The NFL Supplemental Draft is almost here, and this year’s draft has more talent in it than usual. The Dallas Cowboys could add a player(s) in this year’s supplemental draft on the defensive side of the ball. Here is everything you need to be prepared for the 2018 NFL Supplemental Draft.
When is it?
The 2018 NFL Supplemental Draft takes place on Wednesday, July 11th 2018 at 1:00pm EST. Unlike the NFL Draft, the supplemental draft is rather low-key. All draft picks are done over email, there is no red-carpet, and no pre-draft interviews.
How does it work?
The entire draft is done over email and it is pretty much ran like the old school auctions we see on TV. Jeff Cavanaugh of 105.3 The Fan explained it perfectly today via his twitter:
Basically it's an auction. If the Cowboys say 'we'll give up our third rounder' and no other team is willing, Cowboys get him and forfeit their third round pick next year.— Jeff Cavanaugh (@JC1053) July 10, 2018
If a team that was worse than the Cowboys last year also offers their third round pick, they get him. https://t.co/kkpe80q8tE
That’s a decent explanation of how the supplemental draft works, minus the minor changes that can happen in the draft order.
Teams are divided into three groups and each group has a bit of a lottery system to determine the order. It’s kind of like the NBA Draft Lottery where the team with the lowest record (for their group) has a better chance to win the first pick for their group. Here’s how teams are placed into groups:
Group 1: All teams with six or fewer wins
Group 2: Non-playoff teams with at least seven wins
Group 3: All 12 playoff teams
Players the Cowboys should consider?
This time every year there is a player or two who people hint might be drafted, but that rarely happens. Since 2010, only five players have been drafted in the supplemental draft (Josh Gordon, Josh Brent, Isaiah Battle, Terrelle Pryor, and Harvey Unga). This year, there are actually a few guys who have a really good chance to be drafted by an NFL team.
Sam Beal, CB Western Michigan
Sam Beal is an interesting case. He is only eligible to be drafted because he got behind on his academic credits and the NCAA held Beal’s future in their hands. Instead of taking that risk, he decided to forgo his senior season and declare for the supplemental draft. Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller broke it down perfectly here:
Beal says he had fallen behind in academic credit hours but planned to catch back up in summer school: “So I was back in school, but the NCAA had to actually tell me if I was able to play.”
With his eligibility not expected to be decided until the end of preseason camp, Beal decided to forgo his senior season and declare for the supplemental draft. He said he could have gone through “the whole camp and the whole process and [the NCAA] could have told me, ‘You’re not going to play.’”
Beal doesn’t really have any red flags which is rare for a prospect in this draft. In his three years at Western Michigan, Beal has three interceptions, 19 passes defended, and 92 tackles. Beal would be an excellent addition to the young Cowboys secondary and would provide Kris Richard with another long corner with loads of upside. Beal’s size (6-foot-1, 185-lbs) is something Richard is probably already in love with, when you add in his play on the field, he makes an attractive option.
The former Western Michigan defensive back can play in both man and zone defenses, but played a lot of man in college. He has the length and strength to be aggressive enough at the line of scrimmage, and the awareness and instincts to play off in zone schemes. Expect Beal to go somewhere with a mid-round pick.
Adonis Alexander, CB, Virginia Tech
Blogging The Boys wrote an article on Adonis Alexander back in June on how he would be a great fit in the Cowboys defensive at the risk of a late-round pick. Similar to Sam Beal, Alexander is extremely long and possesses elite length at the position.
The 6-foot-3, 200-lb cornerback has the size and length that Cowboys’ secondary coach Kris Richard loves in his defensive backs. Alexander is more than just a physical specimen, he has some very intriguing skills as a cover corner who can play in either man or zone schemes. If his cover skills don’t impress you, his ball skills may. In his three years at Virginia Tech, Alexander hauled in seven interceptions in just 32 games. Alexander uses his freaky length and physical stature to make plays on the ball and in the run game against opposing offensive players.
6'2-6'3 length can go a long way from the trail position. Adonis Alexander is hard to drop in the bucket over. pic.twitter.com/xHmpxT9LFW— Kyle Crabbs (@GrindingTheTape) June 4, 2018
Unlike Beal, Alexander does have some red flags off the field that will certainly affect his stock come draft day.
There are some flaws with Alexander. One is his off-the-field issues.
A lot of Alexander’s concerns stem from off-the-field issues. He was caught using marijuana in 2016, which caused him to miss the first game of the season. He also violated Virginia Tech’s team rules in 2017, which resulted in his being suspended for the first two games of that year.
There are also question about his consistency and his 2017 tape not being as good as the previous year’s.
Adonis Alexander isn’t as clean as Beal both on and off the field, but he still has some physical traits that can’t be taught and should get drafted at some point during the supplemental draft. Will the Cowboys be the ones to pull the trigger?
Brandon Bryant, S, Missisippi State
The third and final guy we will highlight today is Mississippi State’s Brandon Bryant. Similar to Alexander, Bryant has a handful of questions off-the-field that teams have been doing a lot of digging on.
Bryant was ruled academically ineligible for 2018, and decided to enter the supplemental draft. Bryant also has had run-ins with the police off-the-field that will scare some teams off. In January of 2017, he was arrested with a DUI. With the variety of issues in the classroom and off-the-field, teams will be hesitant to take a big gamble on the former Mississippi State safety, but there’s a lot to like about the 5-foot-11, 207-lb athlete.
Bryant played three years at Mississippi State. In those three years, Bryant logged 157 tackles, five interceptions, and seven passes defended at safety.
Bryant showed signs of being a very good down-hill player who could be a great rotational player at safety and a special teams ace. He showed off his athletic ability at his pro day by posting very good numbers for a 5-foot-11, 207-lb safety. Bryant posted a 4.45 40-yard dash, a 34-inch vertical and a 10’3 broad jump. If the Cowboys are looking for a developmental safety who can be a very good player in the box and a ace on special teams, a late-round pick may be worth the risk for Brandon Bryant.
Brandon Bryant quickly reads the swing pass, blowing it up to force the incompletion pic.twitter.com/mgKlkoHMP2— Brian Johannes (@Draft_Brian) July 10, 2018
The Cowboys spent a seventh-round draft pick on DT Josh Brent back in 2010, could the Cowboys add one of the three-defensive backs listed above to their roster before they head to training camp in just two weeks?