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BOULDER, CO – OCTOBER 5, 2019: Arizona’s Tayvion Cunningham tries to escape University of Colorado’s Delrick Abrams, Jr. during the Pac-12 game with Arizona on October 5, 2019.
(photo by Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)
BOULDER, CO – OCTOBER 5, 2019: Arizona’s Tayvion Cunningham tries to escape University of Colorado’s Delrick Abrams, Jr. during the Pac-12 game with Arizona on October 5, 2019. (photo by Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)
Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer
Drew Lewis, of CU, wraps up Trae Riek, of UNC, in the first half of the game with Northern Colorado on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017.

Two former Colorado football players were selected in the inaugural draft of the United States Football League.

Cornerback Delrick Abrams Jr. and linebacker Drew Lewis were chosen during the two-day, 35-round draft.

The eight teams in the newly formed league selected from a group of 450-500 players who had already signed contracts to play in the USFL. Each round was limited to a particular position group, beginning with quarterbacks in the first round.

Abrams was the first cornerback selected, going to the Tampa Bay Bandits with the first pick of the eighth round.

Abrams played in 20 games, with 18 starts, for the Buffs from 2018-19, recording 89 tackles and 15 pass breakups. After going undrafted in 2020, he played that season with the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons. Abrams was waived by the Falcons on Aug. 31, 2021, and spent three days on the Los Angeles Rams’ practice squad in December.

Lewis, an outside linebacker, was taken with the third pick in the 31st round by the Houston Gamblers.

From 2016-18, Lewis played for the Buffs. After playing special teams in 2016, he was a full-time starter at inside linebacker in 2017 and shifted to outside linebacker in 2018. Overall, he played in 37 games at CU, with 18 starts, racking up 193 tackles.

Lewis originally signed with the NFL’s Houston Texans as an undrafted free agent in 2019.

Former Northern Colorado and Denver Broncos quarterback Kyle Sloter was selected in the first round by the New Orleans Breakers. Sloter has bounced around the NFL, most recently being released by the Minnesota Vikings last month.

Former Broncos quarterback Paxton Lynch was also selected, by the Michigan Panthers in the 12th round. Lynch was the Broncos’ first-round pick in 2016. He played two years in Denver before also playing for the Seattle Seahawks and Pittsburgh Steelers. He was released by the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders on Tuesday.

Two former Colorado State Rams were selected, as well: tackle Keith Williams (Michigan) and running back Dalyn Dawkins (Houston).

The USFL’s inaugural season kicks off on April 16.

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