Top USFL Quarterbacks 2022: Shea Patterson goes No. 1 but Jordan Ta’amu headlines the group

Jordan Ta'amu headlines the new group of top quarterbacks headed to the USFL for their inaugural season in 2022.

The United States Football League is back and you know we’re talking about the top quarterbacks. With a mix of former NFL, AAF, XFL, and college quarterbacks coming off the board with the first eight picks in the 2022 USFL Draft, here are the official QB Power Rankings for the first-round selections.

Top USFL quarterbacks in 2022

This list takes into account solely a quarterback’s play to date and nothing else. Each quarterback will largely be dependent on the rest of the roster construction expected during the two-day draft. While Shea Patterson may have been the first overall pick, does he present the best option for the Michigan Panthers to see success in 2022? Let’s dive in.

1) Jordan Ta’amu, Tampa Bay Bandits

An incredibly successful college quarterback, Jordan Ta’amu left Ole Miss after an illustrious two-year career. Ta’amu broke the program records for 400-yard passing games and ranked sixth in school history with his 5,600 career passing yards. During his final season in Oxford, Ta’amu set single-season records in 300-yard passing games, 400-yard passing games, and yards per pass attempt.

Despite his success at the college level, Ta’amu went undrafted in the 2019 NFL Draft. He spent a preseason with the Houston Texans on their practice squad, logging just 12 pass attempts in three outings during the 2019 preseason. Ta’amu then spent a successful stint with the St. Louis BattleHawks in the XFL, throwing 5 touchdowns and over 1,000 yards in just five games.

He’s a dominant dual-threat with a great deep arm. Ta’amu should be the favorite for league MVP in Year 1.

2) Kyle Lauletta, Pittsburgh Maulers

Though Kyle Lauletta is still a ways away from living up to his fourth-round draft selection, the fact remains that he is the lone USFL quarterback with NFL experience.

Lauletta attempted passes for the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns in three of the past five preseasons, seeing action for 5 pass attempts in the regular season during his rookie campaign. Lauletta has the experience of backing up Eli Manning and learning a multitude of NFL playbooks, and he’s a true game manager.

The Pittsburgh Maulers grabbed a secure option that may not wow you with arm talent, but surely won’t make too many mistakes. Lauletta, if he lives up to his fourth-round draft billing, absolutely could be among the favorites for league MVP as well.

3) Shea Patterson, Michigan Panthers

Banking on athletic traits, the Michigan Panthers nabbed Patterson as the league’s No. 1 overall pick. He had an outstanding college career that spanned two years of experience at Ole Miss and another two years starting at Michigan. Patterson threw for nearly 70 passing touchdowns and well over 8,000 yards in his collegiate career, while he rushed for another 1,000+ yards and multiple scores.

Patterson, however, hasn’t taken a meaningful snap since 2019 at Michigan. He also failed to realize the talent put around him while with the Wolverines. Patterson will have to showcase he can elevate the talent around him if he wants to rise in this list of top USFL quarterbacks.

4) Alex McGough, Birmingham Stallions

A talented college quarterback, Alex McGough largely flew under the radar at Florida International. He was selected in the seventh round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks, spending time with Seattle as well as the Jacksonville Jaguars during the past three preseasons. McGough had a great four-year career as FIU’s starting quarterback, completing over 60% of his passes and tossing 60 passing touchdowns.

Again, like the other quarterbacks on this list, McGough won’t quite amaze you with his arm talent. But he also may not make too many mistakes in a simplified offense. He’s a great middling option here.

5) Kyle Sloter, New Orleans Breakers

With three years of NFL preseason action, Kyle Sloter is a recognizable name. He played multiple seasons with the Minnesota Vikings and one season with the Denver Broncos during the NFL preseason. However, Sloter never made an NFL pass attempt in the regular season. He’s a big-armed quarterback with down-to-down accuracy issues.

Sloter has the frame at 6’5″, 220 pounds, but he needs to work on consistency as well as accuracy to make a big impact.

6) Clayton Thorson, Houston Gamblers

The ultimate game manager in college, Clayton Thorson also played for the New York Giants. Unlike Lauletta, Thorson was selected in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft and spent his rookie preseason with the Philadelphia Eagles. He threw 3 interceptions compared to just 1 touchdown that preseason.

Back in his collegiate days, Thorson was a mainstay at Northwestern, throwing for over 2,800 yards in each of his last three seasons. Thorson threw for over 60 career passing touchdowns at Northwestern and has underrated accuracy. However, he may not be able to make every throw on a professional field and may be dependent on his receivers making plays for him.

7) Bryan Scott, Philadelphia Stars

A Canadian Football League player for the past three seasons, Bryan Scott enters the USFL largely unheralded. He played a season for the BC Lions and two seasons for the Edmonton Eskimos, logging snaps only on the practice squad. Prior to that, Scott played for Occidental College from 2013-16, throwing for over 9,000 yards and 77 touchdowns.

Scott has accuracy, there’s no denying that. It was apparent during his workout at USC’s Pro Day back in 2017 where he completed 62 of 64 passes with a dropped attempt. But there has to be an underlying reason why he hasn’t stuck on a team. We’ll find out one way or another.

8) Ben Holmes, New Jersey Generals

Largely unknown as a passer, Ben Holmes hails from Tarleton State after a stop at Nassau Community College. Despite being a JUCO All-American at Nassau, Holmes made only the practice squad at Tarleton in his first season. However, Holmes’ fortunes changed, as he was voted the team MVP in 2018. He threw for 3,338 yards and 34 touchdowns in 2019, leading the team to their first outright Lone Star Conference Championship.

Nevertheless, Holmes hasn’t attempted a pass in a few years and is still learning the position after having played wide receiver in high school. He didn’t make the switch to quarterback until his senior year of high school. His ceiling may be high, but his floor is certainly the lowest.

Ranking the USFL’s Round 12 quarterbacks in 2022

After eight first-round quarterbacks were selected, the 12th round also saw another eight signal-callers head to new teams. Here we rank the Round 12 quarterback selections.

1) De’Andre Johnson, New Jersey Generals
2) Brady White, Tampa Bay Bandits
3) J’Mar Davis-Smith, Birmingham Stallions
4) Zach Smith, New Orleans Breakers
5) Josh Love, Pittsburgh Maulers
6) Paxton Lynch, Michigan Panthers
7) Case Cookus, Philadelphia Stars
8) Kenji Bahar, Houston Gamblers

Cam Mellor is the Senior Director of the College Football/NFL Draft vertical for Pro Football Network. You can find his writing here. Follow him on Twitter: @CamMellor.