Slim pickings in supplemental draft
The glamour players thought at one point to be a possibility for this year's NFL supplemental draft, Ohio State tailback Maurice Clarett and wide receiver Mike Williams of Southern California, are still in football limbo and not eligible for the special lottery.
Nor does the 2004 supplemental draft include a player the equal of Tony Hollings, the former Georgia Tech tailback who created considerable buzz last summer, and who was selected by the Houston Texans in the second round. Instead the '04 supplemental draft, which takes place on Tuesday, is more like most of the 27 summertime lotteries that have preceded it.
Which means there is a good chance that none of the prospects in the supplemental draft pool -- which is typically comprised of players who, because of academic shortcomings or other off-field considerations, have lost their college eligibility -- will even be chosen.
The NFL does not release the names of the prospects in the supplemental draft and, even if it did, few would elicit recognition even from hard-core fans. There are at least eight prospects, confirmed through various league sources, in Tuesday's draft. Only one or two have even an outside chance of being chosen.
Any team that makes a selection on Tuesday must surrender its corresponding choice in the 2005 draft.
"There was a lot of intrigue last year about how high a team would go to get (Hollings)," said one AFC college scouting director. "There's nothing remotely approaching that this time around. We'll probably tell the league people that we're not interested in anyone and then go do something more constructive. Like sneak in a round of golf."
Arguably the three most compelling prospects on Tuesday, using that term in the broadest way possible, are Brigham Young free safety James Allen, linebacker Ike Emodi of East Carolina, and guard Mataio Toilolo of Montana State.
Toilolo worked out for scouts from at least three teams last week and, at 6-feet-5 and 290 pounds, moved pretty well and demonstrated decent strength. Allen started 11 games in 2003 and registered 57 tackles, four sacks, four passes defensed, and a forced fumble. He possesses 4.4 speed but, at 5-feet-10, weighs only 172 pounds. Emodi is long and lean (6-feet-3, 230 pounds), flashed pretty good athleticism at a workout last week, but there are questions about his quickness. He has played strongside linebacker, safety and end during his college career, probably projects best to linebacker, and had 38 tackles, four sacks and one fumble recovery in 2003.
The other players confirmed for the supplemental draft are: Brigham Young tailback Reynaldo Braithwaite, Virginia Union tailback Larry Graham, wide receiver/tight end Chris Chatman of Midwestern (Tex.) State, Jacksonville State defensive end Seante Williams, and linebacker Chad Mascoe of Central Florida. Chatman ran a disappointing time in the 4.8s recently and Williams, despite good size (6-feet-6, 260), posted just 2 ½ sacks in 2003 and doesn't get off blockers very well.
Even counting Hollings, who was still rehabilitating from knee surgery last year when the Texans grabbed him and who carried just 38 times as a rookie, the supplemental draft has historically produced only a handful of players of consequence. The most notable include quarterback Bernie Kosas (Cleveland, 1985), wide receiver Cris Carter (Philadelphia, 1987), linebacker Brian Bosworth (Seattle, 1987), tailback Bobby Humphrey (Denver, 1989), wide receiver Rob Moore (New York Jets, 1990), and quarterback Dave Brown (New York Giants, 1992).
Players who are not drafted on Tuesday are free agents and able to sign with any team. The Indianapolis Colts last year signed Brad Pyatt after the Northern Colorado wideout was not chosen in the supplemental draft and he proved to be a catalyst on special teams, averaging 28.6 yards on kickoff returns and 9.2 yards on punt runbacks, before going onto injured reserve in November.
Len Pasquarelli is a senior writer for ESPN.com.
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