How Does The NFL Supplemental Draft Work?

I keep reading stories about college player so-and-so entering the NFL supplemental draft but nothing about what the Supplemental Draft is nor how it works. The paucity of information about the NFL supplemental draft has driven me to provide it.

When And Where Is The 2005 NFL Supplemental Draft?

This year’s supplemental draft takes place on July 14th and it is held in cyberspace, via email. It used to be held by conference call.

Who Is Eligible For The NFL Supplemental Draft?

College players that missed eligibility for the traditional April NFL draft but have decided to enter the NFL, usually because the cannot return to college for one reason or another (usually academic) or who have simply decided to enter the draft early. The NFL supplemental draft is held only if players declare for it; if no players decide to enter the supplemental draft, there is no draft.

How Does The NFL Supplemental Draft Work?

A that picks a player in the supplemental draft must forfeit a corresponding pick in the following year’s regular draft. So, for example, if the Vikings take a player in the third round of the supplemental draft, they could not use their third round pick in the following year’s April draft. Conversely, if the Vikings had traded away their 2006 third round pick, they could not pick in the third round of this year’s supplemental draft.

Obviously, teams will be reluctant to risk high-round picks on supplemental draft players. Due the nature of the supplemental draft, there are obviously not nearly as many players available as in the regular draft (this year there are only five). These two factors cause many teams to pass on the supplemental draft.

Draft order is determined by a complicated semi-lottery system.

If any of the players who entered the supplemental draft are not selected, they can become free agents and sign with any team.