The NFL Supplemental Draft is approaching July 11 of 2018. Most people have heard of it, but may not fully know what it is and how it differs from the annual draft in April. The supplemental draft usually takes place during the summer to offer an opportunity to players who may, for whatever reason, not be eligible to play in to coming season. Differing from the normal draft which has over 200+ players selected; the supplemental draft usually ranges from 0-5 players total. The draft is usually done via email instead of a big venue where phone calls and draft cards are sent in. Usually no big name players are involved, but Josh Gordon found his way into the draft and made himself an effective weapon for the Browns. This year there are 5 prospects that have draft potential. 3 being defensive backs; Adonis Alexander, Sam Beal, and Brandon Bryant. 1 an OLB, Bright Ugwoegbu and, the most recent, Martayveus Carter, RB.
Adonis Alexander is an ACC cornerback out of Virginia Tech. He is hard to miss at 6’3 209 pounds. He was ruled academically ineligible, and got in trouble for marijuana possession. These are 2 red flags that the scouts are doing there homework on as we speak. 3 years of playing allowed him to harvest 125 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, 17 pass breakups, and 7 interceptions. Not terrible stats, but in my opinion the tape is always where you find the true story about a player. He is fun to watch because of his size (go figure). He may be limited initially versus smaller and quicker receivers, but he does specialize in playing physical which is great for throwing off offensive timing, and setting the tone. He ran a 4.60 at his pro day which may have hurt his stock a little bit, but if teams like his game film and feel comfortable with his red flags, then he may get selected. He has been projected 4th round or later.
Sam Beal another cornerback out of Western Michigan also had the academic ineligibility tag. He checks off the size box as well at 6’1 190 pounds. He is estimated to have a forty time in the 4.45-4.50 range, which is good enough to compete. He was picked 1st team All MAC by Pro Football Focus which is encouraging. Also encouraging is he got plenty of quality reps versus Titans receiver Corey Davis when they where teammates in college. Corey was a top 10 draft pick with a huge ceiling. Sam corralled 2 interceptions and 10 pass breakups for the 2017 season. Some people may see those stats as bad, but if he is good enough to where quarterbacks don’t want to test him, then he has done his job already. He has shown projections of round 3 or later which says he may be pretty good.
Brandon Bryant of Mississippi State is the 3rd defensive back prospect that has a chance to get picked. He is the safety of the group measuring 5’11 200 points. He was reported to run a 4.24 forty at some point. I am not sure who timed him or how official the timing was, but if I ran that fast, I would rob a bank without a car (joke). He ended up running a 4.45 time at his pre-draft workout which is still above average for his position. You cannot deny him of facing bad competition coming from the SEC. He is projected in the later rounds to going unpicked, which would result in him becoming a free agent and being able to choose his destiny.
Updated June 30 1:23 AM: Oregon State OLB Bright Ugwoegbu has declared for the supplemental draft.
A tardy addition to the supplemental draft is weakside linebacker Bright Ugwoegbu of Oregon State. He was suspended by the team this past April of 2018. In his recent workout Bright measured 6’1 205 pounds. He also ran a 40 yard dash time of 4.97. Being the size of a defensive back and running at lineman speed is alarming, but I have never been one to look exclusively at measurement. Film tells the story in my opinion. If you run a 7 flat 40 time but still rack up tackles for loss then I won’t question your ability. I would anticipate him going undrafted, but probably will still get a look as a free agent. All he needs is an opportunity, even if it is just on special teams.
Updated June 30 9:50 AM: Grand Valley State RB Marty Carter has declared for the supplemental draft
Grand Valley State, known as a small town school has a few players in the league including Charles Johnson, Brandon Carr, and Matt Judon. Most notably in New Orleans though, it’s the alma mater of former Saints Guard Tim Lelito. Martayveus “Marty” Carter is the next in line with an opportunity to make the jump. His school website lists him at 6’0 200 pounds which is not bad at al for a running back. His 2016 season was really good as far as stats go. He lead Division II football by accumulating 1,908 rushing and 20 touchdowns. He also earned National Offensive Player of the Year honors which will help get the attention of teams. His workout numbers aren’t known as of right now, but I wouldn’t worry about them too much. The brief tape I watched of him, I thought he had a similar running style and build to Clinton Portis. Not saying he will be as good, just trying paint a small picture of how he looks. If he gets drafted it will probably be later, but he will get looked at regardless.
The supplemental draft has 5 players who may not have 1st round grades, but all of them have potential none the less. The Saints could use one if they feel comfortable with them now, and how they may develop with good coaching. Depth and special teams are always a need. In a league that is passing more and more you can never have too many good defensive backs. All Saints fans know injuries can happen at the worst times (knock on wood). Like I said, the game film, not highlights tells the story of a player, so see if you can find some for these guys. If we select a player, whatever round we pick them, than the pick is lost in the next year draft; so keep your eyes peeled on July 11.
if you want more info on the supplemental draft, you can check out Bob Rose’s article here.