Teams will have one last opportunity to add intriguing prospects to their roster this week when they take part in the NFL supplemental draft.
The draft is set to take place on July 10 at 1 p.m. EST, according to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport. It will feature a handful of college players who were ineligible for May's draft, but were able to gain eligibility for this one.
Rapoport highlights a few of the names to know:
Players in tomorrow’s Supplemental Draft: N Mex WR Chase Clayton, UNC LB Darius Lipford, Va.-Lynch DT Lakendrick Ross & SMU RB Traylon Shead— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 9, 2014
Although the supplemental draft is often overlooked by most, the likes of Cris Carter, Bernie Kosar and Josh Gordon have been selected in it over the years. There doesn't appear to be a player of that caliber in this year's supplemental draft on the surface, but there is no telling how high some of their ceilings might be.
Here is everything you need to know about the NFL supplemental draft, its format and the players who will be eligible for selection.
Format and Rules
Although the order for the 2014 supplemental draft has yet to be released, the manner in which it is determined is through a lottery. Per Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk, the 32 NFL teams are broken down into three groups based upon their records from the previous season.
How many players will be selected in the 2014 NFL supplemental draft?
The 10 worst teams are guaranteed to be among the top 10 picks with the Houston Texans standing the best chance. Houston will have 32 chances to draw the first pick and each of the next nine worst teams will have one less chance in descending order.
The second group of 10 teams will feature those who didn't make the playoffs, but were not among the bottom 10. Finally, the third group of teams will contain the 12 franchises that reached the postseason.
Once the order is set, a seven-round draft will commence with teams having the option to either pick a player or pass. If they do make a selection, then they will forfeit the corresponding pick in the 2015 NFL draft.
Since none of the players in this year's supplemental draft are viewed as elite prospects, it is quite likely that no picks will be made until the sixth or seventh round at best.
Traylon Shead (RB - SMU)
After a 2013 season that saw him rush for just 197 yards on 51 carries for three touchdowns at SMU, running back Traylon Shead will try his luck in the NFL supplemental draft. According to ESPN.com's Max Olson, Shead's agent announced his intention to enter:
Shead was somewhat of a forgotten man at SMU, but there is no question that he has talent and size. Per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, Shead measured in at 6'2" and 240 pounds at his Pro Day workout at July 2. Florio is also reporting that the Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts, Detroit Lions, New York Giants, Seattle Seahawks, Miami Dolphins and Chicago Bears had representatives in attendance.
It isn't 100 percent clear why Shead decided to leave school, but Chuck Carlton of The Dallas Morning News reports that Shead skipped spring practice, so this move has been in the works for quite some time.
Shead is certainly an intriguing prospect due to his size and raw athletic ability. He is a big-time project who will need to be developed at the next level. He may very well go undrafted, but he has a shot to go in the seventh round if a team feels like rolling the dice.
LaKendrick Ross (DL - Virginia-Lynchburg)
Perhaps the most interesting prospect in the supplemental draft pool is little-known defensive tackle LaKendrick Ross out of Virginia-Lynchburg. Although even the most avid followers of college football may not know much about Ross, he has been turning some heads during the lead up to the supplemental draft.
According to Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times, nearly every NFL team has expressed some form of interest in Ross:
Agent for NFL supplemental draft prospect Lakendrick Ross (360-pound DT) says 28 teams have contacted him, but Bucs aren't one of them.— Greg Auman (@gregauman) July 4, 2014
When he held his workout Monday, 11 teams sent representatives to scout him, per Mike Wilkening of Pro Football Talk.
Ross is as raw as they come, but his measurables make him someone worth keeping an eye on. In addition to weighing in at over 360 pounds, Ross possesses freakish athleticism. As seen in this video courtesy of Ross' Instagram account, he is able to dunk a basketball despite his massive size.
Even more important than that, though, is Ross' pure strength. He will be expected to push opposing offensive linemen around with his frame and there is reason to believe that he is capable of doing precisely that.
Per Jake Steinberg of SNY's The Jets Blog, Ross dominated the bench press and has garnered some interest from Gang Green:
Heard #Jets like 6'5, 365lb. Virginia Lynchburg DT LaKendrick Ross. Bench presses 225lbs a ridiculous 47 times. Entered Supplemental Draft.— Jake Steinberg (@Steiny31) July 7, 2014
If there is one prospect who is going to get picked in this draft, Ross is probably that guy. He is far from a lock in his own right, but he has big-time potential and could persuade a team looking for an impact defensive tackle to take a leap of faith.
Chase Clayton (WR - New Mexico)
Shead and Ross are the top two names being mentioned in relation to the supplemental draft, but New Mexico wide receiver Chase Clayton is worth monitoring as well. Although he managed just six catches for 50 yards in three seasons with the Lobos, Clayton has some tools that might pique the interest of scouts.
At 6'3" and 204 pounds, Clayton has ideal size and is capable out out-leaping smaller defensive backs. The unfortunate truth, though, is that he has almost no track record of doing that on a consistent basis at the collegiate level.
Even though he probably would have benefited from more time in school, Dane Brugler of CBS Sports reports that Clayton is in the supplemental draft mix:
@JoshNorris New Mexico WR Chase Clayton is another name I've seen, not sure of any others yet— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) June 30, 2014
Clayton looks very much like a long shot to be drafted, but it isn't totally outside the realm of possibility. According to Bleacher Report's Dan Pompei, scouts are split on Clayton's NFL prospects.
Clayton has a chance of being drafted late if he has a great workout, one scout said, but two other scouts were dubious about his chances of being drafted. Clayton had some success as a return man in 2012. He didn't do much last season, though, and his career resume as a receiver is skimpy.
Teams would be paying exclusively for potential if they take Clayton, but that is often the case when it comes to the supplemental draft.
Based on how many good and productive receivers enter the draft on a yearly basis, it is tough to envision an organization using a pick on Clayton, especially since he has yet to prove his worth as a pass-catcher.
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