For NFL fans, the supplemental draft often feels shrouded in mystery: Unlike the regular draft, which is a much-hyped major event, the supplemental draft comes and goes before many fans even realize it.
This year’s supplemental draft begins Wednesday at 1 p.m. Eastern, and as many as three players — Western Michigan cornerback Sam Beal, Virginia Tech cornerback Adonis Alexander and Mississippi State safety Brandon Bryant — have a decent chance of being selected. Two other players — Oregon State linebacker Bright Ugwoegbu and Grand Valley State running back Marty Carter — are eligible to be selected but probably won’t be, and will have to hope some team invites them to training camp as an undrafted free agent.
One thing that makes the supplemental draft different from the regular draft is that the NFL uses an NBA-style draft lottery to determine the order: The teams with worse records have a better chance of getting higher supplemental draft picks, but the supplemental draft does not follow the same order as the regular draft.
What’s also different is that the supplemental draft ends quickly: Each round can last just 10 minutes, so the whole draft would last at most 70 minutes — and probably even less than that.
PFT requested a primer on the supplemental draft, and the league provided us with the following:
1. The Draft will continue until all players have been selected or seven rounds have been completed, whichever occurs first. Each round will last 10 minutes.
2. If a player is selected in a given round, the selecting club will forfeit its selection in the same round in the subsequent Principal Draft, which is scheduled for April 25-27, 2019.
3. Priority in the Supplemental Draft will be established by a weighted lottery, which will be conducted on the morning of the Supplemental Draft. Clubs will be notified of the priority for the Supplemental Draft shortly before 1:00 p.m. Once the Draft has begun, no further trades involving draft choices will be accepted until it is over. The order of each round will reflect any previously completed trades.
4. Choices to which a club does not own clear title may not be exercised. For example, Club A has traded its own 2019 third-round choice to Club B for a player, contingent upon that player being a member of Club A’s Active List at some time during the 2018 regular season. Because there is no way at this time to determine which club will end up with the 2019 choice (i.e., it may revert to Club A if the roster contingency is not fulfilled), the choice may not be exercised by either club in the Supplemental Draft.
5. To expedite what otherwise would be a very lengthy procedure, the following steps will be taken for each round:
a) At 1:00 p.m., the League office will notify all clubs that the first round has begun.
b) Clubs will then have 10 minutes, with the time limit running concurrently for all Clubs, to respond if they wish to select in Round One. All responses should be immediate. This is in lieu of the procedure used during the regular Draft under which an individual club’s allotted time limit does not begin until the Club ahead of it has made its selection.
c) Any club that knows in advance that it will pass the opportunity to select for the entire seven rounds, or for a specific number of rounds fewer than seven, is requested to advise the League office prior to the beginning of the Draft. intentions will be kept confidential from other clubs and will be used only to expedite this process.
d) If a player is selected in a given round — even if selected by more than one club — the selections will be compiled and the player will be awarded to the club that holds priority. Clubs are to be notified immediately of players awarded to other clubs. Clubs that hold more than one choice in a round must indicate to the League office which choice they are using for the selection.