We're currently in the deadest part of the offseason. We had some practices to follow a few weeks back in mid-June, while rookies and veterans don't report to training camp for another three weeks. All in all, we're right in the middle of the proverbial dead zone.
However, the NFL does have one small bone to throw football fans at this point: the Supplemental Draft. This draft seems to generally take place every July, and is available for players who did not enter the regular draft for one reason or another. Our very own Ahmad Brooks was a supplemental draft choice back in 2006. There are a variety of reasons players enter the supplemental draft. Anybody is allowed to join, but often we see players with academic or other disciplinary issues entering the draft. It's not always the case, but they're often prominent players in this draft.
The draft itself is a unique structure. I'm looking for more authoritative sources but I've seen some consistency thus far at Wikipedia and about.com so for now I'll post that. The general gist is this:
Draft order is determined by a weighted system that is divided into three groupings. First come the teams that had six or fewer wins last season, followed by non-playoff teams that had more than six wins, followed by the 12 playoff teams. In the supplemental draft, a team is not required to use any picks. Instead, if a team wants a player in the supplemental draft, they submit a "bid" 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. (For example, FS Paul Oliver was taken by the San Diego Chargers in the fourth round of the Supplemental Draft in 2007; thus, in the 2008 NFL Draft, the Chargers forfeited a fourth-round pick.)
I bring it up now in part because of a post I noticed over at Barrows blog about WR Vanness Emokpae of Truman State. The post and accompany YouTube video are both worth checking out. Some well-known players have been selected in the supplemental draft. Among others we've seen Cris Carter, Bernie Kosar, Brian Bosworth, and our own Ahmad Brooks.
Mocking the Draft has its share of coverage of the event as there is some decent talent available. Some of the players eligible for the draft include BYU running back Harvey Unga, defensive tackle Joshua Price-Brent, and running back Quentin Castille. Recently booted Oregon QB Jeremiah Masoli was in the draft, but has decided instead to try and go to another school.
The 49ers training camp battles are already pretty packed across the board. While there might be some impact players that come out of this year's Supplement Draft, does anybody see the 49ers sacrificing a 2011 draft pick to add one of them? If so, who do you think it will be?