Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter
The NFL's supplemental draft takes place on July 11th, with a realistic possibility of multiple players being selected for the first time in years.
Could the Jets be considering making a selection? And could they target Western Michigan CB Sam Beal, who is potentially the best Supplemental Draft prospect ever?
The Supplemental Draft accommodates players who did not enter the draft. Such players have usually been rendered ineligible to play college football in the following season due to off-field or academic issues and, as such, teams are often reluctant to give up a pick. The last player selected was Clemson tackle Isaiah Battle, who the Rams picked in the fifth round three years. Battle has yet to play in an NFL game.
The Jets have some history with the Supplemental Draft, having used a first round pick to select wide receiver Rob Moore in 1990. Current Jets wide receiver Terrelle Pryor was selected by the Raiders in 2011. Other high-profile selections from the past include Cris Carter, Josh Gordon and Bernie Kosar.
There are five players eligible for this year's draft and experts believe at least one and perhaps as many as three will be selected. In order to select a player, a team effectively makes a bid based on what round they are prepared to give up a pick in. The team with the highest bid drafts the player and surrenders that pick in next year's draft.
The biggest prize in this year's class is Western Michigan cornerback Sam Beal. Beal had been receiving some first round buzz for next year's draft, so he's considered one of the most talented players in the Supplemental Draft in years. It's been reported that multiple teams are prepared to give up a day two pick for him.
A converted wide receiver, Beal came on strong after the first few games of last season, posting some of the best coverage numbers in the nation. This included an interception of Jets quarterback Sam Darnold. He solidified his stock with good numbers at his pro day, although he only weighed in at 178 pounds and has a below average wingspan which might cause concern.
The Jets already have plenty of young cornerback prospects, having given up five picks since 2016 to acquire Juston Burris, Rashard Robinson, Parry Nickerson, Jeremy Clark and Derrick Jones. Would they be prepared to surrender yet another pick to add yet another name into the mix?
Since the Jets don't have a second round pick next year, Beal -- a player who might otherwise have interested them next April -- may not be an option. The team is unlikely to be prepared to surrender their first-round pick and if they bid a third rounder, that might not be high enough to land him. They may be reluctant to give up their only other day two pick anyway.
The other two players considered likely to be selected next week are also defensive backs. Would the Jets be prepared to give up a late-round pick to bring one of these players into the mix with such a logjam of players already battling for roles?
Virginia Tech's Adonis Alexander's long arms will be attractive to teams, but his workout numbers were not as good as Beal's and he didn't seem to improve much after intercepting four passes in 2015. Mississippi State's Brandon Bryant started seven games at safety last year and was productive with 157 tackles and five interceptions in his three seasons. He posted some good pro day numbers, including a 4.45 in the 40-yard dash.
If nobody puts in a bid for someone, they will become an unrestricted free agent at the conclusion of the draft and that's what's expected to happen with the other two eligible players.
Running back Martayveus Carter from Grand Valley State was the leading rusher in Division II with over 1,900 yards in 2016 but fell short of a thousand-yard season last year. He opted not to host a pro day, instead saying he would let his film speak for itself. Linebacker Bright Ugwoegbu from Oregon State posted disappointing numbers at his pro day. At just 6-feet-0 and 205 pounds, he's more of a coverage linebacker than an edge rusher despite the fact he had 5.5 of his eight career sacks in 2016.
While they are already deep in terms of numbers of bodies at the defensive back positions, the Jets have a lot of young players who haven't fully established themselves as part of the core going forward. They have brought in so many players this offseason, it would be unwise to rule out the possibility of them trying to bring in one of these players, or at least putting in a low bid to try and score themselves a potential bargain.