The NFL Supplemental Draft, which is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, July 11th, is an annual event that allows for front offices to silently bid on players that were not previously selected with the rest of their draft class. Viewed as true underdogs, a few names stand out among the rest. Here are five prospects to be on the lookout for:
Sam Beal, DB, Western Michigan
The 6’0″ cornerback has started the last two years at Western Michigan, and was not selected in the 2018 NFL Draft for a number of reasons. While he weighed 190 pounds back at his Pro Day, Sam Beal has the ability to play in a variety of coverage that includes man-to-man, zone, and press.
There are no outstanding character issues when it comes to Beal, but after being declared ineligible by the university, he was eventually forced to depart from the university. In mock drafts throughout the past season, most experts in the NFL has Beal landing between the third and fourth round.
In terms of interested suitors, rumors suggest that the Cleveland Browns and Kansas City Chiefs could become the early favorites to land Sam Beal. While Cleveland ranked 19th in terms of passing yards allowed last season, Kansas City plummeted to 29th. I would expect for outside teams to garner interest, as Beal becomes the hottest player to hit the Supplemental market.
Brandon Bryant, S, Mississippi State
Mississippi State granted Brandon Bryant a starting spot in his freshman season, and he made the most of his opportunity. His 4.45 40-yard dash allows for franchises to believe he could be utilized as a special teams asset at the very least.
In recent news, Bryant was deemed academically ineligible for 2018, and really had no other route to take outside of the Supplemental Draft. After being charged with a DUI in January of 2017, there is question to the mental stability of Bryant, and whether he can uphold the standards of NFL representatives. If the only aspect in consideration is talent, then Brandon Bryant is the best overall player in this supplemental draft class. With everything else under consideration, including outstanding character flaws, it will be interesting to see which franchise gambles on the defensive back.
Teams within the mix at the moment include the Los Angeles Rams and Atlanta Falcons, but no one will bend over backwards to put Bryant on their active roster.
Adonis Alexander, CB, Virginia Tech
With previous experience at both cornerback, safety and special teams, Adonis Alexander could very well be viewed a utility player for any franchise in need of one. His speed and timing will not impress most scouts at first glance, but Alexander is one of the more pro-ready defensive players on the available market.
With issues involving marijuana, suspension, and lack of academic responsibility, Adonis Alexander has character issues that could scare NFL GM’s that are in need of assurance. While there is obvious potential, the lack of on-field efficiency of Alexander is another factor in why he wasn’t selected in the 2018 NFL Draft.
The point is that Alexander can still provide a service to NFL franchises that struggle against the pass, so expect for Kansas City to invest if they miss out on Sam Beal. If not the Chiefs, another rumored suitor involves the Washington Redskins, who are currently undergoing a transition stage with their defense.
Martayveus Carter, RB, Grand Valley State
After leading all Division II running backs in rushing yards with almost 2,000 in 2016, Martayveus Carter becomes the most interesting name to look out for in this upcoming draft. With no real edge in terms of speed or cutbacks, it should be noted that Carter also did not host a Pro Day before the upcoming Supplemental Draft.
After running into issues in high school involving fights and poor test scoring, Carter was unable to receive scholarships from Division I universities. Without a Pro Day at hand, NFL franchises are unable to reference any 40-yard time, vertical, or really any concrete evidence that he can be successful in the NFL, outside of his game film.
I would love to see a GM take a shot on Carter, just because he has shown flashes of NFL potential. Franchises like Minnesota have a shaky situation at hand, as Dalvin Cook is coming off a season-ending injury. In addition, Chicago is the hometown of Carter, and there is plenty of inconsistency in that particular backfield.
Bright Ugwoegbu, LB, Oregon State
After starting the last three years for Oregon State, Bright Ugwoegbu can play just about any defensive position, and is looking for his shot in the NFL. With no developed specialty in one particular position, Ugwoegbu marked a 4.95 40-yard dash time at his Pro Day.
The most interesting aspect involving Ugwoegbu’s draft profile is in regards to his age, as he will turn 23 in late September. This would mean that Ugwoegbu would be older than most rookies in this upcoming Supplemental Draft. With a team such as the Seattle Seahawks losing a multitude of players on the defensive side of the ball, they could play suitor to Ugwoegbu. If not Seattle, the next rumored suitor would be the San Francisco 49ers or New England Patriots, both of whom need depth at the linebacker position before the new campaign begins.