INDIANAPOLIS — With the calm before the NFL training camp storm upon us, the time of year has come for the league's supplemental draft.
The NFL Supplemental Draft — which allows eligible players who did not declare for the spring NFL Draft to declare for the league before the season begins — will reportedly be held this week on Wednesday.
Players may be granted eligibility into the supplemental draft for various reasons, though the most common are for academic ineligibility or dismissal from their college team for the upcoming season.
Here's how the whole process works, according to the NFL Operations website:
"In July, the league may hold one supplemental draft for players whose eligibility has changed since the NFL Draft. A player may not bypass the NFL Draft to be eligible for the supplemental draft. Teams do not have to participate in the supplemental draft; if they choose to do so, they may bid for the player by telling the league the round in which they would like to take a specific player. If no other club bids on that player, they are awarded the player and lose a pick in the following year's NFL Draft that corresponds with the round in which they were awarded the player. If multiple teams submit bids for the player, the highest bidder is awarded that player and loses the corresponding draft pick."
"If multiple teams submit bids, the player goes to the highest bidder, according to a slotted lottery system that breaks up teams into three different groups: non-playoff teams with six or fewer wins, non-playoff teams with more than six wins and playoff teams," per Bucky Brooks of NFL.com."
The Indianapolis Colts will be part of the third group along with the other 11 playoff teams from last season.
The Colts, as of now, officially have eight 2020 draft picks at their disposal that they can use to bid in this year's supplemental draft. That includes an extra second-rounder acquired from the Washington Redskins in the regular draft back in April.
While it is not common for players to be selected in the supplemental draft — only eight picks have been made in the last 10 years — last year was the most loaded supplemental draft in recent memory as Sam Beal (New York Giants, third round) and Adonis Alexander (Redskins, sixth round) were both chosen.
While the Colts have never claimed a player in the supplemental draft, there are five available in this year's class and a couple of them seem likely to be selected leaguewide. Here's a look at those prospects:
Jalen Thompson | Safety | Washington State
Possible Draft Stock: Rounds 2-4
The Player: Already considered to be one of the top safeties in next year's draft, we'll see if not having that extra season of film Thompson would've had in 2019 affects his draft stock much. Listed at 6-0, 195, Thompson has a slender, albeit adequate frame for free safety. While he was able to contribute against the run in college in the Pac-12, he will likely need to bulk up a little if he is to hold up against the run in the NFL. Otherwise, he is more of a pass defender with the ability to play in the slot as well as safety. He has a nose for making plays on the ball, coming down with six interceptions and 17 pass breakups in 39 games. Overall, he's an instinctual, well-balanced, playmaking safety prospect who would be deserving of being picked.
Marcus Simms | Wide Receiver | West Virginia
Possible Draft Stock: Rounds 3-5
The Player: Simms' stock likely would've improved over the course of the season with David Sills and Gary Jennings' departure to the NFL opening up more opportunity, but NFL teams will need to make their choice on him now. Simms has adequate size at 6-0, 195, and he has a very balanced game. He has natural hands, good speed and quickness and is already a polished route runner. Like so many receivers in the 2019 draft class, Simms is another playmaker after the catch, as his athleticism and toughness make him tough to bring down. The latter especially shows up in the kickoff and punt return games (41 kickoff returns for 24.2-yard average and 23 punt returns for 6.8 average).
Shyheim Cullen | Linebacker | Syracuse
The Player: While not a significant contributor to Syracuse's defense until the second half of the 2018 season, Cullen's athletic profile and testing show some promise. Per Syracuse.com:
"Cullen was recently measured at 39 inches in the vertical jump -- a mark that would've tied for third among linebackers in the NFL Scouting Combine. He also checked in at 4.51 seconds in the 40-yard dash (t-5th) and 118 inches in the broad jump (t-14th). He consistently pushes out 23 reps (t-10th) in the 225-pound bench press."
Measuring at 6-0, 224 and coming from a 4-3 defense, Cullen could be an interesting option for a team like the Colts to investigate.
Devonaire Clarington | Tight End | Northland Community College
The Player: Clarington is huge, measuring at 6-7, 230. He began his college career at the University of Texas but since played at Blinn Junior College and Northland Community College after reportedly being ruled academically ineligible in Austin. He had 48 catches for 916 yards and 11 touchdowns at Northland.
Bryant Perry | Defensive Back | St. Francis (Ill.)
The Player: Listed at 6-0, 180, Perry is apparently even more slender than Thompson, although Perry is listed generally as a defensive back rather than a corner or safety. He began his career at Mesabi Range College in Minnesota where he earned All-Minnesota Collegiate Athletic Conference honors, before moving on to the University of St. Francis.
"Perry played two seasons at Mesabi Range College in Minnesota, where he made 55 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, a forced fumble, an interception and six pass breakups in 13 games," according to Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk. "He had 24 tackles and three pass breakups last season in seven games at Saint Francis."
"I think I can fit into an organization simply because of my work ethic," Perry said in an interview with NFL Draft Diamonds. "I'm going to bring that spark to the team just off that. I will make everybody else want to get better not just me and being serious about breathing that same type of spirit Ray Lewis brought to the game."