It’s (supplemental) draft season! The NFL’s annual supplemental draft happened on at 1 p.m. Wednesday, July 11. This time, there were actually some intriguing players available, and two of them got picked, including one in the third round.
The Giants have selected Sam Beal in the third round of the supplemental draft. He’ll have a chance to compete for playing time right away as the Giants secondary struggled last year. Beal has the man coverage traits that’ll fit nicely in new defensive coordinator’s James Bettcher’s system. This means that the Giants will forfeit their 2019 third-round pick.
Unfortunately, Beal was lost to the season just two weeks later:
Giants cornerback Sam Beal who was chosen in the supplemental draft is out for the year with a shoulder injury per source. Big hit for this Giants defense.— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) July 25, 2018
Washington selected Adonis Alexander in the sixth round of the supplemental draft, according to Adam Schefter. They need some secondary help with Bashaud Breeland and Kendall Fuller playing for new teams this season. Alexander will likely have to earn his stripes on special teams before seeing real action.
Redskins draft Virginia Tech CB Adonis Alexander in x 6th round of supplemental draft, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 11, 2018
Mississippi State defensive back Brandon Bryant didn’t get selected in the supplemental draft, but he did get signed by the New York Jets shortly after it was over, as reported by Tom Pelissero. Martayveus Carter and Bright Ugwoegbu will enter the NFL free agent pool as well.
The #Jets are expected to sign former Mississippi State safety Brandon Bryant, source said. Bryant wasn’t selected in NFL supplemental draft, but ran a 4.4-range 40 at pro day, could contribute immediately on special teams.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) July 11, 2018
Who should you know for the 2018 NFL Supplemental Draft?
Like most years, the talent pool is small. Only five players were made eligible for this year’s supplemental draft:
- Adonis Alexander, DB, Virginia Tech
- Sam Beal, DB, Western Michigan
- Brandon Bryant, DB, Mississippi State
- Martayveus Carter, RB, Grand Valley State
- Bright Ugwoegbu, LB, Oregon State
Alexander and Beal are the headliners of this year’s draft class. They look to join Terrelle Pryor (2011), Josh Gordon (2012), and Isaiah Battle (2015) as recent supplemental draft picks. Considering the history of the NFL Supplemental Draft (43 players drafted since 1977), Alexander and Beal face an uphill battle to be considered worthy of a draft pick. However, they each have facets of their games that will appeal to NFL teams.
Alexander fits the physical prototype that teams are looking for in their defensive backs. NFL Draft Scout has Alexander listed at about 6’3, 195 pounds. Alexander plays a violent brand of football that you don’t see from most cornerbacks. He was declared academically ineligible for the 2018 season, prompting him to declare for the supplemental draft.
Alexander shines versus the short passing game where he can use his closing speed and length to jar the ball loose against receivers. This is easily the best part of his game. His future NFL team might consider moving him to safety so he can a bit more of a downhill player than he was in college.
Unlike Alexander, Beal doesn’t necessarily need a position switch in the NFL. Beal is an absolute stud at cornerback; if he had been in the 2018 NFL Draft he would’ve been one of the best cornerback prospects in the entire draft. Like Adonis Alexander, Beal was also declared academically ineligible for the 2018 season.
Beal has the makings of a starting cornerback with potential to grow into an upper-echelon defender. In the season opener against USC, Beal gave Sam Darnold fits by providing lockdown coverage, disrupting passes at the catch point, and coming down with an acrobatic interception.
Beal’s ball skills alone might be enough to get him drafted. He played primarily on the outside at Western Michigan, almost solely on the left side of the field, but he does look to have the physical attributes to play slot corner at a high level as well. Beal is excellent at finding and attacking ball while using the sideline as an extra defender.
Beal will be well served by the amount of man coverage that Western Michigan played last season. As NFL defenses become more man coverage-centric, Beal is a perfect fit for any defense looking for someone who can compete for a starting spot immediately. It’s rare to have a player in the supplemental draft that’s as talented as Beal.
Here are a few notes about the other three players in the Supplemental Draft:
- Brandon Bryant was a source of big plays for Mississippi State throughout his three years with the team. He had five interceptions for 122 yards and a touchdown in three seasons and also chipped in 3.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, and a forced fumble in that timespan.
- Bright Ugwoegbu had 17.5 tackles for loss and eight sacks in 27 career games for the Oregon State Beavers. This includes an absurd 11 tackles for loss in just eight games during the 2016 season.
- Martayveus Carter also goes by Marty. In 2016, he was named D2Football.com’s Offensive Player of the Year racking up 1,908 yards on 7.5 yards per carry, 146.8 yards per game, and a whopping 20 touchdowns.
What happens when players are drafted? How are players drafted?
Supplemental draft picks work like an advance on future picks. When a player is chosen with a supplemental draft pick, that pick is subtracted from the team’s draft picks in the following year. For example, if a team were to spend a third-round pick on Beal in the supplemental draft, it would lose its third-round pick for the 2019 NFL Draft.
Teams are divided into three groups and each group has a bit of a lottery system to determine the order. It’s kind of like the NBA Draft Lottery where the team with the lowest record (for their group) has a better chance to win the first pick for their group. Here’s how teams are placed into groups:
- Group 1: All teams with six or fewer wins
- Group 2: Non-playoff teams with at least seven wins
- Group 3: All 12 playoff teams
Teams typically use later round picks on supplemental draft picks since the risk is a bit higher due to the circumstances of them being in this situation. Of the last nine supplemental draft picks, Josh Gordon was the only one that had a pick higher than the third round used on him.
Unlike the regular draft, this one won’t be televised. But we’ll soon find out which of the five players who have entered their names into the supplemental draft will get picked.