Tampa Bay Bandits USFL Preview 2022: Season Win Total Picks, Odds and Predictions
Tampa Bay Bandits Team Preview
The Tampa Bay Bandits chose Jordan Ta'amu to lead their team in the first season of the USFL. Ta'amu played for the Mississippi Rebels in college where he started for two seasons in 2017 and 2018. In that time, he racked up 5,600 yards through the air going 266 for 418, giving him a completion rate of 64.5%. Of those 5,600 yards, 3,918 came in his senior year. In total, Ta'amu threw 30 touchdowns compared to just 12 interceptions. His yards per attempt sat at 9.5 and his QB rate over the course of his college career was 156.8. Not only was Ta'amu prolific through the air, but he was also dangerous in the run game as he had a total 507 rushing yards on 173 attempts, which came out to an average of 2.9 yards per attempt.
After two flashy seasons with the Rebels, Ta'amu jumped to the XFL where he was the first player for the St. Louis BattleHawks. However, the league ended up being suspended and his contract was terminated. He did play well in his short stint with the BattleHawks, and it earned him a shot in the NFL when he signed with the Kansas City Chiefs in April of 2020. He was waived in September and then brought back to the practice squad. Eventually, the Chiefs would release him, and he would spend short periods of time with the Detroit Lions, and the Washington Football Team.
The second pick for Tampa Bay would be Mekhi Brown. Brown played linebacker for the Alabama Crimson Tide in his first two college seasons. A highly rated recruit coming out of high school, Brown had a short stint with the Crimson Tide and would be mostly remembered for taking a swing at a Georgia player in the National Championship game and then almost getting in a fight with a UA staffer on the sideline. That said, he said his transfer to Tennessee State had nothing to do with that. In his time there, Brown 43 total tackles with 4 sacks for a total of 31 yards lost.
There next pick would be another pass rusher in Mike Scott out of Oklahoma State. Scott played in 14 games over the course of his final two seasons (2018 and 2019) and had a total of 19 tackles. of those tackles, 4.5 of them were for loss and he had 4.5 sacks as well. He will be getting a shot to make an impact for his new Tampa Bay squad this season.
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Another notable pick for the Bandits was their selection of BJ Emmons. Emmons was the top running back drafted in the USFL and will be looking to make an impact. He had a college career full of transfers and injuries, but it is here where Emmons will look for new life in his professional football career.
This is a team that looks to be explosive on offense and you can tell that it was put together by a former wide receiver’s coach in Todd Haley. They will look to throw the ball a lot and drafted many linemen to try and protect their QB. They drafted tall, physical corners to try to shut down the opponent's passing game. That said, they don't look like a team that will be making big marks in the run game or stopping the run and this has proved to be an issue in other leagues like the XFL and AAF. Given that, they still have a top tier QB and some talented wide receivers. They should have enough to make a run at the South division title.
Guy's Pick: We can see the Bandits finishing at the top end of the league, but also towards the bottom. It will depend on QB play and for that reason we will pick them 5th in the league when all is said and done.
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