The NFL recently released announced it will hold the supplemental draft July 11, and the Cincinnati Bengals could be players in the unique system for the first time in more than a decade.
Only once since the supplemental draft began in 1977 have the Bengals selected a player, taking University of Virginia linebacker Ahmad Brooks in the third round in 2006.
League wide, participation in the supplement draft has been sparse, with only 43 players being selected in 41 years.
The supplemental draft is open to players who, for one reason or another, lost their collegiate eligibility but did not enter the main NFL draft.
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The last player to be selected in the supplemental draft was former Clemson tackle Isaiah Battle, whom the then-St. Louis Rams drafted in the fifth round.
The way the supplemental draft works is that teams submit the highest round they are willing to give up for a specific player. The player is awarded to the team willing to give up the highest pick. If multiple teams submit the same round, the player goes to the team which had the highest original pick in the main draft.
The team the player is awarded to then forfeits its pick in that round in the following year’s draft.
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For example, in 2012 Cleveland submitted a second-round pick for Josh Gordon, who lost his college eligibility due to a failed drug test, and the Browns were awarded the wide receiver, forcing them to give up their second-round pick in the 2013 main draft.
The top three players eligible in this year’s draft are defensive backs – Western Michigan cornerback Sam Beal, Virginia Tech cornerback Adonis Alexander and Mississippi State safety Brandon Bryant.
That alone is enough to tempt the Bengals to take a flyer and submit a round for one or more of them. Mitigating the risk is the fact that the Bengals could have as many as five sixth-round picks in 2019, with one being their own, another being the one they received from Dallas in the Bene Benwikere trade and three possible compensatory picks.
The compensatory picks have yet to be announced – that will happen next February – but the Bengals are projected to receive sixth-round selections for the free agent losses of Andre Smith, AJ McCarron and Chris Smith.
But a sixth-round submission isn’t likely to land Beal, a 6-foot-1, 195-pound teammate of Bengals fifth-round pick Darius Phillips, or Alexander, a 6-foot-2, 195-pounder.
It could, however, be enough for Bryant. The Bengals are looking for depth at safety, and losing one of five sixth-round picks would be worth little more than a shrug.
Bryant is schedule to hold his workout for NFL teams on Friday at MSU. Beal’s will be Thursday at WMU. Alexander held his Wednesday, and there reportedly were 26 teams in attendance.
While the supplemental draft hasn’t seen the Bengals get involved much, there have been a handful of picks with Ohio connections:
In addition to Gordon in 2012 and Brooks in 2006, the list includes:
2011 — Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor is suspended after an NCAA investigation and goes in the fifth round to Oakland.
1987 — Ohio State wide receiver Cris Carter is suspended prior to his senior season for signing with an agent and goes in the fourth round to Philadelphia.
1985 — Miami quarterback Bernie Kosar graduated after his junior year and went in the first round to Cleveland.
1980 — Cincinnati native and Prairie View A&M defensive end Matthew Teague went in the seventh round to Atlanta.