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Bengals unlikely to participate in NFL Supplemental Draft

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Of the three prospects entering the 2018 NFL Supplemental Draft, the Bengals probably will not be interested in selecting any of them.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals-Minicamp Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL 2018 Supplemental Draft is set to take place on July 11th at 1 p.m. ET. And this year, guys might actually get selected — yes, plural.

The Supplemental Draft is an opportunity for players who were ineligible for the NFL Draft or decided to join the league after the NFL Draft to make their way to the NFL.

How it works

Teams are not required to participate, and it is common that no one to is selected. The last time a player was selected in the Supplemental Draft was in 2015, when the Rams selected Isaiah Battle.

If a team chooses to participate, they may bid for a 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, the team bidding is awarded the player and loses 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 (by means of the 2017 NFL finishing order — worst to first) is awarded that player and loses the corresponding draft pick.

Bengals’ Supplemental Draft history

The Bengals have taken only one player from the Supplemental Draft, which was Ahmad Brooks in 2006 after he was dismissed from UVA because of off-the-field issues.

How about this year?

The Bengals will probably leave it at that for the time being, as they are probably not interested in this year’s prospects, considering the players the team selected in the NFL Draft.

The top players this year are:

  • Mississippi State DB Brandon Bryant
  • Western Michigan CB Sam Beal
  • Virginia Tech CB Adonis Alexander.

Since the Bengals took three defensive backs in the draft this May and signed several more as undrafted free agents, they will probably not want to forfeit a future draft pick for a position at which they already thoroughly addressed.

The team did attend Beal’s pro day, but it was likely just due diligence and not an indication that they’re seriously considering drafting him.

Even if the Bengals needed help, Supplemental Draft picks are still relatively unattractive. Not only would a team lose a pick in the 2019 draft, but these players often carry baggage with them, since most are dismissed from their college programs due to academic or off-the-field issues. For instance, Terrelle Pryor (who was selected by the Raiders in 2011) was suspended from Ohio State for violating NCAA rules on “improper benefits.” Josh Gordon (selected by the Browns in 2012) was dismissed from Baylor for a reason which will surprise no-one—he failed a marijuana test.

Very rarely is the reason for a players’ dismissal something benign. Cris Carter, who is the only Supplemental Draft pick to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, is a rare case, since he was ruled ineligible to play at Ohio State because he signed with an agent.

Given the talent that this draft boasts, however, its possible to speculate that one or two players will be taken. If no one were taken this year, it would be the longest drought since the Supplemental Draft was introduced 1977. Both Bryant and Beal have been highly regarded as draft prospects, so if a team is is strongly lacking in their secondary, they could select one of those two players.

Alexander worked out for 26 teams at his recent pro day, including the Jets, Saints, Chiefs and Colts. Bryant’s pro day was attended by 11 teams and Beal’s pro day was very well-attended as well.

With that said, don’t expect the Bengals to be the ones selecting a player in this year’s supplemental draft. But, it could be the first year since 2010 that multiple guys get picked.