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Road less traveled: Supplemental draft's big names


Terrelle Pryor's inclusion in Monday's supplemental draft has given the NFL's lesser-known, secondary draft more publicity than it's received in years. So why did no one care about the supplemental draft before? Well, for starters, few college players participate, and there's hardly been a grab bag of talent to be had when the draft commences, usually in July. Most of the players available are declared academically ineligible at their schools, suspended for one reason or another (as is the case with Pryor), or just flat-out missed the deadline to declare for April's draft. Still, despite the dearth of talent, some pretty notable players have gone on to have nice careers after being taken in the NFL draft's baby brother. Here's a look back at some.

Cris Carter (Eagles, 1987)

Carter was one of the better wide receivers in college football, but when it was discovered the junior had signed with a sports agent prior to the 1986 season, he was ruled ineligible for 1987. Ohio State's loss was the Eagles' gain -- or at least was supposed to be. The Randall Cunningham-to-Carter combo never really clicked, as the latter had a fallout with coach Buddy Ryan and was cut. But Carter is the best player to ever come out of the supplemental draft, as his career with the Vikings took off once he got his head on straight. Many people feel his 1,101 catches and 130 touchdowns merit inclusion into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Rob Schumacher/Associated Press

Brian Bosworth (Seahawks, 1987)

The same year Carter was taken in the supplemental draft, Bosworth was selected in the first round. The controversial linebacker had been linked to steroid use at Oklahoma, was extremely outspoken and ultimately was kicked off the team. Lost in all this was that the "Boz" was one of the greatest defensive players in college football history. He filed for the NFL Draft late so he wouldn't have to play for the Bills or Colts and ended up in Seattle. Unfortunately, all anyone remembers of his Seahawks days is Bo Jackson running through his tackle on "Monday Night Football." That's because bad shoulders ended a promising career after just three seasons.

Paul Spinelli/Associated Press

Jamal Williams (Chargers, 1998)

Bosworth was a better college player than professional, but the NFL's best defender to come out of the supplemental draft would have to be Jamal Williams. While with the Chargers, he became known in league circles as one of the toughest guys to block, as well as a premier nose tackle in the game -- despite the fact that many fans didn't know who he was. The 13-year veteran has three All-Pro selections on his résumé, which isn't bad for a guy taken in the second round of the supplemental draft

Paul Spinelli/Associated Press

Rob Moore (Jets, 1990)

Moore is another former supplemental draft pick who never got a tremendous amount of credit but had a productive career. The Jets had endured a 4-12 season in 1989, a year in which All-Pro wide receiver Al Toon had no complement to relieve consistent double coverage. Enter Moore. The speedster had 44 catches for 692 yards and six touchdowns as a rookie, and recorded 70 catches for 987 yards for a playoff-bound Jets team in 1991. In 10 seasons, Moore caught 628 passes for 9,368 yards and 71 touchdowns, including a 1,500-yard season for the Cardinals in 1997.

Greg Trott/Associated Press

Bobby Humphrey (Broncos, 1989)

A year before Moore's selection, Humphrey was picked up in the supplemental draft by the Denver Broncos. It turned out to be a stroke of genius. Tony Dorsett injured his knee in training camp, and veteran Sammy Winder was on his last legs. The Broncos had gone 8-8 in 1988 after going to the Super Bowl following the 1986 and 1987 seasons. A big problem was the ground attack, which Humphrey solved with a 1,151-yard rookie season. His career would flame out after just four seasons but not before he notched another 1,000-yard season in 1990.

National Football League

Steve Walsh (Cowboys, 1989)

Walsh is better known for what his trade value turned into than what he accomplished on the field. Jimmy Johnson's decision to draft Walsh was extremely controversial, considering Dallas had already taken Troy Aikman first overall in April. In fact, Walsh, who was Johnson's former quarterback at the University of Miami, started in Dallas' only win of 1989. Meanwhile, Aikman went 0-11 as a starter. But Walsh's true value was seen a year later, when Johnson dealt him to the Saints and got a first-, second-, and third-round draft pick in return. What a haul for a career backup.

Lenny Ignelzi/Associated Press

Bernie Kosar (Browns, 1985)

In terms of value to one team, Kosar is easily the best supplemental draft pick of all time. Kosar's agent orchestrated a scheme in which the soon-to-be-graduating quarterback with two years eligibility remaining could enter the supplemental draft and be selected by Cleveland (who held the first pick via Buffalo) while foregoing 1985's regular draft. This was achieved by not filing the paperwork for April's draft by deadline, leaving him available come the supplemental process later that summer. Controversy erupted, as Minnesota desperately wanted to draft Kosar, but ultimately Commissioner Pete Rozelle left the decision up to the kid. The rest is history. Kosar led Cleveland to the playoffs five straight seasons from 1985 to 1989, including three AFC Championship Game appearances.

Paul Spinelli/Associated Press



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