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The Supplemental Draft: How Does That Work?

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The National Football League will hold its Supplemental Draft one week from today on Thursday, 9 July. There are seven prospects that have been made eligible for the Supplemental Draft, and they are as follows:

Isaiah Battle, offensive line, Clemson
Darius Caldwell, defensive end, West Georgia
Eric Eiland, defensive end, Houston
Sean McQuillan, tight end, Connecticut
Kevin Short, defensive back, Kansas
Dalvon Stuckey, defensive tackle, West Georgia
Adrian Wilkins, wide receiver, North Carolina Central

Jeez, who know that West Georgia had become such a football factory, huh?

The Supplemental Draft is held to accommodate players that were not eligible for the regular NFL Draft, but are eligible now for any number of reasons. More often than not, those reasons have something to do with academic or disciplinary matters.

The order of draft priority for the Supplemental Draft does not necessarily follow the order of worst record to best. The league actually uses a bit of a lottery system to determine the selection priority.

  • Teams with six wins or less participate in the first lottery for the top supplemental draft picks. The team that posted the worst record among that group is given a weighted advantage over the following team, with each team's "weight" being decreased on down the line until reaching the team with the best record in the group.
  • The second group consists of non-playoff teams and follows the same weighted system.
  • The third group consists of last season's 12 playoff teams and, again, follows the same lottery system.

Teams then submit lists of the players they are interested in, and in which round of the Supplemental Draft they'd like to select that player in. The team that submits the highest bid is awarded the player they want.

If a team selects a player in the Supplemental Draft, they must give up the corresponding pick in next year's actual draft. For example, the last player selected in the Supplemental Draft process was Josh Gordon in 2012. The Cleveland Browns bid for Gordon that year was a second-round pick. So, because of that, the Browns forfeited their second-round pick in the 2013 Draft.

So, should the Minnesota Vikings use a pick on anyone in this Supplemental Draft? Probably not.

The one player that seems to be a lock to be selected is Battle, who has played in 27 games for Clemson, starting 16 of them. He has played both tackle spots but projects as a left tackle in the NFL. Of course, there's a reason he is in the Supplemental Draft. . .he was pulled over earlier this month and cited for marijuana possession, and he was also suspended for a game in 2013 for punching a North Carolina State defensive back. The rumblings are that he could fetch as much as a third-round bid, but likely wouldn't be ready to make any sort of contribution right away.

Beyond that, it doesn't appear that any of the other prospects are going to be worth using a pick on. Any of the players that are not selected immediately become street free agents and can be signed by any team.