NEW ROTOWORLD BETA SITE

Thor Nystrom

Evaluations

print article archives RSS

Supplemental Draft Preview

Wednesday, July 11, 2018


This is the first year we’ve run a Supplemental Draft preview. The reason for this is straightforward: Most recent Supplemental Drafts have not been worth your time.

This one is.

Since I began covering college football and the NFL Draft for Rotoworld five years ago, only one player has been taken in the Supplemental Draft, Clemson T Isaiah Battle (Rams, 2015, Round 5). The last time the NFL reaped anything of consequence from the event was in 2011 (Ohio State QB Terrell Pryor; Raiders, Round 3) and 2012 (Baylor WR Josh Gordon; Browns, Round 2).

This time around, we’re almost guaranteed to see two selections, and we may even get three. We’ll find out on Wednesday. The non-televised event begins with the first round at 1 p.m. EST, when each team is given 10 minutes to submit a bid. The process lasts roughly 70 minutes to spin through all seven rounds one-by-one. The winning team loses the corresponding selection in the 2019 draft.

Editor's Note: Be sure to checkout DRAFT's $1,000,000 Best Ball Championship. Best Ball is season long but with no management. Just set it and forget it! Once you're done drafting, that’s it – no or waivers– you don’t even have to set your lineup. Your best players get automatically selected and you'll get the best score, every week. For a limited time, DRAFT is giving Rotoworld readers a FREE entry into a real money best ball draft with your first deposit! Here's the link


Without further ado, here’s our scouting reports for all five eligible players and a prediction for where each will get taken (and by whom).


  • Western Michigan CB Sam Beal | 6’0/190 | Pro Day: 4.47 forty, 37-inch vertical, 10’6 broad jump, 7.11 3-cone, 4.09 short shuttle


Beal declared for the supplemental draft after he was declared academically ineligible. He’s not considered a character risk, though. When news broke of his departure from Kalamazoo, I was working on my 2019 NFL Draft defender rankings. I had Beal ranked CB6, and projected him as a 2019 second-round pick.

In his second year as a starter in 2017, Beal broke out, earning second-team All-MAC honors. Beal flashed early, picking off USC’s Sam Darnold in the nationally-televised opener. Pro Football Focus gave Beal an 86.1 grade last year, identical to that of Colorado's Isaiah Oliver (drafted in Round 2 by the Falcons). For reference, PFF graded Oliver as the sixth-best CB in this past class (ironically, the exact same ranking I had planned to give Beal in my too-early 2019 rankings).

Beal may not have jumped onto our radars until last fall, but he’s no stranger to top competition, having cut his teeth by squaring off against Corey Davis in practice during his first two years on campus.

Beal’s speed, athleticism, length, football I.Q. and tackling ability tantalize. It’s difficult to beat him vertically due to his long speed and technique, and Beal’s fluidity and footwork is apparent when mirroring receivers on intermediate routes. Beal isn’t a one-trick pony press guy. His speed, movement skills and size project to any scheme. On the field, he’s a fighter, a guy who gets his hands in your chest off the line and battles with you every step of the way downfield, using the boundary as his friend.

He needs to pack some weight onto his lithe frame, a development that would further play up the spunky facets of his coverage style. At present, he can be out-muscled a bit by big, physical outside receivers. But make no mistake: This is a guy who could enter an NFL rotation very quickly, perhaps even in Year 1.

This year’s top supplemental prospect, Beal’s ceiling on Wednesday afternoon is Round 2. If that happens, keep an eye on the Chiefs, who have a cornerback need and a pair of second-rounders. My assumption, however, is that he drops to Round 3, which would be a nice little discount on a player who could have worked his way into Round 1 consideration next spring had he turned in a big senior campaign.

Prediction: Round 3
Team: Bills

  • Virginia Tech CB Adonis Alexander | 6’2/195 | Pro Day: 4.61 forty, 35.5-inch vertical, 10’4 broad jump, 7.18 3-cone, 4.37 short shuttle


Alexander declared after being ruled academically ineligible. He has a reputation of being something of a knucklehead. Alexander has admitted that he needed to grow up after he got a big head during the early part of his stay at Virginia Tech. That period of his career was mired with goofball antics, including a marijuana habit and an aversion to the classroom. Alexander received 12 months' probation following an April 2016 marijuana citation that occurred hours after the Hokies’ spring game.

Fortunately for him, the NFL has taken a more progressive view of pot in recent years. Alexander’s stock may take a slight hit because of all this, but that’s all it will be — a theoretical slight hit. And there’s this: The Virginia Tech coaching staff has publicly vouched for him.

He comes equipped with elite length, strong ball skills and some lower-half power, as evidenced by his solid jumps. In another life, Alexander may have been a possession receiver.


Unfortunately, Alexander’s athleticism is middling. His 4.6 speed was apparent on tape, as was his lack of quick-twitch athleticism. Alexander can get torched deep by speedy receivers and abused underneath by shifty wideouts. He has a labored backpedal and is a bit stiff in the hips. He’s a long-strider who plays high and doesn't have great short-area quickness. Because of this, he can get crossed up and left behind by nifty route runners.

Alexander excels when he can keep his man in front of him, disrupting at the catch point by crashing down with the ball in the air and getting his ropey arms tangled between the receiver and the projectile. Because of his length, Alexander has a huge tackling strike zone. His willingness to help out in the run game comes and goes. Sometimes he’d crash down and make a valuable tackle most collegiate corners wouldn't have been in a position to make, and sometimes he’d whiff on the ball-carrier like a hard-to-watch Chris Davis cut.

Alexander’s length and ball skills make him a fit for teams that press and play zone coverage. I had him ranked him in the CB13-15 range on my 2019 cornerback list before news of his dismissal, and saw him as a Rounds 4-5 guy. I think he’ll be available at a slight discount on Wednesday. But the team picking him better be aware that Alexander probably isn’t ready to play immediately. Until his technique improves, Alexander is just a big corner who lacks the movement skills to put himself in positions to capitalize on his length and ball skills.

If Alexander is unable to make it as a corner, he does have the ability to move back and play safety, a position that would be more forgiving to his lack of foot speed. That position would play up his north-south game while mitigating the instances where his lack of agility is leveraged against him. Even as a safety, though, he’d have below-average athleticism -- so I find it hard to dream on this high ceiling I've read about.

Alexander was reportedly rated extremely highly by the NFL’s scouting services. I thought Alexander was over-hyped over the winter when I was doing early work on the 2019 class, and that opinion has only calcified now that Alexander has cost himself the extra year to work on his game that he desperately needed.

Prediction: Round 6
Team: Chiefs


continue story »
12
Thor Nystrom is a former MLB.com associate reporter whose writing has been honored by Rolling Stone magazine and The Best American Essays series. Say hi to Rotoworld's college football writer on Twitter @thorku.
Email :Thor Nystrom



Highest Searched Players over the last 7 days



Video Center

  •  
    Dose: Conner Back for Wk 15?

    Dose: Conner Back for Wk 15?
  •  
    Dose: Ekeler in Doubt

    Dose: Ekeler in Doubt
  •  
    NBA Waivers: Melton, Burks

    NBA Waivers: Melton, Burks
  •  
    Dose: Kittle explodes vs. DEN

    Dose: Kittle explodes vs. DEN
  •  
    Player News: Week 14

    Player News: Week 14
  •  
    Week 14 Starts: Baker Mayfield

    Week 14 Starts: Baker Mayfield
  •  
    Week 14 Sits: Mack, Peterson

    Week 14 Sits: Mack, Peterson
  •  
    Dose: Oh, Henry!

    Dose: Oh, Henry!