According to a source, the New York Jets and New York Giants both sent scouts to Clemson offensive tackle Isaiah Battle’s Pro Day on Thursday. The 6-9,
290-pound junior is a prospect in this year’s NFL Supplemental Draft.
Battle, 22, started 15 of 22 games for Clemson over the last two years and has worked to establish himself into one of the up-and-coming offensive tackles in college football. Last year, Battle recorded 18 “knockdowns” in 824 snaps and was thought to be a “first-round talent” entering his senior year.
“He’s got big upside athletically,” an NFL scout told CBS Sports .
But instead of returning for his fourth and final season, Battle left Clemson a year early to enter the NFL’s Supplemental Draft, stating he had “family matters to address” as the Brooklyn native is expecting a child this summer. While upset to be losing its starting offensive tackle, there appears to be no ill will between Clemson and Battle. Battle’s Pro Day was held at the university.
"We appreciate all that Isaiah has done for the program the last three years," Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said in a statement released by the team. "He has made great progress in his development and has been a big contributor to our success the last three years, especially in each of the last three bowl games when he had outstanding games against very talented defensive lines from LSU, Ohio State and Oklahoma. We wish him well in his pursuit of a professional career."
The Supplemental Draft itself is organized much different than the NFL Draft. In the Supplemental, teams are ordered by a weighted system that is divided into three groupings: First come the teams that had six or fewer wins last season, second are the non-playoff teams and third are the teams that made the playoffs. The Supplemental Draft differs from the league’s ‘NFL Draft’ as there is no specific or running ‘draft order’ in which teams select pick-by-pick. Instead, if a team is interested in a player, that team submits a “bid” to the commissioner for the round in which they would select that player.
If no other team places a bit on that player at an earlier/higher spot, the team is awarded that player. In return, the team gives up the equivalent pick in the ensuing year’s draft. For example, in 2012, the Cleveland Browns selected receiver Josh Gordon with a second-round bid in the Supplemental Draft. Cleveland was awarded Gordon, and in turn lost their 2013 second-round pick.
In the Supplemental Draft’s history, the Jets have selected a player just once, submitting a first-round bid for receiver Rob Moore in 1990. The Giants have selected twice, using a first-round bid on quarterback Dave Brown in 1992, and a fourth-round bid on defensive back Tito Wooten in 1994.
Both New York teams could use Battle’s services. The Giants lost starting tackle Will Beatty to a torn pectoral muscle in March, while the Jets could look for the heir to aging offensive tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson.
The NFL’s Supplemental Draft will be held Thursday, July 9.