Supplemental draft prospects
Supplemental draft prospects
By John Murphy, Yahoo! Sports
June 22, 2007
Each year, the NFL's supplemental draft includes a variety of interesting prospects who generally have a less-than-exciting impact on the rosters they join.
Among this year's candidates are Georgia cornerback Paul Oliver, Nebraska offensive tackle Chris Patrick, Morgan State defensive tackle Robert Armstrong, Texas State defensive end/linebacker Mark Washington and Connecticut safety Donta Moore. Another interesting name to keep an eye on over the next few weeks is Maryland offensive tackle Jared Gaither, who has had both off-field and academic issues, and could file the necessary paper work to be considered for the supplemental draft on July 13.
Here's a brief breakdown on some of the prospects who have already declared.
Oliver held his own Pro Day on Wednesday, which was attended by numerous league scouts and talent evaluators. The All-SEC defender displayed very good footwork, quickness and ball skills, but failed to overwhelm evaluators with his 40-yard times (4.50 range) and vertical jump (33.5 vertical). However, he did shut down wide receiver Calvin Johnson, taken No. 2 overall by the Detroit Lions during the NFL draft in April, during the Bulldogs' win over Georgia Tech last season.
Oliver could have conceivably entered his senior campaign with a first-round grade. However, his early entry into the NFL because of his failure to keep up with his academics means that he'll likely be targeted by teams holding an extra third- or fourth-round pick in 2008 or franchises which were unable to secure a top-rated cornerback in the regular draft.
He had 57 tackles, three interceptions and showed ideal size (5-11, 195 pounds), while also being able to run stride for stride with most of the top SEC pass catchers. Oliver has long arms and shows the ability to time his leaps to keep taller receivers from gaining an advantage on him while the ball is in the air.
His game film would seem to show that he has better game speed than 40 times, which offers him the chance to help out in nickel and dime packages for the team that decides to add him through the draft. There are a number of teams that have private workouts set up with Oliver, including the Atlanta Falcons and the San Diego Chargers, according to his agent Jason Chayut.
Patrick is an interesting prospect that began to show signs of becoming another in the long line of talented Cornhuskers' blockers last season. He recorded times in the 5.20-5.30 range, although a few watches showed times just under 5.20. His 31 bench reps of 225 pounds show that he has the weight room strength to be a worthwhile long-range prospect, although there was a split between whether he should remain at tackle or move inside to guard.
At 6-4 5/8, 303 pounds, he ran 4.50 in the short shuttle, and recorded a 7.60 3-cone and 27" vertical. He moved well for a player of his size, but was a little stiff in certain drills. But according to his agent Joe Linta, who represents a number of offensive linemen in the NFL, most teams attending his workout (12 overall) said they had a sixth- to seventh-round grade on him.
Armstrong, a former Maryland transfer and potential sleeper of this group, has the necessary size (6-4, 318) and has flashed both quickness off the ball and pass rush skills for an interior lineman. He had three sacks in a contest against Norfolk State. One stumbling block though is an old back injury which will be reviewed by team officials.
He will work out on campus at Morgan State on June 28. Since his paper work was approved earlier this week, 10 NFL teams have inquired about game film and his workout date, according to his representative Angelo Wright.
Moore, though a much better defender in the box than when asked to drop into deep coverage, played out of position at outside linebacker as he is built ideally for strong safety. He has been timed in the 4.50 range and showed great tenacity last season as he played the final eight games of the year with a broken arm. If he can flash the type of workout numbers (37" vertical, 10' 4" broad jump) to go along with the fact that he had 16 tackles against West Virginia and 12 tackles, including 6½ tackles for loss versus Wake Forest, it could get him a solid free agent look. Keep an eye on the Green Bay Packers since their scouting director, John Dorsey, is a former Hall of Fame member of the Huskies football team.
Washington is an interesting athlete who, at roughly 6-3, 245, has been timed in the 4.55-4.60 range and transferred to Texas State from Arizona State. He was miscast in the role of being a very under-sized defensive tackle, but also failed to reach certain academic and team standards in the offseason.
Other prospects could be ruled eligible for the supplemental draft, but most would be deemed long shots. For the most part, teams are reluctant to surrender an '08 draft pick. In addition, any prospect taken must fit into this year's rookie salary cap pool. As a result, I expect to see Oliver taken between rounds three or four and Patrick possibly taken with a late choice by someone like the Houston Texans, New York Giants, Miami Dolphins, Kansas City Chiefs or Oakland Raiders – each of whom could use a young tackle/guard at an inexpensive price tag.