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Supplemental Stars?

The NFL Supplemental Draft comes and goes most years without much fanfare. Its rare for a player to be picked up, primarily because teams that pick up a player must surrender a pick in next year’s draft.

For example if a team were to pick a player in the fourth round of this supplemental draft, that team would forfeit their fourth round pick in the 2019 draft.

Because of the risk involved, and often the quality of player available, there hasn’t been a significant pick since the Cleveland Browns used its 2013 second round pick on Josh Gordon.

At the time the team thought the former Baylor receiver would compliment a 2012 rookie class, which included QB Brandon Weeden and RB Trent Richardson.

Gordon turned out to the best player (by far!) of the three but hasn’t been trouble free. His character issues stemmed from drug problems and he missed all of 2015 and 2016.

In addition to this, he only played 5 games in 2014 and 2017.

However, his talent was evident when he’s been on the field and in 2012 and especially in 2013 (when he posted an impressive 1,646 yards and 9 touchdowns).

Gordon is back with the Browns this season and seems to be drug free. If he can keep clean he becomes the best weapon in Cleveland.

Can you name the Browns’ only Supplemental Draft pick prior to taking Gordon?

Answer at the end of the article.

So will this year’s Supplemental Draft, which takes place on July 11th, feature a raft of draftable talent? Not exactly.

The Supplemental Draft is reserved for prospects that have been declared ineligible for the college football season. This in itself is often a red flag, regardless of whether they’re ineligible for legal problems or academic failure.

In order to qualify for the Supplemental Draft players must petition to be declared eligible.

The last player drafted in Supplemental Draft was former Clemson player Isaiah Battle, who was suspended for off field issues.

The offensive tackle was selected by the St. Louis Rams in the fifth round and then landed on the Seattle Seahawks roster.

Battle has yet to play a regular season game in the NFL.

Whilst there are five players who are eligible for the draft; Virginia Tech CB Adonis Alexander, Western Michigan CB Sam Beal, Mississippi State S Brandon Bryant, Oregon State LB Bright Ugwoegbu and Grand Valley State RB Marty Carter, only three look to draw any real interest.

Coincidentally they are all defensive backs.Lets start with Sam Beal.

In his initial 2019 NFL mock draft Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller had Beal being drafted in the first round.

Obviously that’s not going to happen as Beal was suspended and won’t have an additional year in college to develop.

However the tall, talented corner is likely to draw attention in round three, and maybe even round 2!

The knock on Beal is that he’s not got the ideal physical build for the NFL but he definitely has the cover skills to be of interest.

Big college games always seem to grab scouts’ attention and Beal, who is 6’1” and ran a 4.40 40 yard dash, had a great outing against USC and picked Jets first round pick Sam Darnold.

By all accounts Beal was watched by representatives from all 32 teams which clearly points to a selection on the 11th.

Adonis Alexander is a cornerback from Virginia Tech.

His off field troubles appear similar to those of Josh Gordon.

He failed multiple drug tests at college and that will be a concern to NFL teams that need players to be consistently available and drug free.

Once again though, it’s a case of talent talking.

Alexander is another big corner with talent that seems to fit Seattle type systems, where bigger players are favoured.

Alexander may not be as fast as some scouts like and seems to be inconsistent but USA Today called him ‘arguably the most talented prospect to enter the supplemental draft since Josh Gordon entered in 2012’ and this should see him drafted in round three.

The third player that should be draftable is Mississippi State safety, Brandon Bryant.

Bryant has better speed than Alexander and ran an official 40-yard dash time of 4.45 but many scouts say the 5’11” doesn’t play that fast and is unreliable, both in coverage and off the field.

Some team may take a sixth or seventh round flyer on a player Path to the Draft featured as one of the fastest and most freakish athletes in college football the past two years.

Bryant’s off field issues are viewed as the most severe and numerous of all this year’s Supplemental Draft candidates and may scare off all but the most desperate teams.

The final two players are a lot less appealing.

Oregon State’s Bright Ugwoegbu was a productive college linebacker who started in patches but is viewed as neither big enough or fast enough to play in the NFL.

He’s unlikely to hear his name called and may find work as a camp body in the pre season.

Division II Grand Valley State’s Martayveus Carter isn’t expected to be drafted either after one great year and one disappointing one.

Carter’s not seen as big enough to run against NFL defences consistently and doesn’t appear fast enough to run round them.

Here’s the answer to my little trivia question.

Before Gordon, the Browns drafted Bernie Kosar in the 1985 Supplemental Draft.

Kosar had a pretty good career for the Browns as he lead them to 53 wins and helped the franchise advance to three AFC championship games.

Photos: Sam Beal from Arrowhead Addict

Adonis Alexander from 24/7 Sports

Article written by:

Johnny has been an Eagles fan since 1992 when he was in awe of Randall Cunningham. He covers the AFC North for Ninety-Nine Yards. You can follow him on Twitter @Cumbleton.

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