Oliver and Gaither Selected in Supplemental Draft

Philadelphia, Pa) —- The Supplemental draft again came and went for another year on July 12th. The event done by computer is the most untalked about date on the NFL calendar and it definitely doesn’t even have an eighth of the attention and glitz of the annual NFL Draft in New York City each April. The supplemental draft is all about college players with “special” circumstances trying to gain an opportunity to catch on in the league before teams ramp up for training camp.

In moves that were rumored in my Supplemental Draft Preview, the San Diego Chargers and Baltimore Ravens each selected a player in a seven-round supplemental draft. They took chances on my top two prospects from the “special” draft and both players are expected to fill immediate needs on their rosters. The Chargers looking to solidify their nickel and dime package coverage units picked Georgia CB Paul Oliver of Georgia in the fourth round (28th Pick of that round) and the Ravens looking to upgrade an aging offensive line selected Maryland Offensive Tackle Jared Gaither in the fifth round (31st pick of that round). By making these selections, the San Diego and Baltimore will lose corresponding picks (4th for San Diego and 5th for Baltimore) in the 2008 NFL Draft.

A player overview on Oliver and Gaither is listed below:

  • Paul Oliver (5’11, 198) is a tenacious defender, who does not possess top-level CB speed (4.5). I definitely could see Chargers D-Coordinator Ted Cottrell using him in zone coverage asking him to guard an area of the field. Oliver should team with 2006 1st round draftee Antonio Cromartie and veteran Quentin Jammer to form a strong coverage unit. I could also see him contributing on special teams and as a backup free safety. He showed that he has skills when he shut down 2007 NFL Draft Number #2 Overall pick Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson for two catches for 13 yards in their 2006 match-up. He was Georgia number one coverage player and had three interceptions, two sacks and was the team’s fifth-leading tackler.
  • Jared Gaither (6’8, 325) is a large mauling OT, who should compete on Day 1 with Ravens RT Adam Terry. I could see Ravens Head Coach Brian Billick grooming Gaither to be the eventual replacement for franchise cornerstone LT Jonathan Ogden. Gaither when he was on the field and not in trouble (preseason suspension, injuries and academic troubles) was arguably the Terrapins’ most talented lineman. In his first season as a freshman he started eight games at Left OT and did not allow a sack. He then showed his versatility by switching to Right Offensive Tackle in 2006 starting nine games. He reminds me of Eagles 2006 Draftee Winston Justice (Good Reach, Punch, and Feet).

The other players that applied for the Supplemental Draft and were unselected including OLB Mark Washington (Texas State-San Marcos), OT Chris Patrick (Nebraska), DT Robert Armstrong (Morgan State), DT Clifton Dickson (Florida State), DB RoShawn Marshall (Central Missouri), DB Donta’ Moore (Connecticut), DT Brian Soi (Utah State) and OT Aaron Turner (East Central – Okla) will now have to scramble to get into an NFL camp or go the AFL, AFL2, or CFL route into the league.

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