San Antonio Brahmas vs. Birmingham Stallions | Week 9 Preview | Carlos Davis

Grading UFL To NFL Player Probability: Birmingham Stallions

The Birmingham Stallions officially are in a dynasty. With their 3rd straight championship, they are clearly the cream of the crop in spring football. This has a lot to their GM Zach Potter building a roster that from day one was better than everyone else. That side-effect of having that kind of roster is having a lot of guys that can get NFL opportunities and the Stallions are going to get a good few signings from this championship roster. 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: QB Adrian Martinez, QB Matt Corral
Tier 2: RB Ricky Person Jr, WR Amari Rodgers
Tier 3: WR Deon Cain, WR Kevin Austin, TE Jace Sternberger
Tier 4: RB CJ Marable, RB Larry Roundtree, WR Binjimen Victor, WR Greg Jennings, WR Marlon Williams, TE Jordan Thomas

The Stallions have one of the most interesting quarterback set ups in spring football history with having the 2 QBs that I feel have the best shot at the NFL on one roster. Both quarterbacks played well, especially Martinez who was the league and championship MVP, and Corral too in the limited time he got to play. They are both 25 or younger which makes them obvious NFL candidates. Beyond them, Tier 2 has 2 players that are there for different reasons. Amari Rodgers is in this tier by being a solid returner and being a guy that was recently a 3rd round pick which bumps him up and Person Jr. is there off the back of a great championship game that gave him a bump up even if he doesn’t have the NFL pedigree. Person is reportedly signing with the Seattle Seahawks which is great to see. Then in Tier 3 there is a trio of players that I’m not sure what to do with. Deon Cain has been in and out of the NFL but a season with an unfortunate amount of drops lessens his NFL chances. Kevin Austin is a young player that had moments of great play but couldn’t put the whole thing together. The last player is Jace Sternberger, he was going to be the only tight end in the top 2 Tiers but was dropped after a rough championship game with him getting ejected which gave me a bit more doubt that he’ll get another shot. Tier 4 has a bunch of players that had moments of success this season and could be on NFL radars but didn’t stand out enough. CJ Marable might be the best player in that Tier but age and a step back in production hurts his chances. Nothing worth mentioning in Tier 5, just an all around talented group.

Offensive Line

Tier 1: None
Tier 2: T Alex Taylor, C Cole Schneider
Tier 3: T Matt Kaskey
Tier 4: T Christian DiLauro, G Derwin Gray, G Deonte Brown, G Zack Johnson

The Stallions offensive line is a group that is one of the unsung heroes of the championship game as they did what they wanted to a great Brahmas front in the 2nd half. That means there are some guys here that I think could be getting some NFL looks. That starts with Alex Taylor who was their right tackle all season and probably should’ve been All-UFL and has the recent NFL experience to make a great case for himself. Cole Schneider rounds out tier 2 as he used his time with the Stallions in 2023 to get an opportunity with the Packers and he only played better this season. In Tier 3 was another Stallion that went to the NFL in 2023 in Matt Kaskey who was a great swing tackle that played fill in roles at both tackle spots and even some time at both guard spots. Tier 4 has the other 3 starters in DiLauro who fell due to age, Derwin Gray because he lacks recent NFL experience, and Zack Johnson who got All-UFL honors but I’m not sure that will equal an NFL opportunity. Last player here is Deonte Brown who missed most of the season due to injury but has youth and NFL experience on his side, at minimum he is a potential breakout player in 2025.

Front 7

Tier 1: DL Carlos Davis, EDGE Jonathan Garvin
Tier 2: LB Kyahva Tezino
Tier 3: DL Marvin Wilson, EDGE Dondrea Tillman, EDGE Taco Charlton, LB Demarquis Gates
Tier 4: DL Jordan Thompson, EDGE Damarcus Mitchell, LB Damon Lloyd, LB Maalik Hall

The front 7 on the Stallions were a great group and they are headlined with 2 Tier 1s. Carlos Davis had the most sacks from an interior rusher this season and I think he has a great chance to join his brother Khalil Davis in the NFL ranks. The other Tier 1 is Jonathan Garvin who didn’t have the production of some of the other players but he had the 2nd highest pressure rate in the league and is still only 24 with multiple years of NFL experience, he is the safest bet in the league. Beyond that was a linebacker that dominated the championship game in Kyahva Tezino, he had a solid spring football career and at only 26, could still have an NFL opportunity in front of him. Tier 3 has a bunch of players that I like but for the most part are older or lack recent NFL experience that held them back in Dondrea Tillman, Taco Charlton, and Demarquis Gates. During the writing of this article it was reported that Dondrea Tillman signed with the Denver Broncos which is a great story of a player getting their first NFL opportunity 4 years out of college. Marvin Wilson is here as an underrated piece of that line has a great run stopper which might get him a look. In Tier 4 is mostly players that saw limited action like Demarcus Mitchell, Damon Lloyd, and Maalik Hall. The one piece that played a big role was Jordan Thompson but being 5 years out of the NFL and in their 3rd spring football season pulls their chances down a bit. Biggest missing piece is Scooby Wright who has been a spring football legend since his AAF days but likely played his last down this season due to injuries.

Secondary

Tier 1: None
Tier 2: S AJ Thomas
Tier 3: CB Lorenzo Burns, CB Madre Harper, SCB Daniel Isom
Tier 4: CB Mark Gilbert, SCB Chris Jackson, CB Ike Brown, CB Nevelle Clarke, S Kenny Robinson, S TJ Carter, S JoJo Tillery

The secondary in this Stallions defense has the potential to be one of the highest rated groups but it didn’t seem to come together. The top player is AJ Thomas who was a quality cover safety and has recent NFL experience and has youth which combines for the safest bet for a defensive back in the UFL. Below him are 3 corners that didn’t grade out consistently to be higher, but have some recent NFL experience and had moments throughout the season to get them into Tier 3. Then in Tier 4 are a few cases of players I was underwhelmed by. Mark Gilbert was a great corner for Pittsburgh last season but he fell off a cliff midseason and was inactive for the last couple weeks, Chris Jackson was on IR for the majority of the season, and Kenny Robinson also had some inconsistent play. There are some others in this tier that weren’t necessarily disappointing, but just lack a great chance at an NFL opportunity like Jojo Tillery and TJ Carter. Wish I could’ve rated the group higher but they still got the job done this season so I’m sure Stallions fans will take it.

Specialists

Tier 1: None
Tier 2: None
Tier 3: None
Tier 4: K Chris Blewitt, P Colby Wadman, LS Ryan Langan

The specialists for the Stallions were good but they aren’t guys I think are on the NFL radar as all of them are spring football veterans. It is interesting that the kicker the Stallions cut in Ramiz Ahmed is now the kicker for the Washington Commanders which just goes to show how weird the kicking carousel can get.

Conclusion

Zach Potter and Skip Holtz filled this roster with NFL talent and were repaid with being the first UFL Championship. In all likelihood, they’ll need to repeat their success with the amount of players that will be signing to the NFL off this team in the next couple months but they have earned the benefit of the doubt at this point. The 3 players that I think have the best chance as going to the NFL are EDGE Jonathan Garvin, DL Carlos Davis, and QB Adrian Martinez.

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

Fubo