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Commanders tinker with roster depth by signing two USFL cornerbacks

training camp is right around the corner

USFL Week Seven - Philadelphia Stars v Houston Gamblers
Channing Stribling #8 of the Philadelphia Stars reacts after scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter of the game against the Houston Gamblers at Protective Stadium on May 29, 2022 in Birmingham, Alabama.
Photo by Donald Page/USFL/Getty Images

The Commanders have announced roster moves at the CB position.

The odds never really looked good for Nijuel Hill and Devin Taylor; both were 5th year senior undrafted college free agents with limited athleticism. Each will likely still get a chance to play pro football somewhere.

The two newest Commanders got here by way of a lot of stops, with the latest being in the USFL, which may be where you next see Hill and Taylor.

Channing Stribling

Stribling went undrafted out of Michigan in 2017, and went on a tour of NFL cities, spending time in Cleveland, Indianapolis, San Francisco and LA in 2017 and 2018.

He played for 2 professional teams in 2019, starting out with the Memphis Express of the AAF, and ending up with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL.

In 2020, Stribling played in the XFL with the Seattle Dragons before returning to Canada and the Tiger-Cats, where he did not play any football in ‘20 due to COVID, but did play in ‘21, despite having been drafted by the New Jersey Generals of the NFL’s Spring League in a 2020 draft.

Stribling was then drafted by the Philadelphia Stars in the 8th round of the 2022 USFL draft, and played for them in their inaugural season, leading the league in interceptions, with 7 picks. He also had 11 passes defended, 16 tackles and a sack on the season in which the Stars lost in the league championship game.

Stribling is 27 years old, and is listed at 6’2”, 175 pounds on his USFL profile (he hadn’t been added to the Commanders team website at the time of writing).

DeJuan Neal

This is Neal’s 2nd time on the Washington roster. I wrote a spotlight article on him when he was signed by the Redskins late in the 2019 training camp, so I’ll quote some of that article and a Fansided article here:

Neal (6-foot-even, 190 pounds) has had plenty of college-level experience. He appeared in 43 games over four years at Shepherd and logged 95 tackles, 17 pass defenses, and three interceptions during his career.

On tape, Neal shows that he is a willing tackler and demonstrates solid coverage abilities. He has nice leaping ability that helps him to high-point the ball despite his average frame, so that could help him make some plays if he gets time in the preseason. Still, it seems likely that he will just serve as a camp body, as making the jump from Division II in such a tight window won’t prove to be easy.

Neal is a local guy. He was born in Annapolis Maryland and grew up in Shady Side Maryland. Of course, Shepard University is in West Virginia, just about an hour from D.C.

With just one day of training camp left, and preseason coming to an end in 18 days, the best outcome Neal can probably realistically hope for is to impress coaches and earn a spot on the practice squad. Still, for a young man from a small school who went undrafted and unsigned until the 10th of August, I’m sure this is an exciting opportunity!

Neal was ultimately released by the Jay Gruden-coached ‘Skins. After spending time in the XFL in 2020, the 25 year old cornerback ended up with the New Jersey Generals of the USFL, who drafted him in the 11th round of the league’s inaugural draft. He recorded 14 tackles on the season.

Just before last Christmas:

Updated depth chart

The numbers that appear beside some players’ names are 2022 cap hits per Over the Cap.

Please note that assigned positions and color coding are my own personal opinions. They do not necessarily represent the thinking of Washington’s coaches or front office, nor are they necessarily consistent with fan consensus. This chart represents my interpretation, and may not reflect the thoughts of other writers on Hogs Haven. Finally, when it comes to backup players, I don’t put much effort into making sure that they are on the right or left or behind the specific player that they backup. I mostly just try to fit everyone on the chart efficiently.