UPDATE: As expected, no one was drafted on Thursday.
The NFL Supplemental Draft is Thursday at 1 p.m. ET and four players will try to find their way into the NFL after the regular draft set-up.
Players in tomorrow’s Supplemental Draft: N Mex WR Chase Clayton, UNC LB Darius Lipford, Va.-Lynch DT Lakendrick Ross & SMU RB Traylon Shead— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 9, 2014
Players have to apply to enter the Supplemental Draft, and it tends to be used as a vehicle for players who had character or academic issues to leave school and get into the NFL. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello explained the purpose in 2011 (via FOX Sports):
Aiello cited examples of "unforeseen" changes as players who were kicked off their college teams, declared academically ineligible or graduated and then decided to leave school.
Perhaps the most famous recent examples are former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who would have been suspended for the first five games of 2011 college season, but chose to rather apply for entrance into the Supplemental Draft and serve his suspension in the NFL, and Josh Gordon, who was dismissed from the Baylor football team in 2011 for failed drug tests and then transferred to Utah before failing a drug test there. The Browns selected him in the second round in 2012.
The draft isn't really a "draft" in the traditional sense. Held over email, it starts as a tiered lottery: teams with fewer than six wins the season before are in the first tier, other non-playoff teams are in the second tier and playoff teams are in the third tier. Teams with worse records have a better chance of winning the lottery in their respective tiers. Then, teams tell the league what round they're willing to take players in. If they are successful in selecting someone, they lose that pick in next year's draft.