Last week the NFL announced that the 2011 Supplemental Draft would go forward despite the continuing lockout. This year's draft promises to have some nice amount of talent in it, especially with the current situation at Ohio State. May of their top tier players are going to be suspended for, at least five games, maybe more. So, some will opt to enter the supplemental draft instead.
It is possible because of the situation of current college players that this could be the strongest supplemental draft in history. Some of the players, as you will see below, would be top 2012 NFL Draft prospects. So, do the 49ers get involved in this draft for only the second time in their history?
After the jump I will look at a few players that may enter the 2011 Supplemental Draft. Keep in mind that these are simply projections of players I think may enter the draft.
This is how the supplemental draft works. Non play off teams with six wins or less are grouped into the top of the draft, non-playoff teams with more than 6 wins are in the second tier and all 12 playoff teams are in the third tier. Those teams with 6 wins or less, 49ers included, take part in a lottery to see where they will be selecting. Each team provides a list of players they are interested in and what round they would select said player. The teams that provides the highest round tender will be given the rights to the player. If two teams tender the same round for a player, the team with the highest pick in that round will get the player.
If a team uses a pick in the Supplemental Draft, they must forfeit their choice in the corresponding round of the next years NFL Draft.
Who is eligible for the supplemental draft? Players who missed the filing deadline for the 2011 NFL Draft held in April. So, for all intent and purposes, Andrew Luck is eligible. That said, there is absolutely no way he decides to enter it. Players that have had off-field issues, don't like the direction of their college team or are failing in school are usually the types that enter this type of draft.
QB- Terrelle Pryor Ohio State
Position Rank: 4 2010 Stats: 65.4 Comp %, 2772 Yards, 27 TD, 11 INT, 754 Rush Yards, 4 TD
Analysis: His off-field exploits are by now well documented. Some Ohio State players have called out Pryor for causing Jim Tressel his job, and the criticism is well warranted. Pryor's character is going to be in question until he not just fixes it, but changes his actions off the field.
That said, Pryor is an extremely talented QB, at least physically. You have to realize that he is 6 foot, 6 inches, nearly 240 pounds and is one of the fastest players in the Big 10. Those physical characteristics alone makes Pryor an intriguing prospect.
Pryor has improved as a decision maker over the course of his career, and is continuing to improve as I write this, he also has an extremely live arm and could throw pretty much any pass asked of him
Pryor has issues with footwork and release, those two things are going to have to be fixed is he is going to be a successful NFL QB. Character issues may turn a lot of teams off of him during the supplemental draft; if he elects to enter it
The 49ers have absolutely not need for a player like Pryor on their roster. They already drafted Colin Kaepernick and will be turned off by these off-field issues. Additionally, I am not sure Pryor is worth much more than a 3rd round pick.
Projected Round: 3
RB- Daniel Herron, Ohio State
Position Rank: 10 2010 Stats: 1155 Rush Yards, 5.3 AVG, 16 TD,
Analysis: Herron has the potential to be a workhorse NFL RB, much like what I envision Rashad Mendenhall being down the line for Pittsburgh. His body of ability doesn't make Herron a top flight 1st round prospect. Additionally, he was one of five Ohio State players suspended for the first half of the 2011 season.
The 49ers really have no need for a RB at this point with the selection of Anthony Dixon in 2010 and Kendall Hunter in 2011
Projected Round: 5
WR- DeVier Posey, Ohio State
Position Rank: 6 2010 Stats: 58 Receptions, 848 Yards, 7 TD
Analysis: Posey has all the physical tools to be a dominating receiver at the next level. He is faster on the field than his 40 time would tell you and has extremely great hands. You will see Posey get great separation from the defender and haul down pretty much everything thrown his way.
As with Pryor there are character concerns, but those could be worked out because of the position Posey plays. Wide Receivers seem to have a little bit of an ego as it is, so he is probably no different. Additionally, you wouldn't be asking Posey to be the on and off field leader of the offense like you would with Pryor and the QB position
Projected Round: 1-2
OT- Mike Adams, Ohio State
Position Rank: 2
Analysis: This position rank will probably go up to #1 as the 2012 draft nears and if Adams forgoes the supplemental draft. Adams is an extremely dominating blocker in both the passing and rushing game. I really don't see any weakness in regards to his game. You seem him get low on blocks, open up lanes on the side and is extremely solid against speed rushers. If Adams decides to go back to Ohio State you are looking at a top 5 pick in 2012
Projected Round: 1
LB- Nathan Williams, Ohio State
Position Rank: 16 2010 Stats: 41 Tackles, 5.5 Sacks
Analysis:This is a type of player that I wouldn't mind the 49ers taking a flier on in the 7th round of the supplemental draft. He has more talent in his finger than any 7th round pick in 2012 would have in their entire body. Williams is extremely aggressive and gets into the offensive back field on a regular basis.
Additionally, Williams is extremely solid against the run and can drop back into coverage. If Williams decides to return to Ohio State for his senior season you are looking at a 2nd round pick.
Projected Round: 6-7
CB- Janoris Jenkins, Florida
Position Rank: 1 2010 Stats: 43 Tackles, 3 INT, 1 TD
Analysis: Kicked off Florida's team this off-season because of his third arrest on marijuana charges in two years. There is no doubt in my mind that Jenkins will be a shutdown corner in the NFL. He may even grade up to the likes of Patrick Peterson; this is how good Jenkins is.
Jenkins is a strong on the ball defender, receivers do not get separation from him and he jumps all over the route while reading the QB well. If you can look past immature marijuana arrests it is possible the 49ers spend a high supplemental pick on this player.
Projected Round:: 1-2
WR- Michael Floyd, Notre Dame
Position Rank: 1 2010 Stats: 79 Receptions, 1025 Yards, 12 TD
Analysis: Will probably be the highest touted NFL prospect since Michael Crabtree in 2009, this is how much skill Floyd has. As a Golden Domer, I have had the pleasure of watching Floyd play a lot, and his talent cannot be understated.
Floyd is going to be extremely hard to defend in the NFL because of the combination of his size and speed. Floyd is 6 foot, 3inches and weighs about 240 pounds; about the size of Vernon Davis, minus a half of dozen pounds or so. Floyd adjusts well to ball thrown his way and has great hands. I saw him make about 20-25 difficult catches in 2010 for Notre Dame; mostly because of the innaccuracy of Dane Crist.
You will see Floyd attack the ball in the air and not let it get to his body. He can get behind the defender because of a great combination of moves, and once he is behind the defender it is virtually game over. If Floyd returns to Notre Dame in 2012, not a certainty because of off-field issues, you are looking at the first non QB to be selected in 2012
Projected Round: 1
Overview: It would be hard to justify the 49ers giving up a high 2012 draft pick in order to select a player in the supplemental draft that has serious character issues. Most of the players listed above would probably be put into that category. There is a reason they didn't enter the 2011 draft in the first place, and those reasons worry me. Either they didn't think that they would be ranked that high, or off-field issues took place following the deadline.
That said, there are a couple players, Michael Floyd and Janoris Jenkins, I think the 49ers need to take a hard look at. Both would probably cost either a 1st or 2nd round selection in 2012. But, lets put that in perspective. These are two positions the 49ers would probably be looking at early in 2012, and both of these players are ranked #1 at their respective position. I doubt that many of us think San Francisco will be picking in the top five next season, so this would represent a tremendous steal for them
If would be a high risk, high reward proposition; especially with Jenkins, who has had continual off field and drug related problems. That said, you have to look at his body of talent and then make a decision if the reward is worth the risk.
With Michael Floyd, the risk isn't as high; but neither is the need. San Francisco currently has 6 receivers on their roster and really don't have room for another one. However, they don't have a true #1 wide receiver and that is what Michael Floyd is. I would have absolutely no problem with the 49ers selecting Michael Floyd in the supplemental draft (either 1st or 2nd round), and releasing Ted Ginn.
Teams with chance to acquire top pick in 2011 supplemental draft
Supplemental Draft History
1985: QB- Bernie Kosar Cleveland Browns 1st Round
1987: LB- Brian Bosworth Seattle Seahawks 1st Round
1987: WR- Cris Carter Philadelphia Eagles 3rd Round
1989: QB- Steve Walsh Dallas Cowboys 1st Round
1998: DT- Jamal Williams San Diego Chargers 2nd Round
2006: LB- Ahmad Brooks Cincinnati Bengals 3rd Round