The NFL's Supplemental Draft is designed to allow players who are unable to play in the next college football season due to NCAA or team infractions along with players who wish to declare for the NFL after the draft has passed a chance to still get an NFL shot.
The Supplemental Draft works as an auction: the highest round bid wins. For example, if the Green Bay Packers offer a 2nd rounder for a prospect and the Vikings offer a 3rd rounder, the Packers get that player, and forfeit a 2nd round pick in the next draft. But if two or more teams offer the same round pick, the team higher in the draft order in the previous draft wins out.
This year's supplemental draft, like the 2011 draft, is unique. Most years, these Supplemental players that are picked up are a good two to three months behind their other rookie counterparts thanks to rookie camps and team workouts. But thanks to the lockout, these players are right on track with their 2011 counterparts, therefore making their value a little closer than in past years. And in the past few years, we've seen guys like Paul Oliver (with San Diego), Jared Gaither (with Baltimore) and others make an impact.
The most noticeable potential supplemental draft prospect since the early 90s, Terrelle Pryor has been a headline maker and a jaw-dropping athlete since he was a high school junior, when the love- fest by college coaches and recruiting experts began. After what I considered a surprising decision to pass on the Rich Rodriguez system at Michigan that fit his style perfectly in favor of Ohio State, Pryor has struggled to be an every game dominating quarterback nor mature into a top NFL draft prospect.
Despite me not feeling Pryor has NFL ability at the quarterback position, I would not have been surprised at all to see him come out in game one next year and play at a Cam Newton level if he fine-tuned his technique, as his footwork and confidence in the pocket is really all that separates him from the 2011 #1 overall pick. However, he's likely now done at Ohio State for good, and his best option would be to declare for the supplemental draft, where a team will likely view him as a mix of Matt Jones and Joe Webb - a receiver talent first and one with promise, but still worth giving a shot at quarterback. I'm not sure that he'll ever take to receiver coaching well enough to be a front line player, and unfortunately, I fear that his outstanding talent and potential will be wasted if he doesn't land in the perfect system.
(Proj. 4th Round)
Still ranked Optimum Scouting's number one tackle prospect, Adams as of now has the best potential to play left tackle at the NFL in the future. Another full season of going against Big Ten pass rushers and some more developed game film could have even pushed him to the lower teens, and with Outland Trophy type season, could have very well pushed the top 10.
However, he'll now be out the first five games of next year and may consider the Supplemental draft. If I were close to him, I would be sure to stress that if he can finish his Ohio State career with some impressive Big Ten games, all would be forgotten and he would go into the draft season as a potential first round tackle. Still, he may considered leaving Ohio State early now that Tressel is gone as well.
(Proj. 3rd Round)
Ohio State has a track record of pumping out some pretty impressive running backs, and Herron has the quick feet and the overall running ability to develop into a high rounder, especially if he put together another season like 2010 (where he had almost 1,200 yards and 16 TDs).
Still, after 26 running backs were taken in last year's draft, teams may not be willing to show a ton of interest in a talent like Herron right now, and he'd be best suited in sitting out his five games, coming back fresh with less tread on his tires (which NFL teams may actually like) and still be one of the top three or four senior running backs the 2012 draft has to offer.
(Proj. 5th Round)
Outside of Pryor, Posey is the most likely to leave the Buckeye program and jump to the NFL in my opinion. At 6'2, 213 and likely somewhere in the range of 4.45 speed, teams are already excited to see him develop. And while he won't get a chance to develop on the field for the Buckeyes for the first five games, I can tell you know that without Pryor, Posey's stock won't be helped much.
After back to back 800+ receiving yards and 7+ TDs, he won't be gaining all that much for staying in school, and getting a chance to jump into the NFL along with the 2011 crop now will mean he won't be much different development-wise than the rest of that 2011 class.
(Proj. 5th Round)
A back-up at defensive end, Thomas would have had a very good chance at getting some meaningful playing time in 2011 and having a chance to get more on NFL radars. At 6'5, 245, he's only a few impressive games and 20 more pounds from being another Buckeye defensive lineman getting NFL looks. He has no reason to leave school early, and he's best shot is to train and be ready to contribute early upon his return to the team.
Another player who many have assumed is set in his 2011 plans, Brian Kelly of Notre Dame has not given a clear indication on what the suspension will for Floyd. Kelly has said that he won't suspend Floyd for a certain number of games, and said that it's "either 12 games or zero".
If the supplemental draft dominos start falling, Floyd may consider scrapping his recovery "check list" that Brian Kelly has for him and take his chances in the NFL.
(Proj. 3rd Round)
Many have reported that Janoris Jenkins, former Florida stud cornerback who was kicked off the team for his second arrest in three months for possession of marijuana, will be going to North Alabama next season. However, the school or anyone close to Jenkins has been clear in saying what his plans are, and he could be waiting to see if the Supplemental draft is still an option.
My guess is that if Pryor goes, Jenkins does too, and teams will look forward to giving him a shot despite the major character red flags, as he could have been a 1st or 2nd rounder in the 2011 draft.
(Proj. 3rd Round)
Thought it'd be a little ironic if the first player not from the Buckeye Five to be from Michigan, but Stonum may very well consider bolting from Michigan. Stonum broke former Michigan great and current Arizona Cardinal Steve Breaston's kick return yard record as a sophomore, racking up 1,001 yards.
However, he's suspended indefinitely from the Michigan program for legal issues, and with Rich Rodriguez gone, having respected kick return abilities, and having 6'2 size for a receiver, a team may consider giving him a call after the supplemental draft process is over.
Justin was slated to be the feature cornerback at Washington State, which, based on the programs recent history, isn't saying much considering were ranked 104th in the country in pass defense. And at 5'11, 160, Justin had a fringe NFL chance if he played the year.
Still, he was kicked off the team for using a banned substance (which seems a bit ridiculous, considering players get away with assault and burglary, and much more and still play), and maybe his only option if he hopes to continue playing football is to see if a team wants to give him a training camp tryout.