NFL

The Top NFL Supplemental Picks of All-Time

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There have been a total 43 players that have entered the National Football League via the NFL’s Supplemental Draft.

Sandwiched between the July 4th weekend and the opening of training camp, the NFL Supplemental Draft is a teams final chance to add another prospect using draft picks (next year’s) on a player they deem worthy of a selection.

The NFL Supplemental Draft is one of the league’s events that attracts the least amount of attention. Unlike any other organized activity the NFL holds, the supplemental draft is back page news. Most of the time (but not all the time), the prospect is about to serve an suspension or faces disciplinary action by the university or NCAA that leads them to elect to forgo their college eligibility.  Academics are another contributor in a player’s decision to leave school.

“I had to make the best out of the situation financial wise and go play pro ball to take care of my family,” said West Georgia defensive tackle Dalvon Stuckey, who is one of seven players eligible for the 2015 NFL Supplemental Draft.

Stuckey adds another area that may determine if another year in college football serves in the best interest of the player.

Stuckey and his defensive line teammate Darrius Caldwell held their Pro Day July 2nd at West Georgia and had 16 teams attend that included the Miami Dolphins, Washington Redskins, Detroit Lions, Seattle Seahawks, San Diego Chargers, Cleveland Browns, Atlanta Falcons Tampa Bay Buccaneers , Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Rams, Tennessee Titans and New York Jets.

Even with the large contingency of scouts on hand at the West Georgia Pro Day, the odds tend to be stacked heavily against Stuckey and Caldwell along with the other five players available for the draft on July 9th.

Clemson offensive tackle Isaiah Battle, the presumed best prospect available in this year’s supplemental draft, has a good chance to be selected. Also available in the supplemental draft is Houston defensive end Eric Eiland, UConn tight end Sean McQuillan, Kansas defensive back Kevin Short and North Carolina Central wide receiver Adrian Wilkins.

In all likelihood, Battle will be the only player selected amongst the seven available.

The value in which NFL teams hold their draft picks devalues most players since teams can usually sign the guy they want after the supplemental draft ends as a college free agent. Added into the mix that most players are leaving school because of the off the field issues holds back the NFL’s appetite to use a selection.

Over the past two years (2013-14), the NFL Supplemental Draft has been void of any prospects being drafted. The last two players selected were quarterback Terrelle Pryor (2011) and receiver Josh Gordon (2012). Pryor left Ohio State after being suspended as part of an NCAA investigation into improper benefits. Gordon prematurely left Baylor after he was dismissed for failing a drug test and testing positive for marijuana (a sign of things to come?).

Pryor enters his fifth-year in the NFL on his fifth team and is trying to change from quarterback to receiver to secure a roster spot. His latest stop with the Cleveland Browns is the same team Gordon has been suspended from violating the NFL’s drug policy and testing positive on multiple occasions for – You guessed it! Marijuana.

Not all prospects end up like Pryor and Gordon.

The list below is reserved for some of the top players ever selected in the NFL Supplemental Draft.

1987 Supplemental Draft

Team – Philadelphia Eagles

Player – Cris Carter

Selection Used – Fourth-Round (1988)

Carter is the only supplemental selection that has been voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He entered the supplemental draft after being suspended before the 1987 season at Ohio State for dealing with an agent. Substance abuse attributed to his release by the Eagles after only one year in the NFL. He turned around his career and more importantly his life after being picked up by the Minnesota Vikings and establishing himself as one of the top players to ever player the wide receiver position.  No player ever made the tip-toed sideline catch look more artistic than Carter. He played 12 seasons with Minnesota and reached 1,000 receiving yards eight times. Carter also had a five-season stretch with double-digit touchdown catches each year and had 65 touchdown catches during that span (1995-99). Carter finished his career with 1,101 receptions (fourth-most in NFL history), 13,899 yards (ninth) and 131 TD receptions (eighth).

1985 Supplemental Draft

Team – Cleveland Browns

Player – Bernie Kosar

Selection Used – First-Round (1986)

 

Before the Cleveland Browns become one of the most dysfunctional franchises in professional football they fought gallantly for NFL supremacy with Bernie Kosar under-center (1985-93). He was on the losing side of two AFC Championship games against Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway during his Pro Bowl career in Cleveland. Kosar set a league record by throwing 308 consecutive passes without an interception, a record that stood for nearly a two decades until future Hall of Famer Tom Brady surpassed the mark (2010). After a falling out with then Browns’ head coach Bill Belichick, the former Miami Hurricanes quarterback played for the Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins and won a Super Bowl ring backing up another Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman on the Cowboys 1993-94 championship team. Kosar threw for 23,301 yards and 124 touchdowns in his career and twice finished in the top five in the league in passing yards.

 

1998 Supplemental Draft

Team – San Diego Chargers

Player – Jamal Williams

Selection Used – Second-Round (1999)

 

Academics forced Williams to leave Oklahoma State and advance his career path towards the NFL in the summer of 1998. The first-team All-Big 12 Conference selection at defensive tackle finished his career with the Cowboys with 117 tackles and 9.5 sacks. His pro career in San Diego was filled with accolades earning All-Pro honors in 2005-06 and being named to the Pro Bowl three times as a member of the Chargers. He was the force to be reckoned with (1998-2009) on the Chargers defensive front being named the teams Defensive Player of the Year three times (2004, 2005, 2008). Williams ended his fabulous career in Denver playing with the Broncos for one-year before calling it a career.


About Bo Marchionte

Bo Marchionte

Bo Marchionte is an NFL writer for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade. His background includes being staff for the Texas vs. The Nation All-Star game as a talent evaluator for player personnel along with an internship scouting with the Toronto Argonauts and Winnipeg Blue Bombers for the Canadian Football League. Bo’s draft background includes working for the NFL Draft Bible and currently owns and operates College2Pro.com. He has done radio spots on NBC, Fox Sports and ESPN and their affiliates in different markets around the country. Bo covers the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh Panthers along with other colleges in the northeast.