Grading UFL To NFL Player Probability: Arlington Renegades | Steven Jones Jr.

Grading UFL To NFL Player Probability: Arlington Renegades

The 2024 Arlington Renegades UFL season ended in a very different way to the 2023 Renegades. They went from winning a championship as complete after thoughts to correctly being afterthoughts in 2024. Finishing with a 3-7 record, the modern Renegades are now 7-13 in the regular season.

They need a refresh this offseason if they want to get back to the heights of 2023 and that starts like all spring football offseasons do, with finding out who is moving on to the big leagues this fall. In this article I will grade every player on their chance of getting to the NFL this offseason and try to create a system and expectations for players that they can exceed or underperform. Let’s get right into it.

Methodology

For the record, this section is the same for every article so feel free to skip it if you have already seen it. The first piece to explain is the tier system. There are 5 tiers a player could land in, tiers 1-5. Tier 1 is NFL bound, basically I’m almost 100% sure that this player will go to the NFL (by signing an NFL contract at some point in the 2024 NFL season), Tier 2 is decent chance, I’m more sure than not that this player will go to the NFL which is about 75% chance, Tier 3 is maybe, flip a coin 50% chance, Tier 4 is outside possibility, which is about 25% chance, and Tier 5 is all the players that have flaws that make me think there isn’t a chance they make it to the NFL. I haven’t included the Tier 5 players but any player not listed is in that tier.

This is also only counting players that ended the season rostered by a UFL team. For example, the Browns signed Matt Landers who was on the Brahmas before being cut midseason, he doesn’t count and won’t be listed. This is also a good time to also mention that any reported workouts that might be released before this publishes won’t affect the grades.

The reasons that players end up in a given tier is an unscientific combination of 3 factors: quality of play in the UFL, recency of NFL experience, and age. If you check off all three of these boxes you are going to rate highly but you don’t need all three if you are playing out of this world or aren’t playing well but are young with NFL experience. I’m relying heavily on PFF grades to get an opinion on every player but I have watched every game and my personal opinion can influence that too. Lastly, age is a factor that is going to hurt a lot of good players in the UFL and keep players that if they were younger. would have been Tier 1s and Tier 2s but there is a sharp fall off when a player reaches 28 that will affect how players are graded. If you have any other questions about how I came to specific grades or put the whole thing together, you can reach out to me at ThornPFN on twitter or in the PFN discord to ask me whatever I missed here.

QB and Weapons

Tier 1: None
Tier 2: WR Tyler Vaughns
Tier 3: QB Luis Perez, WR Javonta Payton, WR Deontay Burnett, TE Sal Cannella
Tier 4: QB Holton Ahlers, RB Dae Dae Hunter, WR Juwan Manigo, WR Isaiah Winstead, TE Austin Allen, TE Seth Green

The first positional group up is the QB and weapons (RB, WR, and TE). The Renegades had a core of weapons that were mostly spring football veterans. That puts a heavy cap on their players’ opportunities which leaves one of the best passing attacks with only 1 Tier 2 in Tyler Vaughns. Vaughns was able to outproduce his 2023 statline and grades with 2 less games with a full season of consistent QB play that’ll give the 26 year old a better shot at an NFL gig this time around. There are a group of familiar faces in Tier 3 with Luis Perez, and his other 3 big time receiving threats there. The age and lack of recent NFL interest holds them back for me. In Perez’s case, as a player that will be 30 next year, I was ready to write him off but with an excellent season, it keeps him as an NFL possibility. The one I’m most worried about in that tier is Javonta Payton who just went on IR at the end of the season so we don’t know how serious that injury is. Then Tier 4 is filled with players that are young and might’ve had some NFL experience but didn’t flash on the field enough for me to go out on a limb for any of them in particular with the one name to keep an eye on being Isaiah Winstead who was able to play well after Payton went down for the season. The most notable missing player here is De’Veon Smith who had a career season in what has been a nice spring football career dating back to the AAF but at 29 years old and being 6 years out of the NFL, it’s someone that I think the NFL will overlook.

Offensive Line

Tier 1: None
Tier 2: T Bobby Evans, G Dru Samia, C Jake Lacina
Tier 3: G Marcus Minor
Tier 4: T Noah Henderson, T Adrian Ealy

On a lot of the bottom dwellers in the UFL this season, they tend to have uninteresting offensive lines but Arlington has a lot of pieces that make it an area to watch in the next few months. That starts in Tier 2 with 3 starters in that group. Bobby Evans and Dru Samia have very similar paths with both of them being draft picks out of Oklahoma in 2019. That pedigree and having graded out better than most makes them both guys to watch for NFL opportunities. The next guy is Jake Lacina who has had a great season that’s forced me to overlook the lack of recent NFL experience to put him in Tier 2. Then the final interior offensive lineman is Marcus Minor in Tier 3 who has been solid since going in for Chris Owens in the season opener and is still young at 25 despite the lack of NFL experience. Lastly, at right tackle 2 players rotated the whole season and neither played well enough to take it from the other so Adrian Ealy and Noah Henderson get put in Tier 4 which is helped by the fact that they are both under 25 years old at the moment. A good group that I project multiple signings from.

Front Seven

Tier 1: None
Tier 2: DL Jalen Redmond
Tier 3: None
Tier 4: DL LaRon Stokes, EDGE Vic Beasley, EDGE Willie Taylor, LB Marquel Lee, LB Storey Jackson

The Front Seven for the Arlington Renegades is a group that similar to the offensive weapons, has a lot of veterans that in this case thins the list out significantly. Jalen Redmond is by far the most interesting player in this group, and it’s just Arlington’s luck that he ended up missing the majority of the season with injury which took away Arlington’s best chance at having a tier 1 player. For the rest of the group listed, they can be sorted into 2 groups. Group 1 is young but lacked production like with Willie Taylor and LaRon Stokes, and group 2 is old but had a nice season like Marquel Lee or Vic Beasley. The one guy that might surprise in this group is Storey Jackson who got 13 special teams tackles and was their best special teams player this year according to PFF. There are a lot of familiar faces that aren’t listed like Donald Payne, Will Clarke, DaVonte Lambert, and Tomasi Laulile who’s age or lack of recent NFL experience made them slip off the list.

Secondary

Tier 1: None
Tier 2: SCB Steven Jones Jr,
Tier 3: CB Delonte Hood,
Tier 4: CB Ajene Harris, CB Darren Evans, S Myles Dorn

The Arlington Renegades completely redid their secondary for the 2024 season which led to mixed results. The top player to come out of that was Steven Jones Jr. who was their starting slot corner for the majority of the season. At 25 and with NFL experience in the past year, it makes him a stand out. Delonte Hood also has age and NFL experience on his side but with more up and down play and even being inactive at times pulls him down a bit. The final 3 players are Ajene Harris who was someone I thought was getting an NFL opportunity after his play in Houston last year, Darren Evans who has had a few stints with the Giants recently and Myles Dorn who was a starter for the majority of the season and has been an NFL journeyman the past couple years. Players like Joe Powell, Jamal Carter, and Jamar Summers have contributed to this group but age and lack of recent NFL experience kept them off the list.

Specialists

Tier 1: None
Tier 2: None
Tier 3: K Jonathan Garibay
Tier 4: None

One of the most controversial moves for the Renegades according to fans was moving on from longtime spring football kicker Taylor Russolino midseason. That ended up being at worst a push because their new kicker Jonathan Garibay has been a solid piece for them. He hasn’t blown anyone away like some other UFL kickers but at only 24 years old, I could see him getting a chance at the next level. As for the other 2, Marquette King feels like he’s aged out of the chance for another NFL stint and Antonio Ortiz has graded out as one of the weaker long snappers in the UFL which holds him back.

Conclusion

This list illustrates the issues with the Renegades 2024 season. They were never as bad as their record indicated but they lacked players that were game changers with them being a rare group of having no Tier 1 players on the roster. The benefit of that is one they saw this offseason where their core was able to stay mostly the same but after the season they had, it’s probably for the best that they look to do a complete makeover to help them get off the mat and look to make another championship run in 2025. If I am betting on 3 players to go to the NFL from the Renegades, they would be defensive line Jalen Redmond, receiver Tyler Vaughns, and CB Steven Jones Jr.

What are your thoughts on these UFL to NFL picks for the Arlington Renegades? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!

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