At the time I published my original USFL research in 2007, I was aware that the league had made at least cursory plans for a Fall 1986 season. I was not, however, aware that the league had in fact conducted its annual draft processes, which consisted of a "territorial draft" together with a conventional incoming college player draft.
In the time since, most of the information about these drafts has evidently been lost to history, or at least has been to a point where I've been unable to put a complete rundown here. I have endeavored to document what I've been able to find however, below.
Territorial Player Selections
As in 1985, the 1986 USFL Territorial Draft consisted of 25 selections by each of the league's eight franchises, with the USFL rights to each player selected becoming the exclusive property of their selecting club. Each USFL team was entitled to select players from a list of seven assigned colleges and universities.
Unlike the league's traditional college drafts, the Territorial Draft was not conducted on a round-by-round basis; each team simply submitted a list of players to the Commissioner's office. At present, no further information regarding the 1986 Territorial Draft is available.
The Annual Player Selection
The fourth annual USFL college draft was conducted on May 6, 1986. The eight surviving teams from 1985 would combine to make 92 selections in all. As you'll see below in comparison to the drafts held from 1983 to 1985, the teams took a far less ambitious approach with respect to their selections.
As I had difficulty confirming much of the information below, I wouldn't place a great deal of stock in its accuracy. Where information could be confirmed regarding rounds, selection numbers and players chosen it is documented; in cases where it could not be, the selection number is indicated with a pair of question marks ("??"), under the corresponding round of the draft reported (but not confirmed) in which the selection was made.
- #1 - Orlando - Mike Haight, T, Iowa
- #2 - Arizona - Tony Casillas, DT, Oklahoma
- #3 - Jacksonville - Robert Thompson, WR, Youngstown State
- #4 - Memphis - Jim Everett, QB, Purdue
- #5 - New Jersey - James Pruitt, WR, Cal State Fullerton
- #6 - Birmingham - Reggie Dupard, RB, Southern Methodist
- #? - Tampa Bay (from Memphis) - Ernest Givins, WR, Louisville
- #? - Baltimore - Erik Howard, T, Washington State
- ?? - New Jersey - Mark Jackson, WR, Purdue
- ?? - New Jersey - Dan McMillen, DE, Colorado
- #25 - Joe Dudek, RB, Plymouth State
- ?? - New Jersey - Pat Miller, LB, Florida
- ?? - New Jersey - Ron Brown, WR, Colorado
- ?? - New Jersey - Eugene Profit, CB, Yale