The NFL’s Supplemental Draft is usually held around the middle of July — before training camps open but after most of the teams’ offseason workouts. And it almost never gets any attention — either by the teams, the NFL, or the fans. The 2010 draft was mainly reported on by 140-character Twitter tweets. And that’s pretty much the way it should be. There haven’t been many offensive stars selected through the Supplemental Draft. Bernie Kosar, Cris Carter, and Rob Moore… that’s about it. The players who enter the Supplemental Draft are generally those who didn’t declare for the regular April draft and whose collegiate situations suddenly and drastically changed.
This year, though, the Supplemental Draft is getting a little bit more attention because of one player — QB Terrelle Pryor of Ohio State. Pryor was at the center of your typical NCAA student-athlete money scandal and was thought to be ready to come back to finish his senior season at the school until it was determined — after a lot of politicking — that he would be ineligible. So he, along with a few defensive prospects and Georgia RB Caleb King, have declared for this year’s Supplemental Draft, which will be held on Monday, August 22.
As a dynasty fantasy football player, should you care? Meh… maybe a little. Both Pryor and Caleb King have some skills, but neither is going to contribute at a level where you really have to think about picking them up yet. Especially since, if they are even drafted, they won’t have the benefit of offseason workouts or even the smallest bit of training camp experience. Neither will have a chance to impress their coaching staffs. As a result, the 2011 prospects of either guy are very limited. In addition, Pryor brings a 5-game suspension with him into the NFL — he won’t be able to practice or play for the first five weeks of the season.
Regardless, as I said, both Pryor and King have skills. But regardless of what his agent Drew Rosenhaus says, Pryor is not a 1st-round talent. Pryor has great size, is a good runner and has shifty feet, but doesn’t have great change-of-direction skills or power (surprising with his size). He also tends to be careless with the ball when he’s running. As a passer, he has experience running a pro-style offense at Ohio State, but his QB skills are sub-par. He tends to stare down his receivers. He’s not very accurate at any level of the field. He throws off his back foot too often in addition to having other mechanical flaws. He does move around well in the pocket and keeps his eyes downfield looking to pass instead of run first, but he tends to make poor decisions on the run. Overall, if he were in the regular April draft, I’d give him a 7th-round grade. In the Supplemental Draft, I don’t expect him to be drafted at all before the 5th round, and is more likely to go in the 6th or 7th round. At that point, I think some team will take him and make him at least a two-year project — he needs a lot of work, but has athleticism that could pay off in time under a good QB coach.
Caleb King is another junior who is a former 5-star high school recruit. He’s in the draft because he was ruled academically ineligible at Georgia for the 2011 season. He has good vision and pass-protection skills, and looks very comfortable on outside runs — slightly less so running inside. But he looks like he’d be fairly effective running in a zone-blocking system where he’s expected to just make one cut and go. He has average speed and size, and has above-average power and agility. He has good enough pass-protection ability and hands to be an effective 3rd-down back. However, I don’t actually expect him to be selected in the Supplemental Draft — there are just so many RBs out there right now who have been in camp, know the playbook or are experienced enough to help out a team right away. That being said, RB is the one position where a player can come in right away and contribute. If he’s selected — probably not before Round 7, he could make a roster with a solid preseason performance. The Detroit Lions have shown some interest, and I’ve seen reports of from 4-10 teams attending his recent pro day workout. If you want to see an excellent video of him, go here.
There are plenty of better prospects out there than Terrelle Pryor. So unless you’re in a super-deep and large dynasty league, you probably don’t even have to consider picking him up. As for King, watch where he signs and keep him on your watch list. He likely won’t contribute in 2011, but could work his way into a few touches here and there. And in 2012, maybe more. But he’s also only roster-worthy in super-deep dynasty leagues.