The annual NFL Supplemental Draft (SD) is coming up on July 10. Usually, this draft has just a few players and seldom are they drafted. However, there are several players who have talent.
This year, the SD has four players: TE Devonaire Clarington of Northland Community College, West Virginia WR Marcus Simms, SS Jalen Thompson – Washington State and LB Shyheim Cullen of Syracuse.
The SD does not happen every year. It was invented in 1977 for players who were not included in the regular college draft. Players that qualify for this draft are players that are usually deemed ineligible for the regular April draft or missed the deadline to apply. Players such as non-college players, redshirt sophomores that have met the three-year out-of-high school requirement, players from other pro leagues (such as rugby), players who are at one point declared academically ineligible, and athletes who were thrown off their respective squads are all examples of SD prospects.
This draft is setup differently than the April college draft. Teams do not select in order or in rounds, but instead submit “bids” on players. Clubs place a draft round number associated with the player that have an interest in and submit the bid via a blind auction-style. The team with the highest draft round number then gets the player. If more than one team has the same round number, then the franchise with the highest draft slot in the regular draft gets the player.
To clarify, Team A selects Player A and places a fourth-round number on him. Team B selects Player A and places a third-round number on him. Other teams select Player A with fifth-round numbers. Team B would get the player. In another scenario, both Team A and Team B select Player A and both clubs attach a third-round number to the player. By the pecking order of the 2019 NFL draft, whichever team selected higher would then retain the player.
Once the player is won, the winning club then forfeits that same round number draft choice in the following year’s NFL draft. In all, 45 players have been taken in the SD since its inception. Notable Browns include QB Bernie Kosar (1985 - Round 1), Josh Gordon (2012 - Round 2) and Terrelle Pryor (2011 - Round 3), who was selected by the Raiders.
TE Devonaire Clarington - Northland Community & Technical College
Clarington was highly-coveted coming out of high school in Miami. He chose Texas and was part of a freshman group nicknamed “The Florida Five” known for being heavily-recruited players from the State of Florida. He was later ruled academically ineligible to play for Texas and then transferred to Blinn Junior College in Brenham, Texas and finally Northland Community & Technical College located in East Grand Forks, Minnesota which has 4,000 students.
Clarington is 6’7” and weighs 230 pounds. His college stats include 916 yards with 48 receptions and 11 TDs. A workout has been scheduled for July 8 in Miami.
LB Shyheim Cullen – Syracuse
Cullen is not a huge backer at 6’0” and only 224 pounds. He works better in the 4-3 as evidenced by him recording 31 tackles last year as a junior. A sometime starter at LB, he was a special teams standout. For his career, he had 43 tackles, two fumble recoveries and a single sack settled amidst 36 career games.
He was suspended for the spring semester due to his academic standing which fell below the requirements that would enable him to remain at Syracuse. His original plan was to enroll at another school to improve his academics and then return to Syracuse next fall or spring. Cullen was a child that resided in eight foster homes growing up and later was misdiagnosed with a mental disability.
WR Marcus Simms – West Virginia
After having played for the Mountaineers for three seasons, he suffered an injury in the first quarter of the final game in 2018 in a 59-56 loss to Oklahoma. Simms was listed as the team’s third receiver. The head injury also kept him out of West Virginia’s bowl game. Character issues have been linked to him.
For his college career, he had 87 receptions for 1,457 yards and eight TDs. He is also a punt returner and had 23 returns for 157 yards with a 6.8 average. Simms has also scheduled a workout before the SD. A sixth-round grade has been attached to him.
SS Jalen Thompson – Washington State
Thompson is the newest entry into the SD when he found out he had lost his eligibility for the 2019 season. He has already hired an agent and will not only be drafted, but will go high.
The junior has played in 39 career games with 190 tackles, six INTs, two forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries, and 17 pass defenses. Thompson has versatility and is a stud in the back of the defense. In the Pac-12 last year, he was rated as the number one “effective slot DB” amongst all conference players. Expected to return his senior season, the Senior Bowl was reported to already have had a folder on him. His grade places him in the third-round category. His workout is scheduled for July 8.