Analysis  

 

Supplemental draft primer: Josh Gordon has NFL teams buzzing

Thomas Campbell/US Presswire
Josh Gordon showed plenty of promise at Baylor before being dismissed from the team prior to the 2011 season.


 

The NFL Supplemental Draft will take place Thursday. Here's everything you need to know about the league's other selection process.

The supplemental draft operates differently than the regular NFL draft. Each team is given the opportunity to submit a bid on any player who is eligible for the supplemental draft. If interested, a team will send the league office an email with the round in which they would like to select a particular player. The team that submits the highest bid is awarded the rights to a player.

If multiple teams submit bids in the same round for the same player, the league will apply a weighted lottery system (performed immediately before the supplemental draft) to determine which team is awarded the player. The system is a bit complicated, but here are the basics:

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• Each team's position will be weighted by assigning the weakest team the greatest number of lottery chances and the strongest team the fewest number. Team strength and weakness will be determined by the order of the first round of the previous April's draft, exclusive of any trades.

• Once these values are assigned, teams are split into three groups: 1) Teams that won six or fewer games in the previous regular season; 2) Remaining non-playoff teams; 3) The 12 playoff participants.

• A lottery is performed within each group to produce the order of that group's teams, with the overall order progressing from Group 1 to Group 2 to Group 3.

If a team is successful in its bid, that team forfeits its draft pick in the April draft for the round in which it bid.

Eligible players

Quaylon Ewing-Burton, CB, Boise State
Josh Gordon, WR, Utah/Baylor
Adam Harris, RB, Syracuse
Adrian Haughton, OT, Iowa State
Larry Lumpkin, LB, Carson-Newman
Montez Robinson, DE, Georgia
Houston Tuminello, WR, McMurray/Louisiana Tech
Ed Wesley, RB, TCU

Players likely to be selected

Gordon, the former Utah/Baylor wideout, is the only player whom I anticipate being selected in this year's supplemental draft. He is a very intriguing prospect because of his combination of size, speed and athleticism. At his Tuesday workout before a reported 21 NFL teams, Gordon measured 6-foot-3, weighed 224 pounds and posted a respectable 4.52 40-yard dash time.

He was a very productive receiver in Baylor's offense before he was dismissed from the team in August 2011 for off-field issues. During the 2010 season, he hauled in 42 balls for 714 yards and seven touchdowns. Most impressively, he averaged 17 yards per catch. He decided to transfer to the University of Utah, where he was required to sit out during the 2011 season (so he never actually played a down for the Utes).

I attended a Utah practice last fall while scouting for the Philadelphia Eagles, and several Utes coaches told me to keep an eye on Gordon. He wasn't eligible to play on Saturdays, but he was very easy to spot on the practice field. He has an ideal NFL body for the wide receiver position. He's tall with a lean, muscular build and long arms.

He's very exciting to watch on tape. He can gain ground very quickly with his long stride, has a huge catching radius and can create after the catch with both speed and elusiveness.

Gordon's decision to declare for the supplemental draft quickly generated a lot of buzz in the scouting community. All 32 teams have spent the past few weeks scrambling to dig into his background at both Baylor and Utah. His stock might take a little hit because of his off-field issues, but I've been told by several sources that he has a strong backing from the entire Baylor coaching staff. That will help ease some concerns of NFL teams.

TCU running back Ed Wesley is the second-best pro prospect in this group. He has been a very productive college runner, but his lack of size and top-end speed (he ran a 4.68 40-yard dash at his recent workout) will likely keep him from being selected. He shouldn't have any trouble finding a team to sign with once the draft has concluded.

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Dallas Cowboys
Jerry Jones is never scared to take a risk. With Miles Austin and Dez Bryant already in place, the Cowboys could afford to take their time developing Gordon.

Seattle Seahawks
Pete Carroll loves size and speed. He also proved with the selection of 2012 first-rounder Bruce Irvin that he's willing to forgive a few off-field issues.

Cleveland Browns
Tom Heckert wants playmakers. Drafting former Alabama running back Trent Richardson was a great first step, but the Browns desperately need another outside weapon to pair with Greg Little.

Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins need to upgrade their talent at the receiver position. Even if Chad Ochocinco pans out, there is still plenty of room for a player with Gordon's ability.

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St. Louis Rams
The Rams have attempted to address their need at the receiver position in each of the past two drafts, but the jury is still out on all of those players. Adding another young talent like Gordon doesn't seem like such a bad idea.

Prediction

The Browns will select Gordon in the third round of the supplemental draft.

Follow Daniel Jeremiah on Twitter @MoveTheSticks.

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