The 2013 NFL supplemental draft does not have the top names like other years—Terrelle Pryor in 2011 and Josh Gordon in 2012—but there is enough talent to warrant at least one team taking a risk on a player Thursday, July 11.
All of the following players will be eligible for selection on Thursday, and there are a few players who could find their way to the NFL and make a splash in the league.
James Boyd, DE, UNLV
Nate Holloway, DT, UNLV
Toby Jackson, DE, Central Florida
Dewayne Peace, WR, Houston
O.J. Ross, WR, Purdue
Damond Smith, DB, South Alabama
Full list of eligible players via Rob Rang of CBS Sports.
Best Prospects Available
WR Dewayne Peace, Houston
While teams have to be concerned about Houston wide receiving prospect Dewayne Peace being ruled academically ineligible and removed from the team this year, per Andrea Adelson of ESPN.com, the prospect’s talents are legitimate.
The Cougars’ website has Peace listed at 5’11” and 190 pounds (which is undersized for a player without elite top-end speed), but with great hands and elusiveness, there should be at least one team looking to add potential depth and talent at wide receiver.
There is a chance that teams may not feel Peace is worth a draft selection and will wait until he becomes an undrafted free agent, but a franchise desperate for wide receiver help like the Detroit Lions would be wise to invest a late-round pick on Houston’s leading receiver.
WR O.J. Ross, Purdue
The fact that former Purdue Boilermakers wide receiver O.J. Ross was suspended from the team will hurt his stock, via Brian Bennett ESPN.com, but his raw talent is worthy of a late-round risk.
Just like Peace, Ross is a bit undersized at 5’10” and 188 pounds according to Purdue’s website, but he makes it up with horizontal quickness and great hands. While the receiver lacks elite speed, he has the quickness to be a possession pass-catcher at the next level.
There are many teams in the NFL that could utilize Ross’ talents across the middle of the field, but whether a team is willing to invest a draft pick on a player who had trouble in school is one of the biggest storylines of the supplemental draft.
DB Damond Smith, South Alabama
While defensive back Damond Smith had gained some attention after becoming a starter in his first year in college, the fact that he transferred to South Alabama because of disciplinary issues, per Graham Couch of MLive.com, may be enough to scare teams off.
There is a serious need for cornerback depth in the NFL to warrant a team taking a risk, and with his size (5’11” and 184 lbs) and speed (4.4 seconds in 40-yard dash, per Rang), at least one franchise should see enough promise to use a late selection.
With the tangibles NFL teams look for in a player, giving Smith a chance to prove he has matured from his mistakes could be the risk that pays off huge for a franchise.