2018 NFL supplemental draft: Breaking down the three prospects that could be selected
Three defensive backs have a decent chance to be selected in this year's supplemental draft
The NFL supplemental draft typically doesn't have any players selected -- only Josh Gordon and Isaiah Battle have gone in the supplemental draft since 2011 -- but this year could see three prospects picked.
Let's take a closer look at the three prospects available in the 2018 iteration of this unique draft.
Sam Beal, CB, Western Michigan
Collegiate career: Beal committed to Western Michigan in 2014 and was rated as a two-star recruit by 247 Sports. He played sparingly in 2015 and made 15 tackles with one pass breakup as a freshman in 2015. The following year, he moved into a more prominent role in the Broncos secondary. Beal appeared in all 14 games and had 55 takedowns and eight pass breakups. Last season, alongside star corner Darius Phillips, Beal had two interceptions, 10 pass breakups, and 22 tackles in 10 games.
Scouting report: Good height, length, fluidity, and awareness in coverage. Speed is what you want from an outside cornerback who could, in a pinch, play against slot receivers. Twitchiness isn't elite but usually impressive, particularly for a 6-foot-1 corner. Run-support is hit-or-miss. Usually knows how to find the football when it's nearing its target and has the athleticism to make plays on it. Overall, a nice, well-rounded but unspectacular skill set, and his size will entice NFL teams.
Projected draft range: Rounds 3-5
Collegiate career: Bryant was a rated as a three-star recruit by 247 Sports and committed to the Bulldogs in 2013. His redshirt freshman season in 2015 proved to ultimately be his best at Mississippi State. He had 63 tackles, 1.5 sacks, three picks, one touchdown, and three pass breakups. In 2015, he made 62 tackles, had one pick, and two pass break ups. Last year, he struggled to make an impact on a strong Bulldogs defense with just 32 tackles, and a single interception in 11 games.
Scouting report: Good-sized, fast, physical safety who has the athleticism to be an NFL starter. Some questions about his love for the game of football and reactionary skills in coverage. However, Bryant does have the reputation as one of the strongest and fastest defensive backs in the country and there won't be questions about his frame at 6-0 and 215 pounds. Made Bruce Feldman's workout warriors list prior to the 2016 and 2017 campaigns. Too often solely relies on his speed and twitchiness instead of taking proper angles and playing under control ... which could hurt him against faster players at the NFL level.
Projected draft range: Rounds 4-6
Collegiate career: After signing with the Hokies as a 247 Sports three-star recruit in 2014, Alexander made an impact immediately in Blacksburg, as he appeared in 11 games as a freshman in 2015, made 55 tackles, snagged four interceptions, and broke up six passes. His stellar debut put him on the NFL radar, and with 43 tackles, two more picks, and seven pass breakups as a sophomore in 2016, Alexander was widely considered a cornerback ready to make the jump into the first- or-second-round range in the 2018 class if he decided to leave school early after a strong junior campaign. Unfortunately, the weaknesses of the 6-foot-3, 197-pounder were really exposed last season with the Hokies. He played in eight games and had 27 tackles, one pick, and one forced fumble.
Scouting report: Tall, man-to-man cornerback who has experience making plays on the football in zone coverage. Being as tall as he is, Alexander lacks ideal change-of-direction skills and has a tendency to watch the quarterback for too long, a combination which makes him susceptible to routes with multiple cuts or double moves. His 2016 film was much better than 2017. Not slow but certainly wouldn't be labeled as a speedy cornerback. Has moments of good, willing run-support, but he's not consistent in that area. Big plus is obviously his length, which will allow him to get his hands on some passes when there's separation. Will struggle with faster and/or quicker wide receivers at the next level. Needs to almost solely cover larger, outside wideouts in the NFL.
Projected draft range: Rounds 5-7
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