Every summer, the NFL holds a special “Supplemental Draft” for players who have lost their college eligibility after the April entry draft is conducted. Teams are placed in tiers, depending on their finish in the standings the previous season, then “bid” with draft picks for eligible players. The team that bids the highest pick for a player is awarded that player, and must forfeit the equivalent pick in the following year’s NFL Draft.
In 2011, the Raiders made their first-ever selection in the traditional Supplemental Draft, choosing QB Terrelle Pryor in the third round. For one reason or another, by the time the 2011 draft took place, the Raiders had never selected a player in the 30-plus years of the draft. The team had, however, signed players who entered the NFL by declaring their eligibility for the draft – then going unselected. Most recently, safety Hiram Eugene of Louisiana Tech entered the 2006 Supplemental Draft, went unselected, and eventually signed with the Raiders early in the 2006 season.
The then-Los Angeles Raiders did, however, participate in a special Supplemental Draft of USFL and CFL players held in the summer of 1984. That draft, ostensibly to allocate the rights of United States Football League players and avoid a bidding war, saw 84 players selected over three rounds. Only eight of those players were chosen from the Canadian Football League, and the Raiders chose two. Of the three players the Raiders selected, only one would ever don the Silver & Black.
Raiders selections in the NFL Supplemental Draft:
3rd Round, 2011: Terrelle Pryor, QB/WR/TE, Ohio State: The Ohio State quarterback was suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season by the NFL after he declared for the Supplemental Draft in the wake of an eligibility scandal. He had been suspended for five games of the 2011 season by the NCAA, but announced he was leaving school and petitioned to enter the Supplemental Draft. The suspension was a condition of his eligibility, and was upheld by the NFL on appeal. The Draft took place on August 22, 2011, and the Raider forfeited their 2012 3rd Round pick to select Pryor.
Raiders selections in the 1984 USFL and CFL Supplemental Draft:
1st round/28th overall: Chris Woods, WR/KR, Edmonton Eskimos (Auburn University ’83): Played for Edmonton of the CFL in 1984 and 1985, then Toronto of the CFL in 1986. Signed with the Raiders in offseason 1986-87, and played for the team for two years before leaving as a “Plan B” free agent in offseason 1988-89. Was the team’s primary punt returner in 1987, playing in nine games with one start, and returning 26 punts for a 7.3-yard average, plus making one catch and three kickoff returns. Played in two games in 1988, returning one kickoff.
2nd round/56th overall: Stewart Hill, LB, Edmonton Eskimos (University of Washington ’83): Did not sign with the Raiders. Had an award-winning 10-year career in the CFL, with Edmonton from 1984-90, the B.C. Lions in 1991-92, and the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 1993.
3rd round/84th overall: James Farr, OG, Washington Federals (Clemson University ’83): Did not sign with the Raiders. Played 1984 season with the Washington Federals of the USFL, then 1985 with the Orlando Renegades of the USFL.
Sources: Oakland Raiders media guides, Pro Football Hall of Fame website, DraftHistory.com, Oursportscentral.com/USFL, Kitsap Sun website, Clemson University website.