Fit, the first champion of the first incarnation of the USFL will have the first draft pick heading into the league’s next season.
Using a lottery, the USFL determined the first-round draft order. The Michigan Panthers, coached by former Titans and Rams head coach Jeff Fisher, earned the first overall pick. Here’s how the rest of the draft will go.
1. Michigan Panthers
2. The Tampa Bay Bandits
3. Philadelphia Stars
4. New Jersey Generals
5. Houston Players
6. Birmingham Stallions
7. Pittsburgh Maulers
8. New Orleans Breakers
Fisher’s NFL teams drafted several future stars during his 25 years as a head coach. Among the players selected by Fisher’s teams in the first round are quarterback Steve McNair, running backs Eddie George, Chris Johnson and Todd Gurley, passing thrower Javon Kearse and defensive tackle Aaron Donald.
It’s been a busy week for the USFL, which earlier today revealed each team’s home and away kits for the upcoming season. The league announced Wednesday that its inaugural playoffs will be held inside Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio, beginning June 25.
The USFL returned after playing three seasons from 1983 to 1985. Financial challenges and an unsuccessful attempt to move the league from spring to fall contributed significantly to the league’s short existence. In addition to implementing several innovations (such as instant replay and two-point conversions), the USFL produced several important future NFL personalities, including future Bills coach Marv Levy, quarterbacks Steve Young and Jim Kelly, running back Herschel Walker, pass rusher Reggie White, linebacker Sam Mills and offensive lineman Gary Zimmerman, among others.
The Panthers have played the first two USFL Championship games. They defeated the Stars in the 1983 title game in front of more than 50,000 fans at Mile High Stadium in Denver. Among the Panthers’ stars on that team was wide receiver Anthony Carter, who had a successful 11-year NFL career that included three Pro Bowl nods with the Vikings.