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The NFL Supplemental Draft will return in 2023

Purdue’s Milton Wright has the opportunity to be the first supplemental draft pick since 2019.

Purdue v Ohio State Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

Situations arise where a player, who was not eligible for the spring draft, may no longer be eligible at his college program, which is when a door opens for the NFL’s Supplemental Draft. A couple of recent examples of this are former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who was suspended from the program for taking improper benefits, and former Baylor/Utah receiver Josh Gordon, who was dismissed from his program due to a failed drug test.

In 2023, the league will feature at least one name as a supplemental draft option: former Purdue receiver Milton Wright. Prior to this summer, the NFL hasn’t had a supplemental draft since 2019, due to the pause in 2020 for the pandemic and the lack of an approved prospect in either the 2021 or 2022 classes.

Wright, who is listed by NFL Draft Scout as just a shade over 6’2” and 195 pounds with a projected 4.52-second 40-yard dash, did not play for the Boilermakers in 2022 due to academic ineligibility. In 2021, though, Wright posted 732 receiving yards and seven touchdowns over 11 games. The year before that, he actually out-gained 2021 second-round pick Rondale Moore during the pandemic season.

The way that the supplemental draft works is that a team can blindly bid a draft pick from next year’s class to select a player. If a team is awarded a player, they must forfeit the pick that they bid. For example, if the Green Bay Packers bid a sixth-round pick on Wright and were the highest bidder on Wright, then the Packers would have to give up their 2024 sixth-round pick. For reference, the Packers are expected to have an extra fifth-round pick (Allen Lazard) and two extra sixth-round picks (Jarran Reed and Dean Lowry) in 2024 due to the league’s compensatory pick system and the volume of free agents who left this offseason.

In the nearly 40-year history of the summer draft, the Packers have only made a single draft choice through the supplemental draft: Mike Wahle, who was made a 1998 second-round draft choice after the offensive lineman was let go from the Naval Academy for testing positive for steroids. Whale would go on to start 83 games for Green Bay before signing with the Carolina Panthers as a free agent, where he earned All-Pro honors.

At the moment, Wright is the only player who has been approved by the NFL for the supplemental draft. It’s uncertain if he will be selected on July 11th, which is when the league has scheduled the non-televised event.