The NFL’s Supplemental Draft is an unusual process. Players who did not declare for the NFL Draft in the spring but who have lost their eligibility to play college football may enter this separate draft with the goal of catching on with an NFL team. In most cases, this loss of eligibility relates to disciplinary action by a school or by the NCAA for any number of different types of infractions.
In 2019, there are five players eligible for the Supplemental Draft, one of whom has apparently caught the eyes of Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst. The Packers have not chosen a player in the Supplemental Draft since picking guard Mike Wahle in 1998, but there appears to be a legitimate chance that they do so this year.
Here’s a quick primer on how this draft works.
Wednesday, July 10th, 2019
1:00 PM Eastern Time
- Devonaire Clarington, TE, Northland
- Shyheim Cullen, LB, Syracuse
- Bryant Perry, DB, St. Francis
- Marcus Simms, WR, West Virginia
- Jalen Thompson, S, Washington State
The Packers were present for Simms’ and Thompson’s workouts, and they flew Thompson in for a medical examination on July 9th. Those two appear to be the only players with a realistic chance at being selected.
Teams may choose to “bid” a draft pick on any of the players listed above, specifying which round of the draft that bid corresponds to. The team bidding in the earliest round receives the rights to that player.
However, if multiple teams bid in the same round, a priority list is generated, and the team with the higher priority will receive the player’s rights. Teams fall into three groups:
- Teams with six wins or fewer in 2019 (the Packers fall in this group)
- Teams with more than six wins that did not make the playoffs
- Playoff teams
The teams within each group are picked lottery-style, with worse teams getting more chances for the higher priority. A team that is awarded a player through this process will forfeit their pick in the same round in the 2020 NFL Draft.
If a player is not selected by any team, he will immediately become a free agent and therefore eligible to sign wherever he chooses.
What about the Packers?
The Packers currently hold all of their normal picks in the 2020 NFL Draft, covering rounds one through seven. However, they also have the rights to an extra seventh-round pick, coming over from the Baltimore Ravens last fall in exchange for running back Ty Montgomery.