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Pittsburgh Maulers Select 12 in First Day of 2022 USFL Draft



Pittsburgh Maulers USFL

The Pittsburgh Maulers drafted 12 different players on day one of the USFL Draft, that included two quarterbacks, three defensive ends/edge, three offensive tackles and four cornerbacks.

The first round pick of the draft was Kyle Lauletta, who was a fourth round pick in 2018 by the New York Giants. He only played quarterback in one game for the team, throwing five incompletions and one interception and has since bounced around various NFL teams’ practice squads.

The second round pick for the Maulers was former Michigan defensive end/edge Carlo Kemp, who started 29 of the 46 games he played from 2016-20 and was a 2019 third-team All-Big Ten selection.

East Tennessee State defensive end/edge Nasir Player was the third round pick for the Maulers. Player played for the buccaneers from 2016-19 and was a constant feature on SoCon All-Conference teams and featured on different FCS all-American teams as well. He started 40 of his 43 games at East Tennessee State and his 40 tackles for loss are the fifth-most in program history.

Western Michigan defensive end/edge Eric Assoua was the fourth round pick. He played in 47 games from 2015-18 for the Broncos, starting 18 of them.

Chidi Ekeke, the fifth round pick and first of three offensive tackles taken by the Maulers, was once a five-star recruit at LSU in 2016. He ended up transferring to Tennessee State for 2017-18, playing in all 19 games the team played and improving the offense by more than 105 games from his first to second season. Ekeke has signed deals with teams like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Washington Redskins and the Kansas City Chiefs, but didn’t see any playing time.

Sixth round pick, offensive tackle Isaiah Battle, was a fifth round supplementary draft pick in 2015 out of Clemson and signed with the St. Louis Rams. He was waived by the Rams in 2016 and spent his time bouncing around practice squads with the Seattle Seahawks, Carolina Panthers and the Chiefs. He played for the Seattle Dragons of the XFL in 2020, but hasn’t played since the team and league folded.

Charles Baldwin, seventh round pick for the Maulers and third offensive tackle taken, also was a five-star recruit like Ekeke. He started out with Alabama, before being dismissed from the program, joined Kansas, but finally settled down at Youngstown State.

Cornerback Ajene Harris, the eighth round pick out of USC, played 44 games for the Trojans from 2014-18. He hasn’t played in the NFL, but signed to the practice squads of the Philadelphia Eagles and the Detroit Lions.

The ninth round pick for the Maulers was cornerback Terrell Bonds. Bonds played four games for the Baltimore Ravens in 2020, totaling six tackles. He signed to the Miami Dolphins practice squad in 2021, but Miami waived him before the season started.

Tenth round pick, cornerback Prince Robinson of Tarleton State, led all DII players with three interceptions returned for touchdowns in 2019. He also signed with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian football League in 2021.

The final cornerback of the first day, eleventh round pick Jaylon McClain-Sapp of Marshall, spent some time with Kansas City, but didn’t register an appearance.

The last pick of the day was quarterback Josh Love in the twelfth round. Love played at San Jose State from 2016-19, throwing for 7,206 yards and 43 touchdowns. 3,923 of those yards and 22 of those touchdowns came in his final season with the Spartans. He also spent time with the Los Angeles Rams and the Cleveland Browns, but hasn’t played an NFL game.

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