Eight teams. Thirty-five rounds. Two hundred and eighty players.
36 years after the original league ceased operations, the USFL is making its return in 2022 and it all began with a two-day “player selection meeting” earlier this week. The 2022 USFL Draft saw two former Colorado Buffaloes selected, cornerback Delrick Abrams Jr. and outside Linebacker Drew Lewis.
Welcome to the Tampa Bay Bandits #USFLDraft pic.twitter.com/qiuMojHvfY— Tampa Bay Bandits (@USFLBandits) February 23, 2022
The draft was broken into 35 position-specific rounds, with the first 12 rounds completed on Tuesday, February 22 and the final 23 rounds completed on Wednesday, February 23. Players were selected from a player pool of roughly 450-500 players. Selected by the Tampa Bay Bandits on day one, Abrams Jr. was the first of 32 cornerbacks selected between rounds 8-11. A transfer from Independence Community College, (a focus on the third and fourth seasons of the Netflix documentary series Last Chance U) Abrams amassed 96 total tackles and 10 passes defended in two seasons (2018-’19) with the Buffaloes. He was picked up by the Atlanta Falcons as an undrafted free agent in 2020 and saw action in a total of three NFL games that season.
Drew Lewis is a Gambler #AllIn pic.twitter.com/sXW2QLFhTv— Houston Gamblers (@USFLGamblers) February 23, 2022
Lewis had to wait until day two to have his name called. He was selected by the Houston Gamblers with the third pick in the 31st round, the final of three rounds for outside linebackers. In 31 games from 2016-’18, Lewis registered 167 total tackles including 12 for a loss, five sacks and seven passes defended. A physical specimen when he played in Boulder, the 6’2”, 225-pound Lewis also landed at No. 32 on Bruce Feldman’s annual ‘College Football Freaks list’ in 2018.
USFL teams will be allowed to carry a total of 45 players, seven of which will be relegated to the teams’ practice squad. A supplemental draft is scheduled for March 10, where an additional 10 players will be selected per team. Training camps for the 2022 season begin on Monday, March 21, and the regular season opens on Saturday, April 16 with the New Jersey Generals taking on the Birmingham Stallions. Need to know more? Here’s a detailed breakdown of new USFL via FoxSports.com.