UFL Week Two Film Breakdown With Samuel Akem | Chase Garbers San Antonio Brahmas

Grading UFL To NFL Player Probability: San Antonio Brahmas

It was a disappointing end to a spectacular season for the San Antonio Brahmas. To be one of the most talented offenses in spring football history only to be shut out when it mattered most has to hurt. The biggest thing that will haunt this team is the fact that they are filled to the brim with NFL talent which means the next time they find themselves in this position, it’ll be a very different looking team. 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: RB Anthony McFarland, RB John Lovett, WR Jontre Kirklin
Tier 2: QB Chase Garbers, WR Marquez Stevenson
Tier 3: TE Alizé Mack
Tier 4: QB Quinten Dormady, RB Morgan Ellison, WR Justin Smith, WR Kade Warner

The group of weapons the Brahmas had in 2024 was a level of elite that cannot be overstated. The Brahmas had 3 Tier 1 players in this attack when there were only 12 Tier 1 players in the entire league. That starts with a 2 headed backfield that struggled to stay healthy but had 2 of the 3 best backs in the league with Anthony McFarland and John Lovett. Both players were in the NFL last season with the Steelers and will both be getting looks this summer. The third Tier 1 is another player straight out of the NFL in Jontre Kirklin who used a stint with the Roughnecks in 2023 to get onto the Saints practice squad and will do it again with the Brahmas in 2024 even with a rough championship game this week. The list doesn’t end there as Chase Garbers comes up next as a player that would’ve been a Tier 1 if they didn’t play this week but an awful week alongside questions of how invested he was gave enough doubt to drop the young signal caller down a tier. The other Tier 2 is Marquez Stevenson who didn’t have the production, but showed play making ability and has recent NFL experience that makes me still feel good about him. In Tier 3 is Alizé Mack who was a quality tight end for San Antonio and has had some recent NFL experience that gets him there. The Tier 4 has Quinten Dormady mostly because of playing time, Morgan Ellison who had a solid season but has never gotten an NFL opportunity, and 2 receivers in Justin Smith and Kade Warner that I could see getting an opportunity. Most notable player missing is Cody Latimer who said this would be his final season, that plus a season ending injury closes the book on one of the best spring football tight ends in modern history.

Offensive Line

Tier 1: None
Tier 2: C Alex Mollette
Tier 3: T Greg Eiland, C Sam Tecklenburg, G Rashaad Coward
Tier 4: G Kohl Levao, G Chuck Filiaga, T Aaron Monterio, T Julién Davenport

While the weapons stole the show, the line for San Antonio was one of the most underrated groups in the league. That was headlined by a center that caught a 40 yard TD in week 1 in Alex Mollette. Mollette has had a second straight great spring season and just like last season with the roughnecks, I think it ends with an NFL contract. Below him in Tier 3 is 3 other pieces including Greg Eiland who has a combination of youth and NFL experience that keeps him up even with weak grades, Rashaad Coward who was one of the best guards in the league but is pulled down by being 29, and Sam Tecklenburg who was a quality center when filling in for Mollette. In Tier 4 is All-UFL guard Kohl Levao who got pulled down from a lack of NFL experience and having similar grades to last season. Since writing this Levao signed with the New York Jets, if there was a player to be this off on, I’m glad it was him. There is also Chuck Filiaga and Aaron Monterio who didn’t have great seasons but have recent NFL experience and Julién Davenport who was weirdly enough a part of the trade that sent Laremy Tunstall to the Texans. They close out as a rare lineman group with no Tier 5s. A great room that will certainly get some looks this summer.

Front 7

Tier 1: None
Tier 2: EDGE Delontae Scott, EDGE Wyatt Ray, EDGE Garrett Nelson
Tier 3: DL Jaylen Twyman, DL Prince Emili, EDGE Tim Ward
Tier 4: DL Caeveon Patton, DL Jalen Dalton, DL Taron Vincent, DL Jacob Sykes, LB Jordan Williams, LB Tavante Beckett, LB Robert Barnes, LB Kelechi Anyalebechi

The Brahmas had one of the best defenses in the league in 2024 and it wasn’t from just one player dominating. That shows in the NFL grades as three of their edge rushers make up Tier 2 with Delontae Scott being the biggest name even if he missed some time, Wyatt Ray was the player with the most production, leading the team in pressures (29) and sacks (7). The last player in this tier is Garrett Nelson who is one of my biggest sleepers in the UFL this season as he has the production, grades, age, and recent NFL experience to be a NFL guy even as a rotational edge. The Tier 3 is just as loaded including Jaylen Twyman who had good stints with Birmingham and San Antonio this season, Tim Ward who has been a consistently good Edge the past 2 seasons and Prince Emili who was the Brahmas best interior rusher all season. Tier 4 has a ton of players, most notably is both linebackers who have proven to be great spring football players but I’m not sure that puts them on the NFL radar. This is a group that I think loses a couple players but with this set up, it’d be hard to predict who those will be.

Secondary

Tier 1: None
Tier 2: CB Darius Phillips
Tier 3: SCB Bryce Thompson, CB Corey Mayfield, S Scott Nelson
Tier 4: CB Bopete Keyes, CB Derrick Langford

The secondary for San Antonio was good even if it lived in the shadow of the excellence of the front 7. The crown jewel of this room was their top corner Darius Phillips who was probably the best cover corner in the UFL last season and is only held back from being a Tier 1 by age. Beyond him there is a lot of youth including Bryce Thompson who wasn’t as good as he was in Seattle last season but still was a piece, Corey Mayfield who had some up and downs but is another young player that would get some NFL looks, and Scott Nelson who was a nice rotational safety for them this season. Tier 4 includes Bopete Keyes who struggled at times but has NFL experience and Derrick Langford who only was active for 1 game but played well. The big snub is the 2 starting safeties in AJ Hendy and Jordan Mosely who combine age and a lack of NFL interest to fall into that Tier, even if they were solid players this season.

Specialists

Tier 1: None
Tier 2: LS Rex Sunhara
Tier 3: None
Tier 4: Brad Wing

The specialist group was an interesting group. Brad Wing was throwing touchdowns, Deestroying was breaking his neck, and Ryan Santoso was hit with a brutal cold streak. With all of those ups and downs, the most consistent force in that room was Rex Sunhara who is my highest grade long snapper in the UFL. Brad Wing also gets a mention and is really only held down by age. Neither kicker did enough to land on NFL radars in my opinion.

Conclusion

Reading this article as a San Antonio Brahmas fan might hurt. They were so close to winning and now that team that was one game away is about to get picked apart by the NFL. The silver lining is that Brahmas GM Marc Lillibridge did a great job building this roster from nothing so he could do it again. Either way, this team will be popular on the workout circuit this summer. The 3 players with the best chance to get to the NFL are Anthony McFarland, John Lovett, and Jontre Kirklin.

What are your thoughts on these UFL to NFL signings for the San Antonio Brahmas? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!

Fubo