Player number 54 from the USFL, is transitioning to the NFL this week. Mitchell Fraboni, one of Kirby Wilson’s Pittsburgh Maulers, has been signed to the Denver Broncos practice squad to replace Jacob Bobenmoyer who was recently placed on injured reserve due to a hand/wrist injury. For Fraboni this is his first opportunity to play in an NFL game in his career.
Despite being his first NFL contract Fraboni has been around NFL talent since his days at ASU. Originally a part of a special team’s battery that included Zane Gonzalez and Matt Haack both of whom, have been a part of NFL rosters for the past several seasons. Since going undrafted in 2017 Fraboni, a converted Defensive End, has been on the workout “short-list” for the Falcons, Packers, Bears, Texans and Cardinals.
Fraboni was no stranger to Alt/Spring league football originally playing for the Alphas and the Conquerors of The Spring League in 2020. It wasn’t until 2022 that Fraboni got another extended look at pro-football by joining the Maulers and working with the dynamic special-teams battery of Matt Duffy and Ramiz Ahmed who is currently on the Packers practice squad.
Moving forward it does appear that Fraboni does appear to have an opportunity to make a lasting impact on the Broncos and the NFL. With Bobenmoyer currently out for the rest of the year it appears, Fraboni is in line to start at Long Snapper for the Broncos and could remain the team’s primary option for the duration of the season at the position. For a guy like Fraboni who has been on the outside looking in this is the shot he’s been looking for the past several years.
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While USFL fans are happy to see Fraboni join a roster, two other USFL alumni were cut. Tucker Addington Long Snapper of the Houston Gamblers and Darrius Shepard, Wide Receiver of the New Jersey Generals were both released from the Cowboys and Broncos practice squads respectively. So far this week four former USFL players have been released from NFL teams. Currently while this article is being typed Lions kick returner Maurice Alexander was re-signed to the Lions Practice Squad.
Currently there are 19 former USFL players under NFL contracts. With more and more USFL players continue to garner interest coupled with injuries it appears that number will continue to grow. So far four players have made their NFL debuts with Fraboni most likely being the 5th. Though many USFL expected this number to be more, for the USFL’s first season these numbers seem to show the USFL did a good job at finding and evaluating talent. With season 2 about six months away, in my opinion it only will get for players seeking a pathway to the NFL via a Spring League.
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