The annual NFL draft is one of the league's jewels of the offseason – three days of national media attention highlighted by awkward bro-hugs from Commissioner Roger Goodell. The league's annual supplemental draft is far less visible and far less technologically advanced.
The league will conduct its annual supplemental draft Thursday afternoon. Not only won't there be a gathering of team representatives, the draft itself will be conducted via e-mail – if there are any picks made at all.
The supplemental draft has been in place since 1977, when trivia answer Al Hunter, a running back from Notre Dame who was suspended by the team for violating the team's dormitory visitation rules, was selected. The supplemental draft has been conducted every year since and is open to players deemed ineligible at the time of the regular draft. Players typically either missed the deadline for filing for the draft or had issues – academic or disciplinary – that came up in the offseason that impacted their eligibility with their colleges teams.
The supplemental draft has largely produced names that didn't make a huge impact on the NFL, but has included some big names as well, including wide receiver Cris Carter (1987), quarterback Bernie Kosar (1985), linebacker Brian Bosworth (1987), wide receiver Rob Moore (1990), offensive tackle Mike Wahle (1998), linebacker Ahmad Brooks (2006) and offensive tackle Jared Gaither (2007). Last year, the Cleveland Browns made Josh Gordon the only player selected, giving up a second-round pick.
Teams who make bids on players offer an undisclosed draft pick as compensation. If two teams both submitted the same round of pick for a player, the team with the worse record the previous year gets the player.
Don't expect the Vikings to be involved in the 2013 supplemental draft for two reasons. In the 36 years of the supplemental draft, the Vikings have selected just one player – South Carolina wide receiver Ryan Bethea in 1988. The other reason is that this may be the weakest supplemental class in a long time.
The 2013 list includes defensive end James Boyd and defensive tackle Nate Holloway of UNLV, defensive end Toby Jackson of Central Florida, wide receiver Dewayne Peace of Houston, WR O.J. Ross of Purdue and cornerback Damond Smith of South Alabama.
The word coming out from scouts is that none of these players is worthy of anything more than a seventh-round pick and, given that they will become free agents if not selected, most teams won't be willing to drop a draft choice when there is a fair chance that, if they are interested, they can sign the player as a free agent by stepping up after the player clears the draft process.
There has rarely been a lot of league fanfare surrounding the supplemental draft and this year will be no exception. It will come and go Thursday without a lot of media attention and may well snap a four-year streak of at least one player being selected. Whether a player gets picked or not, don't expect to see the Vikings involved in the process.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.
NFL's supplemental draft set for Thursday
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