The NFL's supplemental draft on Thursday will feature six players.
Rob Rang of CBS Sports reports that teams were informed of the eligible players over the weekend. The draft takes place at 1 p.m. on Thursday.
The six players (in alphabetical order) are UNLV defensive end James Boyd, UNLV defensive tackle Nate Holloway, Central Florida defensive end Toby Jackson, Houston wide receiver DeWayne Peace, Purdue wide receiver O.J. Ross and South Alabama defensive back Damond Smith.
Boyd is arguably the best athlete of the bunch. A former Southern California recruit, Boyd has size (6'4, 255 pounds) and has played quarterback and tight end. Mostly a backup at UNLV, Boyd started one game last season and had 21 tackles and 2.5 sacks.
Holloway was fighting for a starting spot at UNLV this season, but left the team for undisclosed reasons in June. At 6'3 and 365 pounds, Holloway is by far the largest player in the supplemental draft.
Arguably the best player in this year's draft is Peace. He was academically ineligible at Houston. A season ago, Peace had 54 receptions for 603 yards and two scores. He topped 100 yards receiving against Louisiana Tech, UCLA and Tulane. He was the team's leading receiver despite missing three games.
O.J. Ross was suspended indefinitely at Purdue in February for a violation of team rules. A season ago, Ross had 56 receptions for 454 yards and two touchdowns. Both were good for second on the Boilermakers. Ross was also suspended for the 2011 Little Caesars Bowl due to academics.
Smith, who transferred from Western Michigan, didn't play a down at South Alabama last season after appearing in just four games in 2011 before being suspended. According to former scout John Middlekauff, he runs a 4.44 40-yard dash. He'll host a pro day Tuesday. The Green Bay Packers tried to sign Smith following the draft before the NFL ruled he was ineligible to sign.
Jackson is hosting a pro day today. He sat out last season due to academics (notice a trend?). He played in nine games in 2011 and had 14 tackles and three tackles for loss.
Players have to apply to enter the supplemental draft to gain a special exception by the league. Although it was once a vehicle for graduated players to go pro early (Bernie Kosar in 1985), the supplemental draft now often features castaways with character red flags.
The supplemental draft functions like a tiered lottery. Teams that had six wins or fewer a season ago are in the first tier. The worse the record, the better the chances of winning the lottery. If all of those teams pass on a player, the second tier lottery takes place. It consists of teams that didn't make the playoffs. The third and final tier is the 12 playoff teams, weighted in the same fashion.
When the order is set, teams give the league the name of a player they want and the round draft pick they're willing to give up for him. Whatever team gives up the highest pick in order is awarded the player. If a team successfully picks a player in the supplemental draft, it forfeits the corresponding choice in the next standard draft.
Eight players were in last year's supplemental draft. Only wide receiver Josh Gordon was selected when the Cleveland Browns used a second-round pick on him.