With little going on around the NFL in early to mid July, anything that involves a draft is worth discussing.
That's pretty much how you can sum up the annual NFL Supplemental Draft, which is now set for July 12th, according NFLDraftScout's Rob Rang:
Two prospects eligible for 2017 NFL Supplemental Draft, July 12: Georgia Military DE Tavares Bingham, Western New Mexico RB Marques Rodgers.— Rob Rang (@RobRang) July 6, 2017
This is the annual draft that's often used for college players who find themselves in some form of trouble (legally, athletically, or academically) after the NFL Draft.
The process for the draft order is pretty simple. The draft starts with the 10 worst teams (based on the 2017 NFL Draft order) in the first drawing, picking the order to select first through 10th. There's a second drawing with the 10 next worst teams after that. The third drawing will feature the 12 playoff teams from last season.
Once that's determined, the draft starts. Teams submit bids for players in certain rounds without knowledge of what other teams are doing, much like a blind auction, and the highest bid wins. The price that's paid comes in the form of a draft pick next year.
A team that successfully bids on a player in the draft loses that corresponding round's pick in next year's draft. For example, the Cincinnati Bengals gave up their third-round pick in the 2007 NFL Draft after selecting Virginia Cavaliers linebacker Ahmad Brooks in the third round of the 2006 Supplemental Draft.
Brooks is actually one of the few supplemental picks that's gone on to have a productive NFL career, so it's not unheard of for the team to grab a player in this way.
Last year, we saw the Bengals sign University of Calgary Dinos receiver Rashaun Simonise after he wasn’t selected in the supplemental draft. He attempted to make the rare jump from a Canadian college to the NFL, but was unable to do so after being waived by the Bengals during final roster cuts.
Simonise didn’t land with any team’s 53-man roster or practice squad. He was also ineligible for the CFL draft this year after testing positive for a PED during his time with the Bengals. Simonise also served a four-game suspension for his violation, so it’s possible another NFL teams gives him a chance this year.
The last player to be selected in the supplemental draft was Clemson Tigers lineman Isaiah Battle. The Los Angeles Rams used a fifth-round pick to select Battle in 2015, though he’s never appeared in a game after bouncing between the practice squad and 53-man roster over the last two seasons.
This Year’s Prospects
This year, Georgia Military defensive lineman Tavares Bingham and Western New Mexico running back Marques Rodgers are the lone prospects eligible for the supplemental draft. Bingham has good size at 6’4” and 290 pounds, which is around where the Bengals prefer their 4-3 defensive ends to be at. However, Bingham didn’t play at all for GMU last season after transferring there from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. In 2015, Bingham recorded 12 total tackles and three sacks in six games.
As for Rodgers, he was also academically ineligible to play last season. At 5’10” and 175 pounds, Rodgers was named RMAC Freshman of the Year after rushing for 1,296 yards and six touchdowns in 2014. In 2015, Rodgers rushed for 1,283 yards and 10 scores while being named to the Division II All-America second team.
I seriously doubt the Bengals will spend a pick on any supplemental prospect this year, and I’d be surprised to see one of them even signed after the draft ends. The Bengals are stacked at running back and defensive end, and neither player has shown anything to suggest they’ll make it in the NFL.