The National Football League’s annual Supplemental Draft is slated for 14 July, and this year six players have been granted eligibility after not being eligible to be selected in the regular NFL Draft. There aren’t any huge names involved in this year’s Supplemental Draft. . .there very rarely are. . .but here is the list of names, via Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.
Eddie D’Antuono, LS, Virginia Tech
Ra’Zahn Howard, DL, Purdue
Jalen Overstreet, RB, Sam Houston State
Tee Shepard, DB, Mississippi
Rashaun Simonsie, WR, Calgary. . .dramatic pause. . .Alberta, Canada
Cameron Walton, DE, Concordia (Alabama)
Yes, we have a long snapper that has applied for the Supplemental Draft. Also, is every state required to have a Concordia College?
The Supplemental Draft is generally filled with players that had some sort of issues in college, whether it was on the field or off of it, and this group appears to be no exception. Of the names listed, Shepard and Howard are probably the biggest. Shepard was a four-star recruit that made his way to Ole Miss. He also suffers from a significant hearing issue. He was eventually dismissed from the team, and Shepard feels that the hearing issue was part of the reason. Howard started for three seasons for the Boilermakers, but was suspended after this past season and chose to apply for the Supplemental Draft.
Let’s review how the Supplemental Draft works. The draft order is not the same as the regular draft. It starts with a drawing with the ten worst teams (based on 2016 NFL Draft order) to determine the order for the first ten picks. The process is then repeated for the teams that selected 11-20 in the 2016 Draft, and then the 12 playoff teams are slotted as well. So, the Minnesota Vikings could end up "selecting" as high as #21 or as low as #32.
The draft is then conducted by e-mail, with teams submitting "bids" for a player based on what round draft choice they think a player is worth. The team that submits the highest bid is awarded the player. If a team is awarded a player, they then have to forfeit the same round’s pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. For example, the St. Louis Rams selected offensive lineman Isaiah Battle in last year’s Supplemental Draft. Their bid for him was a fifth-round pick, so they had to give up their fifth-round pick in this past year’s actual NFL Draft. Any player that is eligible for the Supplemental Draft and is not selected immediately becomes a free agent and is able to sign with any team.
Since the Supplemental Draft was introduced in 1977, 43 different players have been selected in that process. The Vikings have selected only one player in that time, using a fifth-round bid to select South Carolina wide receiver Ryan Bethea in 1988. Bethea never played a down for the Vikings. The player that is arguably the most notable player selected in the Supplemental Draft has Minnesota connections, as the Philadelphia Eagles used a fourth-round bid in the 1987 Supplemental Draft to select Ohio State wide receiver Cris Carter.
Thanks to the wheeling and dealing of Rick Spielman in April’s NFL Draft, the Vikings do have a couple of extra draft choices in their pocket. However, it doesn’t appear that there’s anyone that the Vikings should really be all that excited about. Don’t be surprised if the Vikings, as they have most years, sit out the Supplemental Draft process.