Contrary to popular belief, the New Jersey Generals season ended with 8:01 left in the 4th quarter of Week 10, after Madre London scored from four yards out to give the Maulers a 20-point lead. A 20-point deficit with eight minutes to go is insurmountable and even more so for the Generals – who had only exceeded 200 passing yards in a game once this USFL season.
So why did De’Andre Johnson trot onto the field for the last eight minutes? I do not mean this in a way to disparage, but the Generals had nothing to play for. Why not get an extended look at the other options in a seemingly open quarterback battle heading into 2024?
Dakota Prukop & The USFL
Dakota Prukop had thrown only 50 passes this year. He did get significant playing time against Birmingham – where he completed 13 of his 17 passes – and, against Memphis when he completed 14 of his 25 passes with two touchdowns. Despite losing that game against Memphis, Prukop showed flashes of solid quarterback play. Giving him the late-game reps in the blowout loss to the Maulers would have been crucial in getting him ready for the 2024 season.
The @USFLGenerals pull closer and make it 16-10 off a 17-yard touchdown pass from QB Dakota Prukop to WR Alonzo Moore. It’s Moore’s fifth touchdown reception of the year, the most in the league. #USFLpic.twitter.com/lNsYOFmXgC
Playing Prukop in garbage time would have given the Generals a better outlook at quarterback heading into the 2024 season. Instead, the Generals released Prukop and he subsequently signed with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL, ending the brief and uneventful chapter of Dakota Prukop’s time in the USFL.
Now, the New Jersey Generals are in a precarious position at quarterback, with De’Andre Johnson’s job up in the air. There is not much depth behind him, as Eric Barriere is the only other quarterback rostered by New Jersey. Barriere is a fascinating prospect out of Eastern Washington with over 13,000 passing yards, including 5,055 in his senior year to his name, and over 1500 career rushing yards. However, he is inexperienced at the pro level with only 24 pass attempts in the past two years.
Dakota Prukop deserved at least an extended look for an offense that ranked second-to-last in passing yards per game and only exceeded 200 yards passing once in 10 games this season. Now, the Generals must look for quarterback depth in the draft and free agency, or hope Adrian Martinez decides to bring his talents to the USFL.
What should the New Jersey Generals do at the quarterback position moving forward? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!