NFL News & Analysis

Every USFL team's highest-graded players heading into Week 7

Michigan Panthers' Breeland Speaks (57) rushes two offensive linemen during a game against the Birmingham Stallions at Ford Field in Detroit on Saturday, May 20, 2023.

PFF has you covered for all offseason leagues, in addition to grades and analysis for the NFL and college football. We'll be diving into every USFL team's highest-graded players each week. Let's get into the numbers ahead of Week 7, including some notes from the past slate.

Be sure to also check out our XFL highest-graded players.

Week 6 Notes

  • Generals WR Warren Newman earned an elite 91.2 game grade after making a contested catch and hauling in all five of his targets.
  • Stallions QB Alex McGough completed five of his six passes when pressured, two of which went for touchdowns.
  • Maulers LB Dale Warren recorded a 91.2 run-defense grade, tallying three stops on just 12 run-defense snaps.
  • Gamblers LB J.T. Tyler forced three incompletions and surrendered only four yards in coverage.
  • The highest-graded play of the week belongs to Showboats WR Derrick Dillon, who brought a missed field goal back 109 yards for a score before halftime.

Birmingham Stallions

  1. EDGE Dondrea Tillman (86.6)
  2. QB Alex McGough (85.7)
  3. DI Jordan Thompson (80.3)
  4. CB Lorenzo Burns (80.2)
  5. LB Quentin Poling (79.1)

A second straight 90.0-plus game grade propels Dondrea Tillman to the top of the Stallions' season-long rankings. He finished Week 6 with seven quarterback pressures on 31 pass-rushing snaps and is now the USFL's second-highest-graded edge defender, behind only the Panthers' Breeland Speaks.

The USFL Week 6 Offensive Player of the Week, Alex McGough continues to be smart with the football. His 1.6% turnover-worthy play rate is the best mark among quarterbacks. The second-highest-graded quarterback in the USFL (McLeod Bethel-Thompson) is still more than 13 grading points behind McGough.

Houston Gamblers

  1. WR Justin Hall (89.6)
  2. RB Mark Thompson (83.6)
  3. EDGE Ronheen Bingham (75.5)
  4. EDGE Isaiah Chambers (74.8)
  5. C Nick Buchanan (74.1)
  6. G Tyler Higby (74.1)

Justin Hall caught six of his 10 targets in Week 6, but a drop hurt his game grade. Still, he leads all USFL wide receivers in yards (355), yards after the catch (240), touchdowns (4), missed tackles forced (17) and yards per route run (2.84).

Ronheen Bingham has become a fixture in this article. While he earned a season-worst 38.9 game grade in Week 6 due to a quiet pass-rushing day and a missed tackle in run defense, he is still tied for the USFL lead in quarterback pressures (26) and boasts an 81.9 pass-rushing grade.

Memphis Showboats

  1. S Kyree Woods (92.3)
  2. EDGE Jeff McCulloch (84.1)
  3. WR Vinny Papale (80.1)
  4. S Lamont McPhatter (74.6)
  5. RB Kerrith Whyte Jr. (74.3)

Kyree Woods is now the highest-graded player in the USFL. He faced eight targets in Week 6 — the second most of any defender — yet allowed only 35 yards on five catches. Not to mention, he snagged an interception for the second straight week. His 92.4 coverage grade on the season leads the league.

While he has yet to top 60 receiving yards in a game this season, the ever-consistent Vinny Papale did find the end zone for the first time in Week 6. He still leads the USFL in contested catches (seven).

Michigan Panthers

  1. EDGE Breeland Speaks (89.8)
  2. LB Noah Dawkins (78.1)
  3. EDGE Tre Williams (76.0)
  4. RB Reggie Corbin (75.3)
  5. RB Stevie Scott III (73.7)

Breeland Speaks recorded yet another sack in Week 6 to improve his league-leading total, though it was of the clean-up variety. His 83.2 pass-rushing grade ranks sixth in the USFL, and his 19.0% pass-rush win rate is a top-10 mark.

While Reggie Corbin has not surpassed 55 yards on the ground in a game this season outside of his 131-yard rushing performance in Week 2, his .24 forced missed tackles per attempt is the third-best rate among USFL running backs.

New Jersey Generals

  1. LB Chris Orr (89.9)
  2. EDGE Hercules Mata'afa (83.7)
  3. DI Kenneth Randall (83.0)
  4. S Paris Ford (78.7)
  5. CB Christian Tutt (77.9)

Chris Orr suffered a first-quarter injury this past week that knocked him out of the game after only eight snaps, causing him to relinquish his title as the highest-graded player in the USFL. Regardless, he ranks second among off-ball linebackers in stops (19) and yards allowed per coverage snap (.53).

Hercules Mata'afa's 90.4 pass-rushing grade trails only the Showboats' Jeff McCulloch through six weeks. The former Washington State standout is now tied for the USFL lead in quarterback pressures (26), including a league-high nine quarterback hits.

New Orleans Breakers

  1. RB Wes Hills (84.7)
  2. LB Shaheed Salmon (82.4)
  3. CB Nevelle Clarke (78.4)
  4. EDGE Anree Saint-Amour (76.8)
  5. TE Sage Surratt (74.4)

Wes Hills tallied 74 yards on the ground and two forced missed tackles, not to mention five catches for 30 yards, in Week 6. He remains the USFL leader in missed tackles forced on runs (22) and even sports a solid 79.8 pass-blocking grade on 38 such snaps.

Shaheed Salmon debuts in the top five for the Breakers after earning an elite 92.1 game grade in Week 6, albeit on only seven defensive snaps. His best play was an instinctive run stop where he fought off the left tackle to drop the running back in the backfield.

Philadelphia Stars

  1. EDGE Adam Rodriguez (80.0)
  2. G Shamarious Gilmore (78.1)
  3. EDGE Ali Fayad (78.0)
  4. S Cody Brown (76.5)
  5. CB Amani Dennis (72.5)

Adam Rodriguez is slowly establishing himself as a force, both against the run and as a pass rusher, off the edge. He earned a 70.0-plus run-defense grade in each of the past two weeks and is coming off an incredible 10-pressure performance in Week 6. The latter feat is the most in a single game this season for any USFL player, although three of those pressures were charted as “clean-up” plays.

Shamarious Gilmore's 83.2 pass-blocking grade through six weeks paces the USFL, helping him rank as one of only three offensive linemen with 70.0-plus grades in both run blocking and pass protection. He allowed only one quarterback hurry on 31 pass-blocking snaps in Week 6.

Pittsburgh Maulers

  1. LB Reuben Foster (90.6)
  2. DI Olive Sagapolu (81.8)
  3. S Eli Walker (81.6)
  4. DI Boogie Roberts (81.0)
  5. CB Keith Gipson Jr. (78.8)

After missing Weeks 4 and 5 due to injury, Reuben Foster returned in Week 6 and picked up where he left off. He earned an 81.8 game grade, made two stops in run defense and forced an incompletion in coverage. He and the Showboats' Kyree Woods are currently the only two 90.0-plus-graded defenders in the USFL.

Olive Sagapolu posted a position-high 92.6 game grade in Week 6. He leads all interior defenders in quarterback pressures (15) and ranks second in pass-rush win rate (14.2%).


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