Much ado has been made recently about Terrelle Pryor and his eligibility for the supplemental draft today. So is it worthwhile internet chit chat, or is it just much ado about nothing? While the pundits and arm chair quarterbacks like to rant and rave about the merits of drafting these supplemental picks, one only needs to look back at history to determine if their opinions are warranted. And if you’re looking at history… they probably aren’t.
The reality of it is this, very-few-to-none, that have been drafted in the Supplemental Draft, have ever amounted to much of an NFL player. Oh sure, there have been some fringe pick-ups, but rarely has a team missed out on a perennial Pro Bowler, by not jumping on this draft.
Here’s a look at my ‘top 5′ players to ever come out of college in the supplemental draft:
1. Cris Carter. After signing with an agent (Norby Walters) in his senior year, Carter was ruled ineligible for the 1987 Draft, and forced to try his luck in the Supplemental Draft. Even then, Carter didn’t find his way on to an NFL squad, as he was cut by the Eagles’ Buddy Ryan. It has been reported that getting cut actually helped Carter to conquer some of his demons, and concentrate on his football career. He would go on to have one of the most prolific careers of any wide receiver, and he is the only supplemental pick that may one day end up being enshrined in Canton.
2. Bernie Kosar. While Kosar might not ever make the Hall of Fame, he did have a very productive NFL career. Kosar’s reasons for entering the Supplemental Draft were personal, he just wanted to play for the Cleveland Browns. At the time, the Browns wanted it just as badly, trading two first round picks, a third and a sixth rounder, for the right to draft Kosar with the first overall pick of the 1985 Supplemental draft. It actually worked out well for both sides, and Kosar was a figurehead in Cleveland from the moment he was drafted. The city of Cleveland were near riots when they Kosar was ousted in 1993.
3. Mike Wahl. The list needed something other than a ‘high profile’ player, so how about a guy who brought his lunch pail to an NFL camp for more than a decade? After a senior season suspension due to steroid use, Wahl was drafted by Ron Wolf and the Green Bay Packers in 1998. He would appear in one Pro Bowl in his career, and add the Panthers and Seahawks to an NFL resume that was as prolific as most offensive linemen’s.
4. Brian Bosworth. If you’re wondering why a guy that had so insignificant an NFL career is on this list – bear with me. While Boz may have talked a better game than he played, and been more successful making bad action movies, than sacking quarterbacks, his selection in the Supplemental Draft is significant for different reasons. Boz was the birth of hype. Boz was the first player to really actively market themselves before they ever hit an NFL field. Boz was the first guy to use the media to develop a market for himself, and thusly, earned a Supplemental selection in 1987. Though his career was short, and known more for getting trucked by Bo Jackson in 1989, than any on-field accomplishments, Boz is still significant because he may be the player that forced everyone to dig a little deeper with their scouting.
5. Rob Moore. Not a perennial all-star by any means, but Moore had a respectable carer, albeit, an up and down one. He was the first overall pick of the 1990 draft by the Jets, and managed to earn two Pro Bowl appearances, have three 1,000 yard seasons, and the league in receiving in 1997.
Also considered: Jamal Williams, Steve Walsh, Dave Brown, Bobby Humphrey
Going over the list, two things stick out more than any other:
A) There isn’t exactly a history of play-makers in the overall list. Sure there are a couple of guys in the top 5 that would have been nice to have, but how many of those teams may have fared just as well by keeping their draft picks until the following Entry Draft?
B) There hasn’t been a significant addition to this list in over 10 years. There are reasons. We live in a sports era where ‘unknown quantities’ don’t exist anymore – there are fewer opportunities for a player to ‘pop up’ for a Supplemental Draft simply because the entire sports community is hyping these guys from high school straight through their professional careers. Guys aren’t going to grab agents in their senior year and damage their eligibility like Carter did; these guys are ‘mentored’ in their career path from the time they are 16 years old.
As of right now, it still appears to be up in the air as to whether or not Pryor will be eligible for the draft: “No decision has been made yet on his eligibility,” spokesman Greg Aiello said just yesterday.
In light of the aforementioned ‘all-star list’, how much credence should anyone really put in the Supplemental Draft?
When you look at the history of it all – one should only come to the conclusion that the answer is – not very much at all.
Notes: Recently traded former Redskin Jeremy Jarmon, was selected by Washington in the 3rd Round of the 2009 Supplemental Draft,