How the NFL Supplemental Draft works: What, when, who and more you need to know for 2018

We haven't seen a player selected in the supplemental draft since 2015, but we could see three or more selected this year, and we have five eligible prospects for this supplemental draft. 

Here's all the info you need for what could be the most active supplemental draft since 1989 when five players were drafted. 

What is the supplemental draft?

The supplemental draft is held every year after the regular draft in April. It's concept is based on prospects who did not enter the regular draft and want to submit their name to play in the NFL right away. The most common case occurs when a collegiate player is ruled ineligible for the upcoming season after the regular draft, which, without the supplemental draft, would leave him in limbo for an entire year. If a player wants to be included in the supplemental draft, a formal petition needs to be filed with the league and not every player is guaranteed admittance. Players need to be at least three years removed from high school to be eligible for the supplemental draft.

How does it work?

The supplemental draft order is different from the regular draft order. Teams are separated into three groups based on the previous season; the first group are non-playoff teams that had six or fewer wins. The second group are non-playoff teams with more six wins. And the final group are playoff teams. The order in those groups are determined by a weighted lottery with the teams with the fewest wins given the best chance to win the earliest picks. Bids for players are submitted blindly by teams with the round that given team would want to select a given player. Obviously, the team highest in the draft order who submits the earliest-round bid for a player will be awarded that player. When that happens, that club forfeits a pick in the same round of next year's regular draft. 

When is it?

Wednesday, July 11 at 1 p.m. (EST).

Who's in this year's supplemental draft?

Adonis Alexander, CB, Virginia Tech
Tall, lanky cornerback who had seven interceptions and 17 pass breakups in three seasons with the Hokies. He regressed in each of his three years in Blacksburg but has serious length to play on the outside in the NFL. Here's the longer scouting report on him. 

Sam Beal, CB, Western Michigan
Well-rounded, versatile cornerback with good athleticism and ball skills. He had two interceptions and 10 pass breakups a season ago. Beal's more in-depth scouting report can be found here. 

Brandon Bryant, S, Mississippi State
Known as one of the most physically gifted speedsters on defense in the country during his career with the Bulldogs, Bryant couldn't recreate the magic of his freshman season in 2015 in either of the last two seasons. More on Bryant's skill set can be found here. 

Martayveus Carter, RB, Grand Valley State
In two seasons for the Lakers, Carter accumulated 2,797 yards on 391 carries with 28 total touchdowns. He stands 6-foot and is around 200 pounds. His game is predicated on quickness and a grinding style to pick up extra yards after contact.

Bright Ugwoegbu, LB, Oregon State
In 20 games for the Beavers, the 6-2, 235-pound linebacker made 126 tackles 17.5 tackles for loss, and eight sacks. However, 11 of those tackles for loss and 5.5 of those sacks game in 2016. He's a speed 'backer and has decent coverage ability. 

Any notable previous and recent supplemental draft picks? 

Josh Gordon, Browns, 2012, Round 2

Terrelle Pryor, Raiders, 2011, Round 3

Jared Gaither, Ravens, 2007, Round 5

Ahmad Brooks, Bengals, 2006, Round 3

Which teams might use a pick on one of the supplemental draft prospects?

In this day and age in the NFL, with nickel package close to being used 70 percent of the time by every team, cornerbacks are in need now more than ever. In late June, I pinpointed five teams that'd make the most sense to use a selection on a prospect in this supplemental draft. 

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