Michigan Panthers USFL Preview 2022: Season Win Total Picks, Odds and Predictions
Michigan Panthers Team Preview
The Michigan Panthers are set to take the field in Pontiac, MI once the season starts in just a few weeks. They were lucky enough to get the #1 pick in the USFL draft, picking former Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson. Patterson, who started his career at Ole Miss, was a 5 star recruit coming out of high school. During his Michigan career, Patterson threw for almost 9,000 yards with 68 TD's and 27 picks. His final year at Michigan was in 2019, where he finished with 3,061 yards with 23 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. He had a quarterback rating of 139.4 in his 13 games played. After college, Patterson was picked up and cut by the Kansas City Chiefs. He then took a try at the CFL, but was cut by both the BC Lions and Montreal Alouettes. Patterson is hoping that this USFL stop finally gets his post-college football career going in the right direction. One thing that projects well for Patterson is that he's always had a quick release and he's played on a bigger stage than he'll see in the USFL. He is also very agile, as he scored 8 rushing TD's and had 476 yards rushing in college.
In the 2nd round of the draft, Michigan chose defensive end Adewale Adeoye. Someone who was undrafted out of Utah State in 2019, Adeoye was taken 5 picks after his brother in the USFL draft. Although Adewale was never a full time starter in college, he did get some Mountain West accolades in 2018, finishing as an honorable mention pick in the conference. He finished his Utah State career with 84 tackles, including 37 of the solo variety. Adeoye 2.5 sacks as well as 9 tackles for loss during his 4 year stint. He also had 1 forced fumble to go along with 3 fumble recoveries.
Round 3 of the draft saw another defensive player taken, Cavon Walker out of Maryland. Walker was the leader in sacks for the XFL before Covid-19 cancelled the season. He also has NFL experience on his resume, playing for the Steelers, Bears, Chiefs, and Washington Football Team (Guardians). Pairing him with Adeoye should make for a stout defensive line.
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At running back, the Panthers have Stevie Scott, who Big Ten fans will remember from his recent playing days at Indiana. Scott finished his 3 years at IU with 2,543 rushing yards on 562 attempts (4.5 average). He also caught 55 balls for 383 yards for the Hoosiers. He finished his career with 2,926 total yards on 617 plays with 32 TDs. He'll be someone to watch coming out of the backfield along with Reggie Corbin. Corbin is another Big Ten product, playing from 2015-2019 for Illinois. He was able to average 6.3 yards per carry with 2,361 yards on 375 carries. Corbin hauled in 38 balls for 343 yards and had 18 total touchdowns during his Illini career.
At wide receiver, the Panthers have former Ole Miss product Quincy Adeboyejo who will competing for the #1 receiver spot. Adeboyejo played from 2013-2016 at Ole Miss and 106 catches for 1,454 yards for the Rebels. He also had 11 TDs. Jeff Badet is another receiver looking to make an impact for Michigan. Badet played from 2013-2017 for both Kentucky and Oklahoma. Badet finished his college career with 108 catches for 1,785 yards and 10 touchdowns. One other guy to watch is Joey Magnifico, who is a tight end from Memphis. Magnifico caught 71 balls for 1,063 yards in his 4 year career for the Tigers. He also had 12 touchdowns, so he'll be someone who will look to do some damage in the red zone.
While it's tough to predict how all of these new players will come together, the Panthers definitely have some talent to work with. As more of a shot in the dark than anything, I'll go with the Panthers finishing their inaugural season with a record of 6-4 based on the upside of their roster.
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