A quick refresher on the process of the NFL's Supplemental Draft:
If a team selects a player in a certain round, they lose the same round's draft pick in the following NFL Draft. When the Browns selected Josh Gordon in the 2nd Round in 2012, they lost their 2013 2nd Round pick.
Pretty simple concept but one that is not often used for a variety of reasons. Mostly there is an inherent risk in the Supplemental. These are players who didn't come out for the NFL Draft, often because they needed more time to develop, but became eligible after a change in their college status, often due to poor choices or academic problems.
Bernie Kosar, Cris Carter and Brian Bowsworth are three of the more famous Supplemental picks but many of the rules about this draft have changed since then.
So should the Browns use a pick on a player in the Supplemental Draft? Let us take a quick look at the 4 prospects, ending with the best, and see what they should do:
Dalvon Stuckey - DT - 6'4", 300 pounds - Stuckey was considered the top defensive tackle prospect in junior college in 2013. A big, strong defensive lineman he last played for little West Georgia. Unlikely to be drafted, Stuckey will get an NFL tryout in Training Camp somewhere.
Darrius Caldwell - DE - 6'6", 245 pounds - Caldwell played with Stuckey at West Georgia. The long, lanky defensive end could fit better as a standup outside linebacker in the NFL. Caldwell and Stuckey helped anchor their league best defense. Caldwell had 18.5 tackles for loss and was named 1st Team All-Gulf South Conference. Like Stuckey, Caldwell is unlikely to be drafted but will get a tryout.
Adrian Wilkins - WR/KR - 5'8", 170 pounds - The elusive Wilkins out of North Carolina Central University made a name as a special teams player. He had 3 kickoff returns and 2 punt returns for touchdowns in 2013. He also led his team in receiving. Based on his size and competition he is unlikely to get drafted, though some team might take a 7th round chance, but his highlight video is fun (Remember the quality of competition is low):
Isaiah Battle - OL - 6'7", 290 pounds - Battle is the prospect everyone is talking about. Huge, athletic with good feet. He needs to develop his strength and technique but has the raw skills to be a contributor in a year or two. DraftBreakdown notes his strengths as follows:
Possessing a 6-foot-7, 290-pound frame, the first thing that pops off of the screen with Battle is his raw athleticism. A two-sport athlete in high school, he is explosive for his size and works smoothly to the second level while quickly squaring his body to the nearest defender. He moves very well laterally, has an explosive zone step and quick-setting feet, all of which are traits needed in a zone-blocking scheme. He has good hand usage; he times his punch well, hides his hands after his initial punch and makes a constant effort to reset his hands while engaged in pass protection. In the running game, he exhibits good upper body strength and sets his hand in a position to latch on and drive at the point off attack.
Battle has a lot of work to do on his lower body but is likely to be taken by a team looking for a developmental player that they can work with this season before getting him on the field the next.
Here is a video from DB showing Battle on the field against Georgia, #73 lined up at left tackle:
The Browns brought in a ton of young players in the last two seasons, both via the NFL Draft and undrafted free agents. The team is expecting to get a couple Compensatory Picks for next years NFL Draft, giving them the ability to be more aggressive with their own picks if they choose.
So, while the Browns expect to have 2 or 3 extra picks next year, roster space is very valuable. The Browns always want competition but have to be aware of the limits of a 53 man roster.
The two defenders will likely intrigue them at 7th round picks but with so many added to the Front 7 this year, they will likely pass. Training Camp invites would be fitting. Wilkins, the special teams and water bug dynamo, is unlikely to get a sniff from the Browns.
Battle on the other hand is one we expect the Browns to place a bid on. With his big frame and good feet, Battle is a developmental prospect at the all important tackle positions. With Joe Thomas slowly aging and Mitchell Schwartz a free agent after the season, the Browns would be wise to gamble a late pick, most are suggesting a 6th rounder, on an upside tackle. His reported off the field issues with failed drug tests, which reportedly led to him being in the Supplemental Draft, seem to be enough to keep the Browns from selecting him.
While nothing is guaranteed, it looks like we will have our first NFL Supplemental Draft selection since the Browns took Josh Gordon. Could the Browns be the ones to take a flyer on OT Battle? The fit seems clear but what round will they be willing to take him?
What do you think about the Browns drafting Isaiah Battle in the Supplemental draft?
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