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NFL supplemental draft preview: 4 players eligible

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Among the players eligible this year are a massive defensive tackle who can dunk a basketball, and backups from North Carolina and SMU.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL’s supplemental draft will take place today at 1 p.m. with just four players being eligible.

The quick rules of the supplemental draft are simple. It takes place via email. A team submits the player or players they want and the corresponding round in which they would take them. Teams are grouped by won/loss record so the team with the worst record and highest bid will be awarded the player. Consequently they’ll lose their pick from that round the next draft.

This year’s supplemental draft is a relatively quiet one compared to previous years. No players were taken in last year’s supplemental draft, and that could be the case again this year. There is no Josh Gordon or Terrelle Pryor this year.

Eligible players:

Chase Clayton, WR, New Mexico

Clayton didn’t play for the Lobos last season after being ruled academically ineligible. In 2012, though, he was an honorable mention all-conference player as a kick returner after scoring two touchdowns on returns. Clayton has moved around positions from defensive back to fullback, to tailback to wide receiver. His best bet may be latching on in the NFL as a specialist. The market for those players is minimal. Oddly, Clayton’s official New Mexico bio knocked him for his pass protection.

Darius Lipford, LB, North Carolina

Lipford is arguably the most well-known player in this year’s supplemental draft, but that may only be a consequence of attending a power conference school. Lipford played the bandit position for the Tar Heels and had 20 tackles, six tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. Lipford was a starter for UNC in 2011 at strong-side linebacker. But a torn ACL after that season in the team’s bowl knocked him out of the 2012 season. He transitioned to bandit last season while playing 10 games. He was overshadowed, though, by senior-to-be Norkeithus Otis last season.

Lakendrick Ross, DT, Virginia-Lynchburg

Because of where he played, there is little known publicly about Ross. There is some highlights of his play on Hudl. They’re from his freshman season, however. Here are a few things you can ascertain from that video: Ross is obviously gigantic (6-foot-5 and 366 pounds) and strong. That may be about it. His technique is flawed and a team should only be interested in him as a long-term developmental player. That rawness is a byproduct of playing just one full season of college football due to academics. Twelve teams attended Ross’ pro day. They were, according to Pro Football Talk, the 49ers, Bears, Cardinals, Chiefs, Colts, Eagles, Patriots, Raiders, Rams and Texans.

Somehow, at his size, Ross can dunk a basketball:

Traylon Shead, RB, SMU

Shead was a big-time recruit coming out of high school in a class that featured players like Giovani Bernard, Marcus Lattimore and Lache Seastrunk. Shead was committed to Texas, but had to go to a junior college before landing at SMU. Shead had a minimal amount of carries for SMU last season, finishing with 197 yards and three touchdowns on 51 carries.

Shead is a bigger running back at 6-foot-2 and 240 pounds. He has some burst in his game, natural power and decent pass-catching skills. Part of Shead’s recent NFL workout – the L drill – on is on Instagram. Ten teams were in attendance for the workout.

Unfortunately, the most notable part of Shead’s college career is this awful horse collar tackle:


If a player is picked in this year’s supplemental draft, don’t expect anything more than a late-round pick to be used. Theoretically, a team that already has late-round pick from a trade could blow their choice to secure the rights to a player. Cleveland has an extra sixth-round pick in the 2015 draft, while Atlanta, Baltimore and San Francisco each have an extra seventh-round pick.

Still, the interest in this year’s supplemental draft has been minimal. If a player gets picked, it would be a surprise. If all four players go unselected, they become free agents open to signing with any team.

Despite the incorrect date, this overriding opinion here is correct:

Supplemental mock draft: