Without the opportunity to tangibly discuss free agent targets, Cowboys fans have probably analyzed the 2011 draft picks to the point of knowing everything from shoe sizes to nervous ticks. Labor talks are progressing, but no one should feel confident that a deal will be in place until a deal is actually put in place. There are plenty of perceived roster holes however, as well as room for depth chart improvement within the Cowboys wheelhouse. One way to address some of those concerns would be to select a player or two in the supplemental draft. Word is that despite the lockout, the supplement draft will take place sometime next month, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. With Jim Tressel recently resigning from pro football factory Ohio State University, the pool of potential supplemental draft eligible players grew. Are there any supplements the Cowboys, and more specifically Jason Garrett, would be interested in taking?
The supplemental draft has been around since 1977. It allows entry from players who either didn't meet the filing deadline for the actual draft, or have lost their eligibility since the deadline. Draft order is determined by a weighted system that divides the 32 teams into three groups; teams with six or less wins, other non-playoff teams, and teams that made the tourney. There is a lottery for each group that determines the internal pecking order, so Dallas could conceivably make a claim ahead of the Panthers for instance. Teams submit bids to the Commissioner with the round they would pick that player. If no other team places a bid on that player at an earlier spot, the team is awarded the player and has to give up an equivalent pick in the following year's draft.
Dallas has dabbled in the supplemental draft throughout Jerry Jones' tenure. The Cowboys famously selected Steve Walsh with a 1st-rounder in 1989. Not as well remembered is that the Cowboys also used a next-year 12th round pick on running back Mike Lowman. The team would select TE John Davis with a fifth-rounder in 1994, and DT Darren Benson with a third-rounder in '95. Last year, the Cowboys selected DT Josh Brent with a seventh-rounder after he was declared academically ineligible from the University of Illinois. The question now is, are there any players that are available in the 2011 supplemental draft that the Cowboys might be interested in spending a 2012 pick on. Some that appeared destined for it, have changed directions. Here's the latest on the candidates.
-- Notre Dame WR Michael Floyd, Currently not entering
Floyd received a DUI in March and was indefinitely suspended by the university. The suspension led many to believe he would take his talents from South Bend. Head coach Brian Kelly, however, released a statement that he expects Floyd to play in every game for Notre Dame in 2011. At 6'3" and 228 lbs, Floyd is the prototypical Jason Garrett receiver, but the DUI makes him far less of a 'RKG'.
-- Ohio State QB Terrell Pryor, Currently entered
Pryor is an athlete quarterback, capable of making the big play with his arm or his legs. An upper tier prospect, but considered to be at the bottom of the top 5 in the expected QB-heavy draft class of 2012. Pryor was suspended for five games with four other Ohio State teammates, and word is that there are other potential allegations getting ready to surface at Ohio State in regards to Pryor. When Jim Tressel resigned, Pryor threw his name in the ring and recently hired agent Drew Rosenhaus. With all of his infractions, it would seem highly unlikely Jason Garrett has any interest in bringing the QB to Valley Ranch.
-- Ohio State OT Mike Adams, Status Unkown
Another of the 'Ohio State 5', suspended for selling autographs and getting free tattoos. Has yet to be linked to impending infractions in the public like Pryor has. You'd think the Cowboys wouldn't be interested in Adams because of the selection of Tyron Smtih, but that might not be the case. What happens if the new CBA determines that fourth year pro's are unrestricted free agents and Doug Free walks? Or negotiations just go badly. I could easily see Dallas spending a 2nd or 3rd round pick on the 6'8" 305 lb. lineman that was projected to be a late first round pick in 2012.
-- Ohio State RB Dan Herron, Status Unknown
Another member of the suspended Buckeye collection, Herron was seen as a potential mid round pick, possibly as early as the late second round. He averaged over 5 yards a carry while scoring 16 TDs in Columbus for 2010. Small possibility here, with the potential that the team is moving away from both Marion Barber and Tashard Choice. Would he be an upgrade over Lonyae Miller? Maybe, and he could definitely be worth a late round flier.
-- Ohio State DE Solomon Thomas, Status Unknown
Thomas would transition to 3-4 OLB if selected by the Cowboys. They would most likely only target the player with a seventh round bid, if that. Not too high price to pay if he can join the rotation opposite DeMarcus Ware, but he may end up becoming a UDFA, which Dallas has proven to be very adept at maneuvering with.
-- Ohio State WR DeVier Posey, Satus Unkown
The 6'2" wideout has increased his yards per catch in each of his three seasons at Columbus and has great hands. Considered a top 10 wideout, Posey projected to be a mid-round 2012 pick entering the season. Probably warrants a 5th or 6th round bid.
-- Florida CB Janoris Jenkins, Planning transfer to Div II North Alabama
For the third time at Gainesville and second time in a short span, Jenkins was arrested for the wacky tabaccy and was kicked off the Gator team. Jenkins is a top CB prospect talent wise, but no one that believes Garrett's RKG mandate could ever envision him in a Cowboys uniform. He'd have to do a serious transformation in his view of personal behavior to be a candidate. His advisors probably informed him that he would have a much better chance staying clean for a year and then entering the draft than risking no one taking him with a high supplemental pick.
-- Oregon DB Cliff Harris, INELIGIBLE
The dynamic DB was suspended indefinitely yesterday by the University of Oregon over a major speeding violation on a suspended license (Going 118 mph in a 15!) He is a true junior, so all the talk around the internet about him joining the supp. draft is just that, talk.
If you know of other players from lesser known schools that are eligible for the supplemental draft, please add to the discussion in the comments section.