Eleven former Pittsburgh Steelers players were selected in the 2022 USFL Draft this week in the new spring leagues’ inaugural draft this week.
Former Steelers cornerbacks Brian Allen and Jamar Summers, wide receivers Eli Rogers, Darrius Shepherd and Tyler Simmons, safeties Jack Tocho, Arnold Tarpley III and Dravon Askew-Henry, running back Tony Brooks-James, along with earlier selections quarterback Paxton Lynch and defensive end Cavon Walker were all taken in the selection meetings this week.
Allen and Summers went with back-to-back picks in the eighth round, the first round dedicated to cornerbacks. Summers, who joined the Steelers as an undrafted free agent out of UConn in 2018 and was released before the start of the season, went to the Houston Gamblers.
Allen, the Steelers’ fifth-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, will play in Birmingham for the hometown Stallions. Allen played in 16 games for the Steelers in 2017-18. He was released after a training camp injury in 2019. Since then, he has spent time with the Seattle Seahawks, Buffalo Bills, San Francisco 49ers and Cleveland Browns. Allen played in three games for Cleveland last season, but did not record any statistics.
Shepherd and Simmons both spent time on the Steelers’ practice squad in 2021, but neither was ever elevated to the active roster and neither was retained as part of the team’s 90-man offseason roster.
Shepherd spent just four days with the Steelers in late December and early January. The North Dakota State alum played in 14 games with the Green Bay Packers in 2019-20, but bounced to the Kansas City Chiefs, Arizona Cardinals, Minnesota Vikings and then to Steelers in 2021. He was drafted by the New Jersey Generals.
Simmons joined the Steelers for the 2021 offseason after spending his rookie training camp with the Houston Texans in 2020. The Georgia alum caught one pass in three preseason games and was released. He will play in the USFL for the Houston Gamblers.
Tocho spent a very small part of the 2019 offseason with the Steelers. An NC State alum with NFL experience, Tocho joined the Steelers after a successful run with the Birmingham Iron of the AAF. He was released by the team in mid-May, though. Tocho played with the Los Angeles Wildcats of the XFL in 2020. He was selected by the Philadelphia Stars.
Tarpley, a Central Catholic and Vanderbilt alum, was with the Steelers for rookie minicamp in 2019, and has since played in The Spring League. Tarpley will play for the Pittsburgh Maulers.
Askew-Henry, an Aliquippa native and West Virginia alum, was with the Steelers in training camp in 2019 as an undrafted free agent. He also spent time with the Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Jaguars, New York Guardians of the XFL, New York Giants, and will now play for the New Jersey Generals in the USFL.
Brooks-James had two stints with the Steelers, once in 2019, when he made his NFL debut and played in three games, carrying the ball eight times for seven yards. He then bounced to the Minnesota Vikings and Atlanta Falcons before returning to the Steelers during training camp in 2021. He’ll play for Birmingham in the USFL.
CB Brian Allen
RB Tony Brooks-James
CB Jamar Summers
WR Tyler Simmons
QB Paxton Lynch
DE Cavon Walker
NEW JERSEY GENERALS
WR Darrius Shepherd
S Dravon Askew-Henry
S Jack Tocho
S Arnold Tarpley III
TAMPA BAY BANDITS
WR Eli Rogers