The 'Boz', Carter and Kosar: Best and Worst of NFL's Supplemental Draft
The NFL excels -- between the combine, free agency, the draft, OTAs and minicamps -- at keeping itself in the news year-round. The league all but shuts down, however, in the three to four weeks leading up to training camps, so besides the occasional police blotter item and Brett Favre speculation, what can we talk about?
The supplemental draft, that's what.
(Hey, didn't I just say it was a slow time of year?)
On July 15, players that were not in the pool for the April draft (and, for whatever reason, won't play college football this fall) will be available to any team willing to put up a 2011 draft pick in a blind auction. Using the pecking order of the 2010 draft, teams with the highest bids will have a chance at the following prospects:
• Running back Harvey Unga (above), Brigham Young's all-time rushing leader and a three-time 1,000-yard rusher, who was dismissed from the Mormon school in April, reportedly for having sex with his girlfriend of three years.
• Running back Quentin Castille, who was kicked off the Nebraska team last summer and played the '09 season at Northwestern State. He missed the original filing deadline for early entry to the April draft.
• Vaness Emokpae, who played every position except the offensive line -- including Wildcat quarterback -- at Division II Truman State and decided to put his work toward a MBA in business on hold for a run at the NFL.
• Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli, who was kicked off the team earlier this month following an arrest on marijuana possession and driving with a suspended license, his 1,386 career rushing yards are the most ever by a Ducks quarterback.
• Illinois defensive tackle Joshua Price-Brent, who was arrested on DUI charges in 2009 and flunked out during the spring semester.
If none of these names get you excited -- though, there is some buzz about Unga (and not just from the religious right) -- you could be an NFL front office guy. But don't disregard these players just because they're wrapped in a "supplemental" package.
Since 1974, when the supplemental draft was first introduced, 38 players have been selected. Eight of those players were deemed worthy enough for teams to spend a future first-round draft pick. No, those investments didn't always work out. Nor do they in the conventional draft, either.
So we take a stroll down supplemental Memory Lane, with both the good and the bad.
The Best Supplemental Draft Picks
1) Cris Carter (Philadelphia, 4th round, 1987)
The gifted Ohio State All-American was also at the center of the Norby Walters scandal, one of the most notorious pay-for-play NCAA episodes of the decade. The Eagles used only a mid-round pick to acquire a player who became one of the best young receivers in the league, before cocaine abuse cut his Philly career short. Once cleaned up, Carter jump-started his career again at Minnesota and retired in 2001 as one of only two receivers in history (at the time) with more than 1,000 catches.
2) Bernie Kosar (Cleveland, 1st round, 1985)
A confluence of unusual and fortunate circumstances -- most notably, a bidding war with the USFL and the fact he was poised to graduate with two degrees after just two seasons playing at the University of Miami -- allowed Kosar, an Ohio native, to enter the supplemental draft knowing he would play for his hometown Cleveland Browns. Kosar led the Browns to three AFC title games over his first five seasons, only to lose them all, including two infamous heartbreakers vs. Denver ("The Drive," courtesy of John Elway, and "The Fumble," courtesy of Earnest Byner).
3) Rob Moore (New York Jets, 1st round, 1990)
Coming out of Syracuse, he drew comparisons to another Orange great, Art Monk, and Moore did his part to deliver. In 10 seasons with the Jets and five with Arizona, Moore caught 628 passes and 48 touchdowns.
4) Mike Wahle (Green Bay, 2nd round, 1998)
Entered the supplemental draft after completing his military commitment for Navy. Though he started at the academy as a wide receiver, Wahle grew into an offensive lineman and eventually became part of the Packers wall that protected Favre during his prime. He later signed as a free agent with Carolina and helped the Panthers reach the NFC title game. Wahle started 138 of the 152 games of his 11-year career that ended with Seattle in '08.
5) Jamal Williams (San Diego, 2nd round, 1998)
The only active player on our list, Williams came out of Oklahoma State and grew to become the quintessential space-eater in the Chargers' 3-4 defense, three times being voted to the Pro Bowl and twice being named first-team All-Pro. Williams was released this offseason, but the Chargers aren't finished with him. Williams signed with rival Denver, so he gets San Diego twice this season.
Also worth mentioning:
Steve Walsh (Dallas, 1st round, 1989): Dallas forfeited the No. 1 overall pick for Walsh, quarterback out of Miami, mere weeks after taking Troy Aikman first overall in the regular draft. Seemed dumb at the time, but his later trade to New Orleans brought draft picks that turned into Russell Maryland and Erik Williams, two stalwarts on a trio of Super Bowl teams.
Bobby Humphrey (1st round, 1989): Alabama star rushed for back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons his first two years, then was never the same (and was traded) after an ugly contract holdout.
Jared Gaither (Baltimore, 5th round, 2007): Local Maryland product is locking down tackle spot opposite Michael "Blindside" Oher.
1) Brian Bosworth (Seattle, 1st round, 1987)
The "Boz" was the "Bust". The outspoken Oklahoma star linebacker used his flamboyance (oh, that hair and those quotes), brains (he was an outstanding student) and steroids (suspended from Orange Bowl national title game) to carve out an identity of a popular anti-hero. Once in the NFL -- and off-the-juice -- it was clear the guy couldn't play. A month into his third pro season, Bosworth was forced to retire with a shoulder injury.
2) David Wilson (New Orleans, 1st round, 1981)
Ruled ineligible for his senior year at Illinois, Wilson was taken by the Saints as the heir apparent to franchise quarterback Archie Manning. The franchise, of course, could do nothing right at the time. Wilson, who cost the Saints the No. 3 overall pick the following year, suffered a knee injury as a rookie and never was the same, going 12-19 as a starter and retiring in 1990.
3) Timm Rosenbach (Phoenix, 1st round, 1989)
The death of his father prompted a loss of on- and off-field focus for Rosenbach at Washington State. He never regained it. Rosenbach played just three seasons, throwing 16 touchdowns and 24 interceptions. The Cards would have picked in the top five in '90, but given their first-round run of futility back in the day -- Anthony Bell, Eric Hill, Kelly Stoufer -- they'd have blown that one, too.
4) Dave Brown (New York Giants, 1st round, 1992)
Another Steve Spurrier-groomed quarterback who fell on his face in the NFL. Brown left Duke early -- two seasons after Spurrier went to Florida -- and eventually was plucked by Giants front-office maven George Young, who pegged Brown as replacement for Phil Simms. Brown (44 TDs, 58 INTs, 67.9 career rating) played six disappointing seasons in New York and his last three pro years in Arizona.
5) Tony Hollings (Houston, 2nd round, 2003)
A severe knee injury at Georgia Tech made Hollings a huge supplemental question mark, but the Texans rolled the dice with a second-round choice, anyway -- and came up 6s and 9s. Hollings started one game in three pro seasons, finishing with 149 yards.
Also worth mentioning:
Dan Sileo (Tampa Bay, 3rd round, 1987): Steroid abuser and Miami washout never so much as made a tackle in the NFL, yet with zero pro experience to draw on has managed to carve out a fairly successful radio career.
Darren Mickell (Kansas City, 2nd round, 1992): Academic, attendance and drug issues halted a promising career at Florida -- and beyond. He started just 60 games in nine years.
Jeremy Jarmon (Washington, 3rd round, 2009): Kentucky defensive tackle had eight tackles in 11 games last season, further proving clueless former GM Vinny Cerrato respected draft picks like Michael Vick respected dogs.