The NFL will hold it’s 2010 Supplemental Draft on July 15th and one of the players to keep an eye on is former BYU running back Harvey Unga
An event that most NFL fans don’t know about takes center stage on July 15th at 1 p.m. EST. With only two weeks before training camps, the “League that Never Sleeps” will hold their annual “Supplemental Draft”. This is the other draft for players leaving school for “special” reasons (Academics, Family Obligations, etc) – nothing like it’s megawatt cousin, the bigger NFL Draft that occurs every April.
The supplemental draft used to be conducted on a conference call but now it is performed via e-mail. All 32 teams will be involved in the three-step, weighted process. Teams with six wins or less in 2009 participate in the first lottery for the top six picks, followed by a second group of non-playoff teams and a third group of the 12 playoff teams from last season. If a team elects to use a supplemental draft pick on one of the eligible prospects, that team will give up its pick in the same round in next April’s draft (2011).
We will have to see if any of this year’s 4 players that have applied will garner a pick. But usually the players in this “special “draft” go unselected and an undrafted free agent or Arena Football/UFL/CFL career awaits them. Since the draft’s inception in 1977, thirty-eight players have been selected with nine never playing in a regular-season game — future Hall of Famer receiver Cris Carter is the high water mark selected by the Philadelphia Eagles (4th RD pick in 1987) after Ohio State told him to take a walk for dealings with agents.
Other notable former NFL Supplemental Draft selections from it’s heyday in the late-80s and early-90s were QB Bernie Kosar (1st Rd – Cleveland Browns), LB Brian Bosworth (1st Rd – Seattle Seahawks), QB Steve Walsh (1st Rd – Dallas Cowboys), QB Timm Rosenbach (1st Rd – Phoenix Cardinals), RB Bobby Humphrey (1st Rd – Denver Broncos), WR Rob Moore (1st Rd – New York Jets) and Dave Brown (1st Rd – New York Giants). Also current NFL players San Diego Chargers DT Jamal Williams (2nd Rd, 1998), Washington Redskins DT Jeremy Jarmon (3rd round, 2009) and Baltimore Ravens OT Jared Gaither (5th Rd, 2007) were selected in the supplemental draft.
Last year, Jarmon was the only player selected and in 2008 due to a lack of interest the league didn’t even hold the event. But the 2010 NFL Supplemental Draft does appear to have a few solid prospects that probably will get selected somewhere after the 3rd round of today’s process, if they are lucky.
The prospects eligible for the 2010 NFL Supplemental Draft include:
Illinois DT Josh Price-Brent – What every 3-4 team in the NFL is looking for a big (6’2, 321) tough two-gapper. Price-Brent had some academic difficulty at Illinois, but he is a cat-quick defensive lineman that compiled stats of 71 tackles, 17½ tackles for loss, 5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles and 2 fumble recoveries in 3 years for the Illini. He is expected to go off the board before the other eligible players with some saying Price-Brent could be a third- or fourth-round pick.
BYU RB Harvey Unga – A “bull” of a runner that has garnered attention from at least 10 teams. Reminds me of former Steelers Super Bowl hero Jerome Bettis as he is big (6’1, 244) and fast (4.6 in the forty). He may have violated his tough university’s code, but his stats show he has great ability. Unga in 3 years at BYU compiled 3,446 yards on 692 carries with 35 touchdowns. A three-time 1,000-yard rusher, he also had 102 catches for 1,085 yards and 9 TDs. Could go around the 4th or 5th Rd and definitely watch the Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots.
Truman State (Mo.) H-Back Vanness Emokpae – Played FB, TE, WR and Wildcat QB at a small Division II school. Emokpae (5’11, 240) comeback from a 2008 knee injury to lead his team in rushing (97 carries, 546 yards, and 5TDs) and receiving (26 catches, 365 yards, and 4TDs) in 2009. At best a team could take a shot on him in the 7th Rd, but looks like a free agent type. Has an Alge Crumpler type build, but I am not sure he is pro tight end material. Emokpae will need to impress on special teams and as a fullback if he wants to make an NFL team, that is if he even ends up in a training camp.
Northwestern (La.) State RB Quentin Castille – This former Nebraska Cornhusker was an underachiever in Lincoln and at Northwestern State. Castille (6’, 245) only spent one year at the tiny Louisiana school where he produced minor stats 106 rushes for 337 yards and 1 TD. Definitely will be a free agent type player that could possibly get a shot as a training camp “body”.