It's draft day, Buccaneer fans!!! Supplemental draft day, that is. Yes, once again, the smell of promise and hope permeates through One Buccaneer Place as we wait and see if the team will make a move today for a star for tomorrow.
Unlike the glorious fanfare and endless promotions of the main draft process, the Supplemental NFL Draft is conversely held just as quietly. In fact, speaking of quietly, the format of the selection for any given player enrolled in the draft is through a silent auction format. A team must decide what is the absolute highest 2011 draft pick it is willing to part with and hope it's enough to secure the rights to the player.
As for the Supplemental Draft order and process, it's different from the main draft in order and is best summarized as per the following by the Draft wikipedia page:
Draft order is determined by a weighted system that is divided into three groupings. First come the teams that had six or fewer wins last season, followed by non-playoff teams that had more than six wins, followed by the 12 playoff teams. In the supplemental draft, a team is not required to use any picks. Instead, if a team wants a player in the supplemental draft, they submit a "bid" to the Commissioner with the round they would pick that player. If no other team places a bid on that player at an earlier spot, the team is awarded the player and has to give up an equivalent pick in the following year's draft. (For example, FS Paul Oliver was taken by the San Diego Chargers in the fourth round of the Supplemental Draft in 2007; thus, in the 2008 NFL Draft, the Chargers forfeited a fourth-round pick.)
So with that in mind, are there any worthwhile players out there worth snaring? Does anyone actually pan out in the Supplemental Draft? Hit the jump for more.
Truth be told, there have been some significant players taken in the supplemental draft over the years, including Bernie Kosar, Brian Bosworth, Cris Carter, Mike Wahle, Jared Gaither, Ahmad Brooks, and Bobby Humphrey. This year, there are four players that have thrown their hats into the ring to try to become another name on that list. This year's draft-eligible players include Illinois DT Josh Price-Brent, BYU RB Harvey Unga, Northwestern State RB Quentin Castille, and Truman State RB Vaness Emokpae.
It appears that Unga, from what I've read, has garnered the most interest among teams. Unga is a big back (a hair over 6', 245 pounds) who can carry the ball between the tackles. I think he could be a guy who could find himself anywhere from in a rotation as a featured back to a Spencer Havner-type role at FB out of the backfield. Mocking The Draft has a snippet on Unga, with the following report:
Unga is the BYU career rushing leader with 3,455 yards and considered entering the 2010 NFL Draft. He has a good blend of size (6-foot 3/4, 245 pounds) and agility. By no means is her a speed burner, but he has good lateral agility and can make people miss.
He's also shown to be a good enough pass receiver. Unga has a tendency to run with too much urgency and can get upright between the tackles. He also has some injury issues. He sat out the 2006 season with a hip injury and a broken hand sidelined him a game in 2009. He's also has minor ankle issues throughout his career.
Drafting Unga could be a two-edged sword for the Buccaneers. On one hand, drafting a RB makes sense, as they avoided RB altogether in the mail draft. As such, with a stable of aging, oft-injured, and/or less-than-elite options in the running game, RB could arguably now be the greater position of need long-term than the DT position (don't want the masses to flip out or misconstrue what I'm saying). With success in the running game and an anticipated plan to stick with the run more in 2010, a bruising young back could be something that's attractive for the Buccaneers both now and down the road.
On the other hand, the Buccaneers paid big money for Ward and already have a crowded backfield of Graham, Ward, Caddy, Clifton Smith, and Kareem Huggins all ready to fight for playing time in training camp. If the Buccaneers don't see Unga as anything more than a serviceable rotation back, they might not sacrifice the draft pick.
As for that pick, for either Unga or Price-Best, I don't see the Buccaneers parting with anything more than the extra 5th-round pick they acquired from the Denver Broncos during the draft back in April. A 4th round pick for either player seems a bit high at this point. I haven't read a report or seen any video on the two other backs, so if anyone's got any knowledge to drop on us about these guys, please do so. As for Price-Best, Mocking The Draft noted the following about him:
Listed at 6-foot-2 and 315 pounds, he's a slow-footed plugger in the middle. He started 12 games for Illinois in 2009, totaling 29 tackles, seven tackles for loss, three sacks and three forced fumbles.
Doesn't sound exactly like a speedy, one-gap pocket collapser like our other two prized draft picks. At best, he probably has a ceiling of a quality depth player, but I wouldn't look for him to be a difference maker worth sacrificing a premium draft pick.
So....should the Bucs part with any of their draft picks for Unga, Price-Best or the other two players? If so, what would you be willing to part with to get him? Let's hear it, Buc'Em.