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NFL Supplemental Draft 2016: Who is eligible, when is the draft, and more

NCAA Football: Fresno State at Mississippi Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

It’s time for the second NFL Draft of 2016! Are you ready for the mock drafts and the profiles of all the prospects?

Okay, this is not the real NFL Draft, but the Supplemental Draft, a process to allow players who may have become ineligible for college football too late to be made available in the standard Draft. This allows the teams a chance to draft a player, after which, anyone not selected will be made a free agent.

The Supplemental Draft is coming up this week, so here is everything you need to know about the process.


The Supplemental Draft will be held July 14.


The Supplemental Draft is not like the standard Draft, in which every team has representatives in the Draft location and the Commissioner is announcing picks from the stage. During the Supplemental Draft, everything is done via computers, so the front offices for all of the teams can be wherever they can access the system.


The NFL works to make sure the Supplemental Draft eligible players are kept to a small population. They want players to be selected in the standard Draft, so players must apply for the Supplemental Draft and they have to show the reason they could not return to college for this upcoming season, and why they did not declare for the standard Draft.

This year, there are six players eligible for selection:

Eddie D’antuono, long snapper, Virginia Tech
Ra’Zahn Howard, defensive tackle, Purdue
Jalen Overstreet, running back, Sam Houston State
Tee Shepard, cornerback, Ole Miss
Rashaun Simonise, wide receiver, Calgary
Cameron Walton, defensive end, Concordia


The Supplemental Draft is actually a fairly simple process, though no one really ever sees it happen. As stated above, everything is done through computers, and it is basically a “silent auction” type of event. Teams place a bid on a player they want to select, stating in which round they would select the player in the standard Draft. Whichever team bids the earliest pick, wins the rights to the player.

Of course, if two teams both use picks from the same round, there has to be a tie breaker. That is where the NFL Draft Lottery comes into play. The league breaks the teams into three groups, with Group 1 consisting of all of the teams with six wins or fewer from the previous year, Group 2 all of the teams with more than six wins but not enough to clinch a Playoff position, and Group 3 all of the Playoff teams. The teams are then given chances to have their name selected - with the worst team from the previous season receiving 32 chances up to the Super Bowl champion receiving one chance. Group 1 is selected first, based on how they are drawn. Then Group 2 fills in the middle of the Draft order, and Group 3 completes the order.

Now, if two teams both use picks from the same round, there is a order to decide who wins the player’s rights. The league does not announce the Draft order, so no one really knows who was selecting when.

If a team does win the rights to a player, they give up their pick in the corresponding round of the following year’s standard Draft. So, if a team bids a fifth-round pick on a player in the Supplemental Draft this year and wins the rights to the player, they will give up their fifth-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.

Any player not selected is immediately considered an undrafted free agent and is able to sign with any team.


The Supplemental Draft does not usually create a lot of news. Last season, the St. Louis Rams (now Los Angeles) used a fifth-round pick on offensive tackle Isaiah Battle. That was the first time a player was selected in the Supplemental Draft since 2012, when the Cleveland Browns used a second-round pick on wide receiver Josh Gordon. In 2011, the Oakland Raiders used a third-round pick on quarterback Terrelle Pryor, and in 2010 two players were selected, both with seventh-round picks, with the Chicago Bears adding running back Harvey Unga and the Dallas Cowboys picking up nose tackle Josh Brent.

The Miami Dolphins have only used a pick in the Supplemental Draft in 2005, when they selected defensive tackle Manuel Wright.

This year, there is a potential that some team could use a pick on Howard, who personifies the big nose tackle a 3-4 team could need.

Simonise is an interesting player in the Draft, though he will probably go un-selected and sign with a team as a free agent. He us a 6-foot-5, 215 pound wide receiver who ran a 4.42 40-yard dash. His size should intrigue teams, but coming from Canada, there is going to be a huge learning curve for him as he jumps to NFL level of competition.

Shepard will be another player to watch, though he is not likely to be selected but could be signed by a team. He is a 6-foot, 190 pound cornerback with solid measurables, which would make him tempting to a team. He also has a 90-percent hearing impairment, which will scare away some teams. Someone will likely give him a look in camp, just to see if they can find a way to make it work.