Pryor highlights three possible players in supplemental draft

by | NFLDraftScout.com

The 2011 NFL supplemental draft will be held on Aug. 17, NFLDraftScout.com has learned.

Typically the supplemental draft is held a few weeks before the start of training camps and long after clubs have had an opportunity to sign draft picks and undrafted free agents. The lockout delayed scheduling this year's draft.

NFL teams were notified of this year's tentative supplemental draft date in an email. They were not notified of any players eligible and the draft's official order wasn't defined.

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Unlike the televised April draft, the supplemental draft is carried out via email. The teams, slotted into three groups based on their winning percentage the previous season, contact the league with a list of the players they'd draft and the round in which they'd take them.

As such, while the Carolina Panthers owned the first pick of the 2011 draft, they are not guaranteed to have the first pick in this draft.

Any team that uses a supplemental draft pick would then lose the corresponding selection in the NFL Draft the following April.

No players have been deemed officially eligible. However, Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor and Georgia running back Caleb King are expected to be included.

Pryor signed with Ohio State graded by many as the top prep prospect in the country. With a 31-4 career record, including wins in the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl, and 8,341 combined passing and rushing yardage (along with 74 touchdowns), Pryor's natural talent is unquestioned.

For teams in the supplemental draft, Pryor's most intriguing talent is his scrambling ability. (Getty Images)  
For teams in the supplemental draft, Pryor's most intriguing talent is his scrambling ability. (Getty Images)  
His reputation as a me-first player, his role in the scandal that eventually forced head coach Jim Tressel to resign and concerns about whether he fits as a quarterback in a pro-style offense might push the 6-foot-5, 240-pound Pryor into the late rounds. While Pryor completed nearly 61 percent of his passes and had a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 56-26, scouts question whether he is an accurate enough passer to play the position in the NFL.

Pryor's most intriguing attribute is his ability to scramble out of the pocket. Bigger than some defensive linemen and faster than some defensive backs, Pryor was at times an unstoppable runner at the collegiate level. That athleticism has led some scouts to peg Pryor as a possible convert to tight end or receiver in the NFL. The former Buckeye has indicated he'd rather remain at quarterback, and questions abound as to whether he has the work ethic to learn a new position.

Though Pryor's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, boldly characterized his client as a possible first-round pick, consensus throughout the league has been that the quarterback might be waiting until the middle rounds or later to get drafted. Some teams, in fact, don't view him as a draft-worthy prospect.

Though not on a level with Pryor, King was a highly touted prep player who signed with Georgia. Graded as the No. 3 running back prospect in the country by some recruiting services, King was characterized as the next Herschel Walker.

Instead, the 5-foot-11, 219-pounder saw his game appearances shrink from 11 games as a redshirt freshman in 2008 to 10 in 2009 and eight in 2010. In 18 games, including 10 starts, King accumulated 1,024 rushing yards and nine touchdowns.

While his career totals are less than dazzling, King does have legitimate NFL-caliber talent. He has good burst to and through the hole and the lateral agility to elude defenders. He uses his size well as a pass blocker, showing toughness and understanding when in this role. However, he does not possess the type of top-end speed to be anything more than an interior specialist. King struggles to get to the edge and is too often caught from behind.

Any chance at boosting his stock in his senior season ended when King was found academically ineligible earlier this month. Unfortunately, this isn't the only off-field problem teams will likely investigate. King was not allowed to participate in Georgia's stunning Liberty Bowl loss to Central Florida last year after skipping five academic meetings. He was suspended for two regular-season games earlier in the year for failing to appear in court to deal with a speeding ticket.

A third player rumored to be considering making the jump is North Carolina defensive end Michael McAdoo.

McAdoo was among the 14 Tar Heels players suspended by the NCAA for, among other things, accepting inappropriate benefits from agents last year. He and his former teammates Robert Quinn, Marvin Austin, Greg Little (and three others) were suspended for the entire 2010 season. Unlike Quinn, Austin and Little -- who accepted thousands of dollars in gifts and were each drafted into the NFL this past April -- McAdoo was found to have accepted only $110 in inappropriate benefits and had hoped to return to North Carolina. However, because McAdoo was also found guilty of academic fraud as the NCAA's investigation into the program dug deeper, it was determined that he shouldn't be allowed to return to Chapel Hill to compete athletically.

McAdoo is suing UNC and the NCAA to regain his eligibility. On July 13, Durham Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson denied McAdoo's request for a preliminary injunction. The injunction would have allowed McAdoo to return to the field immediately.

McAdoo's lawyers are continuing the legal fight to get him back on the field for the Tar Heels, but should a stunning reversal not come from the NCAA, the university's hands are tied, which could push McAdoo into the draft.

At 6-6 and 248 pounds, McAdoo has the length and athleticism to pique the interest of 4-3 and 3-4 teams alike. The primary backup to Quinn, McAdoo had shown flashes throughout of his career. While he hadn't start a game in his first two seasons with the Tar Heels, he was a regular part of the rotation, registering 29 tackles, including 10 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks over that span. The 21-year-old was viewed by those close to the team as a potential rising star, especially after being named the MVP of UNC's 2010 spring game. In that game McAdoo posted four sacks and an interception.

Designed to be an avenue into the NFL for "special case" players, the supplemental draft has grown in popularity in recent years.

The Redskins selected former Kentucky star defensive end Jeremy Jarmon in the third round in 2009. Last year there were two players selected -- the Bears selected BYU running back Harvey Unga and the Cowboys took Illinois defensive tackle Joshua Price-Brent. Both athletes were selected in the seventh round.

The supplemental draft was canceled in 2008 -- no players were eligible -- but 10 players applied for special eligibility in 2007. Of them, two were selected. San Diego drafted former Georgia cornerback Paul Oliver in the fourth round, and Baltimore picked up Maryland offensive tackle Jared Gaither a round later.

Since its inception in 1977, a total of 41 players have been selected via the supplemental draft. Among the most notable selections were quarterback Bernie Kosar (Cleveland, 1985), wide receiver Cris Carter (Philadelphia, 1987) and linebacker Brian Bosworth (Seattle, 1987). The supplemental draft was originally created for players who had lost their eligibility to play collegiate football between the regular April draft and the beginning of the next season. Many "special case" players had lost their eligibility due to academics or legal troubles.

Copyright NFLDraftScout.com, distributed by The Sports Xchange.


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