Unlike most years, the 2018 NFL Supplemental Draft is actually a good one. There has been one player selected since 2012 (Isaiah Battle in 2015), but there will be at least one taken this year. In fact, there could be as three players selected this season. So with a strong group of players, it's time for a supplemental mock draft and a look at how the supplemental draft works.
Before we get to the actual picks, the supplemental draft is much different than the NFL Draft. It's not televised and the order is determined more like the NBA Draft than the normal NFL Draft. All the teams are sorted into 3 groups: (1) teams with six or fewer wins, (2) non-playoff teams with 7 wins and (3) playoff teams. Each group has its own lottery drawing to determine the order, which is decided shortly before the supplemental draft starts.
And it's not really a draft, it's more of an auction or a waiver system. The draft will go through 7 rounds, with teams allowed to blindly submit a pick each round. The team with the highest priority is awarded the player. Teams will typically spend a lower pick on a supplemental player than they would in a real draft because the player has already missed Minicamp and OTAs and the team will lose a 2019 pick that matches the one they spent on the player.
The draft itself will start at 1 p.m. ET on Wednesday and won't last very long. There are 5 players eligible this year, but they won't all be drafted. Two players, Grambling State RB Martayveus Carter and Oregon State LB Bright Ugwoegbu, don't have much chance to be drafted. For Ugwoegbu, NFL teams have no desire to draft a 205-pound LB who ran a 4.97 40-yard dash at his pro day. Carter just isn't the caliber of RB NFL teams want. With those two out of the way, here's my 2018 NFL Supplemental Mock Draft, which is even a bigger guessing game than the actual NFL draft:
No players selected
No players selected
Kansas City Chiefs select Sam Beal, CB, Western Michigan
I strongly considered putting Beal in Round 2, because the Chiefs have two 2nd round picks and a big need at CB. I think there will be multiple bids in the 3rd round for Beal, so a team like the Chiefs might lose out to a higher priority team like the Browns, Colts or Cardinals. If the Chiefs end up with a low priority in the order, they might pull the trigger in Round 2. Other CB needy teams like the Seahawks or a darkhorse like the Cowboys or Eagles could be a fit.
As for Beal the player, he's a talented cover corner. He's a better prospect than Darius Phillips, the other WMU CB who went in Round 5 to the Bengals this year. He's good in coverage and has the length and speed to thrive in the NFL. If a team, especially a contender, spends a second round pick on him, I won't be mad. A good athlete, Beal does have some flaws. He's a bit light and can learn to play with more physicality and tackle better. If Beal goes to the right team, he could start this year. He has a round 2/3 grade from me, although he did leave WMU because of academic issues. In all, Beal is one of the best supplemental draft prospects in the past few years.
Indianapolis Colts select Adonis Alexander, CB, Virginia Tech
Alexander has long been a favorite of mine and he's a classic Seahawks-style cornerback (which makes Seattle a contender here too). I'll slot him to the Colts, who need CB help beyond Quincy Wilson and Nate Hairston. There are off-field issues with Alexander (like almost all Supplemental draft players), as Alexander had issues with academics throughout his college career and a marijuana arrest. Alexander gets a round 3/4 grade from me because of his upside, but a 40-yard dash near the 4.60 range hurts. Someone will likely draft him, because every NFL team needs corner help at some level.
He has the frame and long arms teams covet, but didn't run well at his pro day and that will hurt him. Still, his size and upside will get him drafted. After 6 picks and 13 PBUs in his first two years for the Hokies, I thought Alexander could develop into a first round pick. The talent remains, but Alexander's stock has dropped after just one INT and 4 PBUs in a down season. Alexander plays physical, but if he doesn't overcome the speed issues, he'll be the next in a growing line of lanky CBs who can't make it in the NFL. I don't think he gets out of Round 5.
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No players selected
No player selected
Los Angeles Rams select S Brandon Bryant
I think the Cardinals could really use Bryant for safety depth, but they weren't at his workout, so I dropped them from the list. Instead, I'll slot him to the Los Angeles Rams, who are thin behind Lamarcus Joyner and John Johnson. Also, watch out for a darkhorse like the New Orleans Saints or even the Colts (again).
Bryant is an impressive athlete, running a 4.45 40-yard dash and posting a 34-inch vertical. But while the athleticism is there, Bryant plays out of scheme way too often and remains raw. There is buzz about his processing on the field, academic issues off it and the fact he peaked as a freshman. Bryant was really impressive as a freshman, but hasn't capitalized on his ability in the same way since then. He's a better athlete than football player right now, but he gets a Round 6/7 grade from me and I think a team will pull the trigger on him.
BONUS: Undrafted Free Agents
Grambling State RB Martayveus Carter signs with the Chicago Bears
Oregon State LB Bright Ugwoegbu signs with the Green Bay PackersBack to the NFL Newsfeed