The NFL's 2012 Supplemental Draft takes place tomorrow afternoon. However, before the actual draft kicks off, there is another step that most fans do not know exists. It's the NFL's Draft Lottery. That's right, like the NBA, the NFL does have a draft lottery, but it's only used for the Supplemental Draft.
As Pro Football Talk explained this morning, basically, the rules for the lottery are simple. Every teams that won six or fewer games during the previous season are placed in one group. The team with the worst record is given 32 chances of have their name drawn, the second worst 31 chances, on down through all of those teams. The lottery draw is then conducted, and those teams are ordered based on how they were drawn.
The process is then repeated for the second group, teams that won more than six games, but failed to make the playoffs. Those teams are given chances continually scaling down, starting where the first group ended (i.e., this year there are 10 teams in group one, so the lowest win total in group two will receive 22 chances to be drawn). Then, group two is drawn and ordered.
The final group is made up of the playoff teams, which go through the same process, with the Super Bowl champions receiving one entry in the lottery.
The groupings for this year's lottery, in order of entries given, are:
- Group 1 - Indianapolis Colts, St. Louis Rams, Minnesota Vikings, Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Washington Redskins, Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, Carolina Panthers, and Buffalo Bills
- Group 2 - Kansas City Chiefs, Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals, Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, New York Jets, Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers, Chicago Bears, and Tennessee Titans
- Group 3 - Cincinnati Bengals, Atlanta Falcons, Detroit Lions, Pittsburgh Steelers, Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, New Orleans Saints, Green Bay Packers, Baltimore Ravens, San Francisco 49ers, New England Patriots, and New York Giants
The Supplemental Draft then begins, with each team electronically submitting bids for where they would select a player in the full draft. If multiple bids are placed on one player, the team that would have selected him first, based on the lottery created draft order, is awarded that player's rights. Any player not selected is immediately a free agent and can sign with any team.
If a team does win the rights to a player, they lose the corresponding round pick from next year's draft.
This year, there are several players available for the Supplemental Draft, headlined by Baylor wide receiver Josh Gordon. Also eligible are Boise State quarterback Quaylon Ewing, Syracuse running back Adam Harris, Iowa State tackle Adrian Haughton, Carson-Newman linebacker Larry Lumpkin, Georgia defensive end Montez Robinson, McMurray wide receiver Houston Tuminello, and TCU running back Ed Wesley.
The Supplemental Draft takes place beginning at 1pm Eastern tomorrow. We will cover any picks the Dolphins select here on the site, and in tomorrow night's podcast.
[Author's Note: Please send any Dolphins questions to my email address (you can find it by clicking on my name anywhere on the site) - otherwise the video mailbag may be pretty boring.]