The Cleveland Browns will have the chance to strike gold in July yet again in a few days. The 2013 NFL Supplemental Draft is scheduled to be held on Thursday at 1 pm. Can the new front office with Joe Banner and Mike Lombardi repeat the success of the last one and make it two years in a row?
Of course, last year former Browns GM Tom Heckert took a significant risk by forfeiting their 2013 second-round pick for Josh Gordon, a wide receiver out of Baylor who previously hadn't played organized football for an entire year, after being suspended for the 2011 season as the result of a failed drug test.
Initially, the pick appeared to pay off dividends as Gordon performed as well as or better than all of his WR peers among the 2012 rookie class, including fifth overall pick Justin Blackmon, who's had his own off-the-field issues. That was a problem we eventually learned he may have in common with Gordon, as in early June the league announced Gordon will be suspended for the first two games of the upcoming season for violating the drug policy. The NFL doesn't announce the specific details in these drug violations, but Gordon said in a statement it was due to codeine contained in prescription strep throat medication he was taking.
Regardless of the circumstances behind his violations, whether this pattern of behavior will continue as it has after this latest incident remains to be seen, but it doesn't look particularly promising. Another report claimed that if Gordon fails just one more drug test, he'll be suspended for an entire season, sitting out yet another year. The reason Browns fans should be worried isn't merely the second-round pick Heckert spent on him, but the fact that the team could lose his truly elite talent with a seemingly limitless ceiling.
Now flashing forward back to this year's supplemental draft, it would appear that none of the six eligible prospects offer that same level of potential as Gordon did a year ago, at least on the surface:
- DE James Boyd, UNLV
- DT Nate Holloway, UNLV
- DE Toby Jackson, Central Florida
- WR DeWayne Peace, Houston
- WR O.J. Ross, Purdue
- DB Damond Smith, South Alabama
While there may not be any obvious must-picks this year, the Browns may have the resources to take a risk with perhaps a mid-to-late rounder. Banner and Lombardi did work during the regular draft three months ago to load up on ammo in 2014, gaining an additional third-round and fourth-round pick.
If no NFL team elects to spend draft picks on any of the six eligible players, there's also the option of pursuing them as undrafted free agents.
Do you think the Browns should consider any of the prospects in this year's supplemental draft and if so, at what cost?