It’s been a difficult month and a half for football lovers across the world since the NFL season ended. Many have resorted to watching basketball or even pretending to like baseball to fill the void that the greatest sport in the world left in our lives.
But wait no longer, my friends. Spring football has returned in yet another new league looking to give fans excitement while the NFL and college football are on their annual hiatus. That’s right, the USFL kicks off this weekend, with every team having some former NFL players. The Pittsburgh Maulers have a few names who made big impressions during the pre-draft process before they entered the NFL, but fizzled out after a few years.
Here’s a look at some of the biggest names on the Maulers roster.
Who played in the NFL?
The buzz name on this team is Kyle Lauletta. He was the quarterback from Richmond University who was a part of the 2018 draft class. It was a star-studded class including the likes of Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen and Baker Mayfield. But as the predraft process wore on, Lauletta made a name for himself at the senior bowl and eventually was drafted by the New York Giants in the fourth round. He spent just one season in New York and then floated around, getting released five more times in just four seasons.
He’ll have some former NFL lineman protecting him, with Isaiah Battle in the trenches. Battle had bounced around four NFL teams and one XFL squad since entering the professional ranks in 2015. He’s been out of football since 2020. Vadal Alexander, an offensive guard, will also be along the line. He spent two seasons and started nine games with the Oakland Raiders and was waived in 2018 after a suspension for PEDs. He’s been out of football since.
D’Veon Smith is slated to be the primary ball carrier for the Maulers. He spent some time with the Miami Dolphins, and Washington between 2017 and 2018. Then he joined the AAF and later the XFL, where he was the league’s rushing leader in its lone season of play.
Prediction for most productive offensive player
It’s clearly between Smith and Lauletta. The quarterback has shown some promise during pre-draft workouts, but it never translated to the field. Smith wasn’t ever able to crack playing time in the NFL, but his most recent time on a football field he was really productive with the Tampa Bay Vipers.