Five UFL Players That Should Be in the NFL
While the United Football League doesn't have the same notoriety as the NFL, there's no denying the talent that is with the league.
Several UFL players have gone on from the UFL to have success with teams in the NFL. For example, Jets cornerback Isaiah Trufant. He was the defensive player of the year in 2010 and landed a roster spot on the Jets. Earlier this season, he returned a blocked punt in for a touchdown.
Another success story is former New England Patriots defensive end Eric Moore. After playing in the UFL, he played in four games for the Patriots and notched two sacks and had two forced fumbles in his playing time there.
Those are just a few examples of players that have gone on to have success, here are five players that I think could have success this year (even though there are more than five that have the talent to make it).
Aaron Rouse: Safety, Virginia Destroyers
Aaron Rouse stepped up big time in the UFL Championship game this season by getting a league-record three interceptions in one game (he even returned one 46 yards for a touchdown).
At just 27years old, Rouse is still young. He also has some NFL experience. He played four years with the Green Bay Packers and his last year, in 2009, with the New York Giants. He was able to get four interceptions in his five seasons.
Rouse is not only talented, but he's clutch too. His third interception of the championship game came in the fourth quarter on a drive when the Locos were trying to pull within a touchdown.
At 6-4 and 227 pounds, Rouse has great size and speed. There's no doubt in my mind, he could play in the NFL.
A possible destination is with the Chicago Bears. They have had safety issues throughout the year, so why not give Rouse a workout?
Jeff Wolfert: Kicker, Omaha Nighthawks
Kickers usually get a bad rep, but Jeff Wolfert is definitely talented enough to play in the NFL.
Playing at Missouri, Wolfert was perfect on extra point attempts (185-for-185) and set the school's single-season and career-scoring records. He was a three-timex Lou Groza Award candidate.
Wolfert played in the UFL in 2010 and was the league's most accurate kicker converting 9-of-10 field goal. His success gave him a tryout and a contract with the Cleveland Browns, but he was waived on August 28.
The Omaha Nighthawks signed him back, and he had another great year.
In a game against the Sacramento Mountain, Lions Wolfert made four field goals, including two from 54 and 56 yards out. He also came through in the clutch with a 39-yard boot with no time remaining on the clock to give the Nighthawks a win.
If a team is ever in need of a kicker, don't be surprised if Wolfert gets a tryout.
Aaron Woods: Kick Returner, Sacramento Mountain Lions
Aaron Woods is not very tall at just 5-5, but this kid has great return ability.
Everybody knows about little 5-6 Darren Sproles for the New Orleans Saints, but not many know about Woods.
Woods went to Portland State where he played in the slot and returned kicks. During his junior year, he caught a team-leading 66 passes for 1,028 yards and six touchdowns. He set school records for kick returns (35) and kick return yards (908) in a season.
During his senior year, he improved. He had nine punt returns for 82 yards (31 long) and 53 kickoff returns for 1,314 yards and one touchdown.
Woods has played in the UFL for two years now and has been a great return man. In fact, he won special teams player of the year this year. He led the league with a 23.6-yard kickoff-return average and finished second in the league in all-purpose yards.
Even though the NFL moved the ball up from the 30 to the 35-yard line, teams still need a solid return man. A good returner can make the difference for your team (example: Devin Hester).
Dominic Rhodes: Running Back, Virginia Destroyers
The Virginia Destroyers won the UFL Championship game because they had an extremely talented running back in the backfield.
Head coach Marty Schottenheimer brought Marty Ball into the UFL, and he had the pleasure of working with Dominic Rhodes.
Rhodes won the offensive UFL MVP award in 2011 and was the league's leading rusher. Rhodes gained 410 yards and averaged 5.2 yards per carry in four games while scoring six touchdowns.
His most impressive performance came in Week 4 when he ran 18 times for 217 yards and had three touchdowns against the Sacramento Mountain Lions.The performance set a UFL record for most rushing yards in a game.
Rhodes has NFL experience as he helped the Colts win a Super Bowl. He also played for them last year after finishing his season in the UFL and helped Indy make the playoffs by returning kicks and starting at running back.
There's no reason why Rhodes can't do the same thing this year. Obviously not with the Colts, but he can help make an impact on a team that needs a running back. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers just lost Earnest Graham for the season, and starter LeGarrette Blount is coming off of an injury. Could be a good fit.
Stuart Schweigert: Safety, Omaha Nighthawks
Stuart Schweigert was the UFL's 2011 defensive player of the year after his impressive season with the Omaha Nighthawks.
Schweigert had a great Week 3 against the Sacramento Mountain Lions as he recorded seven tackles, one interception and had a fumble recovery. He would finish the year with two interceptions and was the Nighthawks leading tackler.
Much like Aaron Rouse (slide 1), Schweigert has NFL experience already. He played for four different teams after being drafted in the third round of the 2004 NFL draft.
Schweigert is 30 years old and can help provide a veteran leadership to a team that needs him.