Earlier today, the NFL announced they will hold the annual Supplemental Draft on July 12 at 10:00am PT. The draft is not held every year, but more often than not there are one or two players selected. The draft is generally for players that have random issues come up, putting them in a situation where they feel it is time to go pro. Last year, Terrelle Pryor was selected by the Raiders in the Supplemental Draft. He had planned on playing at Ohio State in 2011, but issues arose that would have resulted in a suspension, so Pryor declared for the Supplemental Draft.
The 49ers have not selected somebody in the supplemental draft since 1985, when they drafted Florida State running back Roosevelt Snipes with an eighth round pick. Prior to that, the 49ers drafted USC running back Rod Connors in 1978 with a 12th round pick. The current 49ers do feature a supplemental pick in the form of Ahmad Brooks. The Cincinnati Bengals originally drafted him with a third round pick in the 2006 Supplemental Draft.
The Supplemental Draft is set up with a bidding process of picks. As I understand it, teams submit a round for which they would draft a player. The highest pick offered wins the bidding and forfeits that pick in the following season's regular draft.
This year's draft features eight eligible players:
Boise State DB Quaylon Ewing
Baylor WR Josh Gordon
Syracuse RB Adam Harris
Iowa State T Adrian Haughton
Carson-Newman LB Larry Lumpkin
Georgia DE Montez Robinson
McMurray WR Houston Tuminello
TCU RB Ed Wesley
It sounds like Josh Gordon is getting the most buzz due to his combination of size and speed. He transferred from Baylor to Utah following the 2010 season and sat out this past year. There is some thought that teams might be willing to bid a third or fourth round pick on Gordon. The folks at Optimum Scouting have some thoughts on Gordon and TCU running back Ed Wesley.
The 49ers currently have one open roster spot with training camp approaching. I would be a bit surprised to see the 49ers fill that final available spot via the Supplemental Draft, they are in a position where they have the assets to make a selection if they see a guy they like. The 49ers could end up with as many as 13 picks in the 2013 NFL Draft. They have their own seven picks, four picks acquired via trade from the Bengals, Panthers, Colts and Dolphins, and then the potential for two more picks via the compensation rounds depending on how the formula shakes out.
The 49ers could afford to bid on a player and not feel that they are decimating their 2013 draft options. That's not to say they will make a selection, but if they decided a player was sufficiently valuable, they would be in prime position to make it happen. Most of those guys are playing at positions where the 49ers have quite a bit of depth. It's great that the 49ers have built up greater depth, but it also means there are fewer opportunities to roll the dice on a project player.