In the next hour, Josh Gordon and the rest of the supplemental draft candidates will know their fate.
That’s just the beginning of their climb to an NFL job.
“It’s a catch-up game all the way,” running back Harvey Unga told Len Pasquarelli of The Sports Xchange. “No matter how good a learner you are, you have to work so hard to get caught up.”
Unga was taken by the Bears in the seventh round of the 2010 Supplemental Draft, but has yet to play in a game, showing the long odds for today’s candidates.
The rough road is partly because of all the offseason installation has happened without them, and they have such a short time to get ready for training camp.
“It’s hard because you’re kind of like the kid who starts classes a month or two [into the semester],” said Tony Hollings, a running back selected by the Texans in the second round in 2003. “You’re behind from day one.”
Hollings is the highest-drafted player since 1999, and his career was easy to forget. He started one game in 23 appearances, and never scored a touchdown. Last year’s pick, quarterback Terrelle Pryor, is clearly a long-term project for the Raiders.
But since 10 of the 41 players chosen since 1977 never played a snap in the league, it’s fair to wonder about the chances of any of the eight players eligible today.