Supplemental Draft: Could Battle Be LT Depth?

As is typically the case, the players in Thursday's Supplemental Draft are a flawed bunch. Clemson's Isaiah Battle is the best of the bunch - and greatly flawed.

The Green Bay Packers have one opening on their 90-man roster and might feel inclined to fill it during Thursday’s Supplemental Draft.

Left tackle Isaiah Battle is considered the top prospect, so long as teams can look past allegations that failed drug tests – not family reasons – are why he’s no longer playing at Clemson. Until being exposed by Oklahoma in the bowl game, Battle had an excellent 2014. According to the NFL’s head scout, Dave-Te’ Thomas, he had allowed no sacks, two pressures and two tackles for losses on the season. He’s 6-7 and 308 pounds with long arms and natural feet. He might be the equivalent of a Day 2 pick – second or third round.

The Packers’ only void on the offensive line is the lack of a true left tackle should something happen to starter David Bakhtiari. Don Barclay, back from a torn ACL, is the favorite to be the backup right tackle but there’s uncertainty at left tackle, with J.C. Tretter (a left tackle at Cornell) and Jeremy Vujnovich (a left tackle at Division III Louisiana College) being the top in-house candidates.

However, Battle was cited for possession of marijuana and no proof of insurance while pulled over for speeding on June 11. He was suspended for a game in 2013 for punching a North Carolina State player. In 2014, he was benched for the opening drive against Florida State for missing a team meeting and he was suspended for the Syracuse game for unknown disciplinary reasons. With all of that, it's hard to imagine the Packers taking the plunge given the negative headlines made by Letroy Guion, Datone Jones and Andrew Quarless this offseason.

Two players from Division II West Georgia could be candidates with late-round picks.

Outside linebacker Darrius Caldwell, a former four-star recruit for Illinois, redshirted in 2011 and was a reserve in 2012 before academic issues forced him to spend 2013 at Pearl River junior college. He was slated to replace Carl Bradford at Arizona State last season but he couldn’t qualify academically. At West Georgia, he had 13 sacks and 17.5 tackles for losses in 15 games. At 6-foot-5 and 238 pounds, he might not be stout enough for the Packers’ tastes.

The Packers are deep at defensive line, but with suspensions looming for Datone Jones and possible for Letroy Guion and with 2014 third-rounder Khyri Thornton being a big unknown after a lost rookie season, they could be shopping for another player. Dalvon Stuckey is an intriguing package at 6-foot-4 and 313 pounds with a 500-plus-pound bench press and excellent athleticism. He spent 2012 at 2013 Pearl River after failing to meet eligibility requirements at Florida State. At West Georgia in 2014, he had four sacks and 9.5 tackles for losses.

The others:

-- Houston’s Eric Eiland will turn 27 in September after spending seven seasons playing baseball for the Toronto organization. Eiland (6-2, 227) had three tackles for losses among 44 stops last season. He projects to outside linebacker in a 4-3 but his ho-hum numbers and age mean he probably won’t be drafted.

-- Connecticut tight end Sean McQuillan caught 41 passes for 354 yards and two touchdowns in three seasons. He’s not big (6-2, 247) and he’s not athletic (4.78 in the 40). He was arrested for assault in April so almost certainly won’t be drafted.

-- Cornerback Kevin Short spent two years trying (and failing) to get eligible to lay at Kansas. He was a first-team junior-college All-American in 2012 with five interceptions. At 6-foot-2, his size certainly is appealing but he isn’t likely to be drafted after a two-year layoff and academic problems.

-- North Carolina Central returner Adrian Wilkins was dynamite in a small package at 5-fot-8 and 177 pounds. In 2013, he returned three kickoffs and two punts for touchdowns. In 2014, he caught 50 passes while averaging 21.6 yards on kickoff returns and 10.4 yards on punt returns. He was ruled ineligible for the upcoming season.

The Supplemental Draft is for players who no longer are eligible to play collegiately or are dropping out for other extenuating circumstances. Teams submit picks to the league in advance of the draft. If their bid is the highest, they get the player but will lose a corresponding pick in the regular 2016 draft. For instance, the last time a player was selected was 2012, when Cleveland used a second-round draft pick on Josh Gordon. The Browns lost their second-round pick in the 2013 draft. In 1998, the Packers used a second-round pick on Mike Wahle.

Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.


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