq0
— John “Winter Soldier” Vogel 🇺🇦 (@DraftVogel) June 13, 2021
While that does not guarantee Johnson getting the start, a McCough vs. Johnson battle on opening night could prove to be quite entertaining.
Shea Patterson vs. Clayton Thorson
Michigan vs. Houston will be the first game on Sunday’s slate, and should prove to be a fun one. Michigan has two well known names on their roster, in both Shea Patterson and Paxton Lynch.
Patterson is a former standout from Michigan, and was the #1 pick for the Panthers. He also played in The Spring League, and performed well with the Blues. Heading into 2022, fans should expect Shea to be the starter.
Shea was doing Shea things during last night's scrimmage 🐾@SheaPatterson_1 pic.twitter.com/Vy7qieft3p
— Michigan Panthers (@USFLPanthers) April 9, 2022
Paxton Lynch is an option, being a former first round pick in the NFL back in 2016. He was released from the CFL so he could join the USFL. But, once again, since Patterson was drafted first and has shown more upside, it’s hard to see Lynch getting the week one start.
The Houston Gamblers drafted Clayton Thorson, and Kenji Bahar. Thorson is a former standout from Northwestern, throwing for over 10,000 yards in his career there. He was the Gamblers first round pick, and most likely will be Sumlin’s go-to-guy on Easter Sunday.
Bryan Scott vs. Kyle Sloter
For Philadelphia, it seems like Bryan Scott is a no-brainer at QB1. He was the team’s first draft pick, and has worked with HC Bart Andrus before in The Spring League.
Scott has proven himself plenty of times before, and now gets to show his talents on a national stage. The Stars are in good shape with Scott at the helm.
PJ Walker x Cam Phillips // Bryan Scott x Jordan Suell
Is this Spring Football's next dynamic duo? The film certainly agrees with that take. @USFL fans, grab your popcorn. It's about to be a show.
(via @XFL2023 | @TheSpringLeague) #USFL2022 @USFLNewsroom @USFLStars pic.twitter.com/o386PX2CFe
— James Larsen (@JamesLarsenMI) March 6, 2022
Case Cookus is an option for the Stars as well, but will likely serve as the backup to start the season. His numbers are impressive nonetheless, however, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him play at some point.
On the other side, Kyle Sloter was the #1 pick for New Orleans. The team also drafted Zach Smith, but Sloter certainly seems to be the favorite to get starting repetitions.
Sloter has spent plenty of time in preseason with multiple NFL organizations, and has performed quite well. He simply has never seen an opportunity to start a regular season game. In the USFL, Sloter now has that chance to lead a professional football team, and it looks like he will take advantage of it.
Kyle Sloter preseason goodness pic.twitter.com/dOzxm92MGH
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) April 10, 2022
There is no doubt about it: Sunday afternoon’s matchup between the Stars and Breakers will feature two excellent quarterbacks, and should provide us with a lot of entertainment.
Jordan Ta’amu vs. Kyle Lauletta
The primetime Sunday showdown between Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh features one of spring football’s elite faces: the Throwin’ Samoan.
Jordan Ta’amu was excellent in his time at Ole Miss, and then lit it up in the XFL for the St. Louis Battlehawks. Being the first pick for the Bandits, Ta’amu has an opportunity to be one of the best QB’s in the USFL.
His accuracy, playmaking abilities, and poise make him into an excellent starting weapon for Todd Haley and Co.
Jordan Ta’amu doesn’t belong in this league pic.twitter.com/VXc2hnOibf
— Barstool Mizzou (@BarstoolMizzou) March 1, 2020
The Pittsburgh Maulers signed Kyle Lauletta with their first pick, but the battle seems to be up for grabs with Josh Love. Neither QB has done much professionally, outside of Lauletta’s brief stint with the New York Giants.
Interestingly enough, Love was the quarterback featured in a video the USFL posted on Tuesday, instead of Lauletta. Is this a clue? Possibly. But, with Lauletta being the first round pick, it would make sense to see him hit the field first on Sunday.
At the end of the day, we might just have to wait until this weekend to hear confirmed reports about starting quarterbacks. That being said, these matchups have high odds of being accurate come Saturday.
Which quarterbacks do you want to see start this weekend? Do you prefer teams sticking with their first round picks? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!