Jets Need ‘Dominant’ Award Winning USFL 12.5 Sack Pass Rusher

USFL Championship Game

Getty Some sights and sounds from the pregame festivities ahead of the USFL championship game.

One of the things New York Jets general manager Joe Douglas pounded the table about when he got hired was to leave no stone left unturned.

Some of the things he said in the same breath about roster improvement were searching the trade market, exploring available free agents, and looking through other leagues.

That last point could lead the green and white to discover a hidden gem via an alternate football product.

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Analyst Geoff Magliocchetti of Jets X-Factor recently listed several USFL players that the green and white should “keep an eye on.”

One player that would be of great interest is Houston Gamblers pass rusher, Chris Odom.

While the Gamblers as a team didn’t have success finishing a woeful 3-7 and claiming last place in the USFL south division, the same can’t be said for Odom.

The former Arkansas State product led the USFL in sacks with 12.5 and was the only player to record double-digit sacks in the inaugural 2022 season.

That was a good enough performance to earn the Defensive Player of the Year honors:

The 27-year-old originally entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent and bounced around the league between three different NFL franchises: the Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers, and most recently with the Washington Commanders.

Between the NFL stops were some sprinkled opportunities in alternate football leagues like the AAF (Alliance of American Football), CFL (Canadian Football League), and now in the USFL.

“Good help is hard to come by this late in the offseason, which will make Odom one of the most sought-after USFL commodities as the signing process gets underway,” Magliocchetti explained. “Odom can also be a major asset on special teams: he blocked four field goals over the Gamblers’ 10 games, notably taking the last for a 77-yard touchdown in a regular-season finale victory.”

More Developmental Leagues Is Good News

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You can never have enough pass rushers and Odom would fit right in with what head coach Robert Saleh wants to do on that side of the ball.

With the USFL back in a new form just completing its inaugural season, XFL is right around the corner in 2023, things are looking up for developmental football leagues.

This should be great news for the Jets and every other NFL franchise.

More platforms for players to display their talents are good for everyone. Think of Odom’s story in particular for a moment.

In a lot of respects, this young man failed to catch on for one reason or another. He was cast aside, yet the USFL dusted him off and gave him another chance to strut his stuff and Odom did exactly that.

Now he is going to be a highly sought-after player in the post-USFL free agency and that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.

The 6-foot-4, 256-pound defensive lineman and outside linebacker offers versatility and a varied set of skills. While the Jets cupboard appears stocked from the outside looking in, you can never have enough pass rush.

Things happen in the NFL: players get hurt, some rise, some fall, and there is always a place on an NFL roster for someone with that kind of skill-set. Especially on the Jets where their entire defensive philosophy bases itself on the fact they need to sack the opposing quarterback and play with a lead.

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