Every year, players deemed ineligible for the upcoming college football season can apply for eligibility in the NFL’s supplemental draft. This year, there are five players with three names topping the list as guys who may very well get selected.
If you’re not familiar with the supplemental draft rules, let me break it down really quick. All 32 NFL teams are broken into three groups. The Buccaneers are in the first of these groups having won fewer than seven games in 2017.
All eleven teams who fit the same criteria will be entered into a lottery which will determine the order of the first eleven picks in this year’s supplemental draft. This means Jason Licht could get first crack in each round at any of the eligible players. He could also get the eleventh.
Beyond that, the remainder of the teams are broken up into two other categories and ordered by group lotteries as well.
Once the order has been set, all 32 teams get ten minutes in each of the seven rounds. These ten minutes will be used to determine if the team wants to offer up their selection in the round for a supplemental draft player.
If any of the teams chooses to spend their pick in the round on a player and are the only team to offer a pick, then they are awarded the player at the expense of their 2019 NFL Draft selection in the same round.
In a situation where multiple teams offer in the same round the team holding the highest pick in the round will get the player. Again, they would then sacrifice their pick in that round for the next year.
Teams are not required to participate, but this year I have a feeling most of them will.
Got it? Let’s look at why the Bucs might be players in this thing.
For one, they need talent. The team did a lot this offseason to address some key areas of the roster, but one still weighs heavily as a question mark: The secondary.
Justin Evans is a player on the rise, Chris Conte had a pretty solid 2017, Brent Grimes was solid as usual, and Vernon Hargreaves III was just getting his legs under him in the slot when he left with an injury.
Beyond those guys, there was much left to be desired from the cornerback and safety positions.
In response, Tampa Bay drafted three defensive backs as part of their eight-player haul. All three certainly have potential, but do you know what’s better than one bite of an apple? Two. It gets even better when the second bite might come out of someone else’s basket.
This leads to the second reason the Bucs could be players in this year’s supplemental draft. It’s all about the future. Specifically, the coaching staff and general manager’s futures.
I’ve long held the belief Jason Licht could be retained even if Dirk Koetter isn’t. But I’d be delusional not to acknowledge the fact it’s rare for a general manager to have two failed head coaches and get a third.
So, in this sense, if Licht and Koetter are on the legendary ‘hot seat’ then they really only have this season to rely on. And using draft capital from a future they are not guaranteed to be a part of might be their best bet at seeing that very future.
Now, what about the players? Like I said, there are five, and they are:
- Adonis Alexander, DB – Virginia Tech
- Sam Beal, DB – Western Michigan
- Brandon Bryant, DB – Mississippi State
- Martayveus Carter, RB – Grand Valley State
- Bright Ugwoegbu, LB – Oregon State
The list is in alphabetical order, but it might as well be in order of likelihood the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will draft them.
Carter and Ugwoegbu are highly unlikely to be selected. By anyone, but especially the Bucs.
So, let’s draw closer to the first three, all of whom happen to be defensive backs.
ADONIS ALEXANDER – VIRGINIA TECH
Alexander isn’t widely considered the best prospect in this group, but this is actually one of the reasons why he may be the top guy on the Bucs’ supplemental draft board.
Simply put, with the very small success of supplemental draft players, it’s just not often you see teams give up premium draft picks for these guys.
Alexander could likely be snagged for a fourth-round pick with his ceiling being a third-rounder unless someone is really in love with him.
The former Virginia Tech defender is in the draft because of academics. According to an interview he gave to Sporting News, he says all of his problems stem from youthful immaturity magnified by an inflated ego as a freshman.
He wouldn’t be the first young man to suffer from these afflictions, and he has the raw talent to be an NFL player. There are no reports of his on-field studies hurting, so if this is truly a school issue, then he should be scooped up by someone.
SAM BEAL – WESTERN MICHIGAN
This defensive back is the man topping most lists heading into July 11th. Matt Miller recently tweeted out he’s hearing several AFC teams as possibly having their sights set on the Western Michigan product.
Sitting down with Sam Beal today for an upcoming feature. Hearing Rd 2-3 bids for him with a few AFC teams very interested.— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) July 2, 2018
What fans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would like is the addition of another cornerback over six-feet tall who plays with length.
Beal also has the ability to play in either zone or man coverages and isn’t averse to getting physical against opposing receivers.
Weighing in at 178 lbs is a little underwhelming and is likely due to an effort to get faster for his Pro Day where he ran a decent time, not great.
Like Alexander, Beal was declared academically ineligible for the 2018 college football season after the 2018 NFL Draft.
Overall, he definitely possesses some athletic ability and coverage skills. The price tag may be a bit high though. I could see the Bucs volunteering a third-round pick for him, just not a second.
BRANDON BRYANT – MISSISSIPPI STATE
Bryant is a never-say-never situation for this as Tampa Bay didn’t have anyone on hand in late June when he worked out for evaluators.
He’s a little bit bigger of a long-shot to get selected but has garnered some interests from teams.
Beal and Alexander are certainly the favorites while Bryant holds a puncher’s chance of getting taken in the 2018 Supplemental Draft.
Alexander also held a workout where he measured in taller and heavier than Beal and ran about one half of a second slower.
Both young men look like NFL caliber prospects, but prospects they still are. Neither should be looked at as immediate starters, but both are guys who could find early roles on whatever teams take them.
While all 32 NFL teams were in attendance for Beal’s workout, 26 were on hand for Alexander’s. While I couldn’t confirm whether or not Tampa Bay sent anyone, there are reports the New Orleans Saints showed interest in him. So, we could see him one way or another.
How do you feel about the current state of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ secondary, and do you want to see any of the available players get picked by Licht?
What do you want from the supplemental draft?
This poll is closed
Pass on all three