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Five fascinating NFL Supplemental Draft picks

  • By Henry Hodgson
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Barry Sweet / Associated Press
Brian Bosworth earned the largest rookie contract ever after being a supplemental draft pick of the Seahawks.

Editor's note: Henry Hodgson is's NFL Supplemental Draft correspondent.

The NFL Supplemental Draft will take place on Thursday, July 9, and unlike its better-known sibling, there will be no fanfare for the players taken. Likewise, you won't find Mike Mayock, Mel Kiper Jr. and their spawn spouting endlessly about the relative virtues of the prospects that will be taken in the supplemental draft.

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Notable supplemental draft picks

Check out the top NFL players to come from the supplemental draft.

Prospective top prospect Isaiah Battle, an offensive tackle out of Clemson, could become the first player selected in the supplemental draft since the Cleveland Browns selected receiver Josh Gordon in 2012. Two years into his NFL career, Gordon looked set to go down in history as one of the best supplemental draft picks ever. Now, that designation doesn't look so likely to stick.

It wasn't always the obscure afterthought, though, that headlined the supplemental draft. Here's five fascinating picks of past drafts:

5. Bobby Humphrey. Humphrey's meteoric NFL career began when the Denver Broncos made him a first-round pick in the 1989 supplemental draft, and his rookie total of 1,151 yards rushing helped the Broncos earn a berth in Super Bowl XXIV against the San Francisco 49ers. Humphrey followed up with a Pro Bowl spot in 1990, but also the inevitable contract renegotiation, which ultimately ended his tenure with the Broncos. A trade to the Miami Dolphins did nothing to reignite Humphrey, and his promising career ended in a fizzle.

4. Brian Bosworth. Bosworth is now better known as one of the biggest draft busts in NFL history, but the highly touted Oklahoma linebacker was so well thought of when picked by the Seattle Seahawks in the first round of the 1987 supplemental draft that he was handed the largest rookie contract of all time at that point -- 10 years for $11 million. Bosworth is proof positive that all that glitters in the supplemental draft is not gold.

3. Steve Walsh. Walsh's selection by Jimmy Johnson in 1989 was curious for many reasons, not least that he had invested a first-round pick in quarterback Troy Aikman just weeks earlier. Johnson spent another first-rounder on Walsh, with whom he had won the 1987 national championship at the University of Miami.

Walsh actually won the Dallas Cowboys starting job ahead of Aikman in his rookie season, starting five games -- including the team's only victory that year -- before being benched for the eventual three-time Super Bowl winner. Walsh was traded to New Orleans a year later and wound up playing for six NFL teams in an undistinguished 11-year NFL career.

2. Bernie Kosar. Kosar's manipulation of the NFL's long-established draft rules allowed him to play with his preferred team, the Cleveland Browns, after they traded away their 1985 and 1986 first-round picks for the Buffalo Bills' top pick in the 1986 draft.

They then used that pick to select Kosar with the first overall pick in the 1985 supplemental draft. Sound complicated? The fact that Kosar effectively chose to play for the Browns made him an instant "Dawg Pound" favorite, and when Bill Belichick released Kosar in 1993 and replaced him with Vinny Testaverde, he lost the support of Cleveland's loyal fans.

1. Cris Carter. Gordon can take some hope from Carter's introduction to the NFL. Picked in the fourth round of the supplemental draft by the Philadelphia Eagles, Carter's NFL career didn't begin well either. After being released by Eagles head coach Buddy Ryan following extensive off-field problems with drugs, Carter excelled with the Minnesota Vikings in his second NFL stop, putting together a career that wound up with him being enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2013.

Follow Henry Hodgson on Twitter @nflukhank.

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