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12 USFL Players Make Leap to NFL Practice Squads: A Position-by-Position Breakdown

The USFL has proven to be more than just a side show—it’s a legitimate pipeline for NFL talent. As of the latest data, 12 USFL athletes have successfully landed on NFL practice squads for the upcoming 2023 season. 2 USFL players made the 53 man roster.

Overview: USFL to NFL Transition

During the offseason, a total of 39 USFL players tried their luck in the NFL. Out of these, 14 players have solidified their position either in the 53-man roster or in the practice squads.

Players by Position:


QB Alex McGough | Green Bay Packers

Former Birmingham Stallion and USFL MVP Alex McGough has been placed in the Green Bay Packers’ practice squad as QB3, following a short-lived spot on the 53-man roster.

Wide Receivers

WR Austin Watkins | Cleveland Browns

Birmingham Stallions Austin Watkins showed enough during the preseason with the Cleveland Browns to earn a spot on their practice squad.

WR D.J. Montgomery | Indianapolis Colts

Panthers Montgomery made a significant impact during the preseason with the Colts, landing him on their practice squad.

WR Kaden Davis | Arizona Cardinals

Davis, a mid-season addition to the USFL’s Michigan Panthers, impressed enough during the preseason to find a home on the Cardinals’ practice squad.

WR Devin Ross | Las Vegas Raiders

Despite an injury-plagued season with the Michigan Panthers, Ross showcased his talent in a workout with the Raiders and was signed to their practice squad.

Defensive Tackles

DT Khalil Davis | Houston Texans

Birmingham Stallions Davis secured his place on the Houston Texans’ practice squad following a strong preseason performance that included multiple tackles and a sack.

Defensive Ends

DE Levi Bell | Seattle Seahawks

Panthers Levi Bell’s consistent improvement has paid off, earning him a spot on the Seattle Seahawks’ practice squad.

Tight Ends

TE Josh Pederson | Jacksonville Jaguars

Gamblers Josh Pederson has joined the Jaguars’ practice squad, displaying a versatile skill set that includes both effective route running and blocking. He is also the son of the head coach.

Defensive Backs

DB Lorenzo Burns | Cleveland Browns

Burns joins Austin Watkins on the Cleveland Browns practice squad, both marking successful transitions from the USFL’s Birmingham Stallions.

DB Matt Hankins | Los Angeles Chargers

Former Iowa standout and Birmingham Stallions Hankins has secured a spot on the Los Angeles Chargers’ practice squad after an impactful preseason.

DB Nehemiah Shelton | New York Jets

Memphis Showboats Shelton’s limited but effective snaps during the preseason with the New York Jets earned him a place on their practice squad.

DB Josh Butler | Dallas Cowboys

After overcoming multiple career setbacks, Michigan Panthers Butler has found his footing and secured a spot on the Dallas Cowboys’ practice squad.

This year’s NFL season could very well be a defining moment for these 12 athletes and a testament to the USFL’s effectiveness as a talent feeder to the NFL. Keep an eye on them as they seek to make their mark.

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Mark Perry is the founder and editor of USFL News Hub, a premier site dedicated to providing comprehensive coverage of the USFL. Since its inception in February 2022, the platform has grown exponentially under his expert leadership, carving out a unique niche in the world of football reporting. Mark has been covering football extensively since 2018, with his in-depth knowledge and insightful analysis helping to elevate USFL News Hub as a trusted source for all things related to spring football. His expertise spans various aspects of the sport, offering readers a nuanced perspective on the trends and developments in the USFL and beyond. Beyond his editorial responsibilities, Mark is known for his approachability and commitment to fostering dialogue around the sport. He is always open to inquiries and discussions about spring football. He can be contacted directly by emailing His dedication and passion for football make him a vital voice in the coverage of this thrilling sport.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Ken Granito

    August 31, 2023 at 6:58 pm

    Now that most of the talent has been re-signed by the NFL there is a better ideaof who will be left for the XFL and USFL to work with jn the coming months. The USFL is stronger than it was last year even with 25 players added to the NFL mix. When the USFL started players that were out of college/pro football for a good couple of years. The USFL and the players themselves are kow pro caliber players, whether it be alt league or the NFL. They have become much better players. So even with our last two MVPs gone we still are in a better place as we get more talented and practiced players to be in the league in 2024. This along with all the talent that has been cultivated already and we are looking for a strong 2024.

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