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Everything you need to know about the 2018 NFL Supplemental Draft

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The 2018 NFL Supplemental Draft takes place Wednesday morning. We break down the details, which could see one or more players selected.

The 2018 NFL offseason is fast coming to a close, but there are two last notable dates on the calendar. Next week on the July 16th is the deadline for teams that have used the franchise tag to come to terms on a long-term contract. If a deal is not done, the player has to play the 2018 season on the franchise tender.

The other big event is today! The 2018 NFL Supplemental Draft is set to take place later this morning, scheduled to start at 10 a.m. PT. The draft will not air on television, but instead involves a blind bid system using 2019 draft picks. Players are rarely picked in the supplemental draft, but it can happen from time-to-time. The most recent pick came in 2015, which saw the then St. Louis Rams select Clemson offensive tackle Isaiah Battle, using a fifth round pick. Prior to that, the last supplemental pick was Josh Gordon in 2012, which saw the Cleveland Browns use a 2013 second round pick.

Eligible players

There are five players available for selection in this year’s draft. Players must apply for eligibility because it requires they have not been eligible for the regular draft back in April. Participants in the supplemental draft have usually had some kind of off-field issue (legal, academic, family, etc). The most famous supplemental picks were Cris Carter, Brian Bosworth, and Bernie Kosar, although Josh Gordon is certainly of more recent fame. Here is the list of players eligible to be selected:

Sam Beal, CB, Western Michigan
Adonis Alexander, CB, Virginia Tech
Brandon Bryant, S, Mississippi State
Bright Ugwoegbu, LB, Oregon State
Marty Carter, RB, Grand Valley State

Notable 49ers news

The 49ers could use more secondary depth, so it is not at all surprising they checked out the workouts of all three defensive backs. On June 20th, they were one of 26 teams on hand for Adonis Alexander’s workout. On June 25th, they were one of 14 teams on hand for Brandon Bryant’s workout. On June 28th, they joined the rest of the league in attending Sam Beal’s workout. The 49ers also took in Bright Ugwoegbu’s workout on June 28th.

Draft order

The NFL does not use the regular previous year record for the supplemental draft. Instead, the league uses a lottery to determine order. Teams are weighted based on record, similar to the NBA lottery, but they are broken down into three groups. The first tier is teams with six or fewer wins the previous season (including the 49ers). The second tier is teams with seven or more wins that didn’t make the playoffs. The final tier is the 12 playoff teams.

Draft picks

The entire draft takes place via email. A team submits the player or players they want and the corresponding round in which they would take them. The team in the group with the highest round bid will be awarded the player. They would then lose their pick from that round in the next draft.

Scouting reports

Sam Beal is mentioned as the likely highest pick of this group, but Adonis Alexander and Brandon Bryant also have decently high expectations. We’ve got a rundown over at SB Nation. Additionally, NFL Network’s Bucky Brooks offered up some thoughts on the three defensive backs.

Sam Beal, DB, Western Michigan

”He is the most talented of them all. Sam Beal is a talented corner. Smooth, fluid, polished. Does a great job of using a variety of techniques and being able to play press, to play off, he can bail, he can do all the things that you want to see. Six foot, 185 pounds. He was a guy that was a track star in high school, made the conversion from wide receiver to cornerback. Two interceptions in his college career, but he’s got his hands on a ton of balls. He is a guy who has all the tools that you look for. Don’t be surprised if he comes off the board in the second or third round. A lot of people are smitten by his talent.”

Adonis Alexander, DB, Virginia Tech

”Everyone are looking for these big cornerbacks, these guys that are over six foot, that have the long arms. And he fits the bill. If you go back and look at the way Virginia Tech has traditionally played, they produce corners. Press man-to-man is his specialty. He does a great job of jamming and disrupting. He has the tools to be a big-time player. Needs to refine his game. If he can refine his game, learn how to play in space, play off, back peddle a little better, he’s a guy that’s certainly intriguing. I think his value is somewhere third or fourth round.”

Brandon Bryant, DB, Mississippi State

”This dude is an absolute freak show. When you talk to the coaches at Mississippi State, they said, at times, he had clocked times in the 4.2 range. However, at his pro day, didn’t necessarily hit that mark. Came in at 4.4. However, I believe he’s a guy that is probably more talented than he’s shown on tape. Tremendous athlete, 5-11, over 200 pounds. You talk about his vertical, his ability to jump. He’s just not a disciplined player when you look at the tape. Out of position, not consistently where he’s supposed to be. Hopefully, he’s a guy that can come in and be a special teams player. I believe he’s a borderline draftable guy. Seventh round, priority free agent.”

San Francisco 49ers history

The San Francisco 49ers have selected five players in the supplemental draft. In 1978, they selected running back Rod Connors. In 1985, they selected running back Roosevelt Snipes. In 1984, there was a supplemental draft specifically for the folded USFL. In that draft, they selected wide receiver Derrick Crawford, offensive tackle Joe Conwell, and running back Mark Schellen. Former 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks was originally selected in the supplemental draft by the Cincinnati Bengals.