Before I break down supplemental draft prospect, Virginia Tech CB Adonis Alexander, let’s talk first about the concept of the supplemental draft and why a club would spend a pick.
Any player who is in a supplemental draft is there for a reason — and in most cases the reasons aren’t good. In recent years, the NFL has made it difficult for a player simply to apply for the supplemental draft. In most cases, for a player to be eligible to be in a supplemental draft, there is basically no way he can play college football in the coming season, even if he transfers down.
In the case of Western Michigan’s Sam Beal (read Gabriel's scouting report on Beal here), he was declared academically ineligible at Western and would not be allowed to play in the 2018 college football season. Mississippi State S Brandon Bryant (report here) was an academic casualty and had already redshirted, so there was no way he could play in 2019. Alexander also had academic issues, as well as off-field concerns.
Most clubs are very cautious when using a pick on a supplemental draft player. One reason is that it loses the pick used in the supplemental draft in the following draft. For example, if a club exercises a third-round pick in a supplemental draft, it no longer has its third-round pick in the next draft.
Clubs are cautious because often they just don’t have the information on supplemental players that they do on regular draft players. The window in which to acquire that information is small, and if there are issues, the club may not have enough time to do the proper research on the player.
Then there is also the time factor. A player who is in a supplemental draft has not been part of an offseason program. He goes to camp just a short time after the draft and is immediately way behind the other players on the roster. If he doesn’t have some “special” to him, why waste a draft pick? In many cases, the club using the supplemental draft pick feels that the player it is selecting will make the club and is more talented than incumbent players. If that isn’t the case, why waste a draft pick?
Clubs that have extra picks in the following draft are more likely to gamble on a supplemental pick than a team that has a limited number of draft picks. That way, they aren’t hurt as bad in the following draft if the supplemental player fails.
Generally speaking, players in a supplemental draft do not go as high as their talent level dictates because of many of the reasons I listed above. The risk/reward is much greater than in a regular draft. All clubs interested in these guys will have a medical done, and its result also factors into where a player is drafted.
Only three players have been picked in the supplemental draft since 2010 — OT Isaiah Battle (Rams, 2015), WR Josh Gordon (Browns, 2012) and then-QB Terrelle Pryor (Raiders, 2011). There definitely will be one player — and perhaps two — chosen on July 11, but I don’t think they will go as high as I have seen written in various publications. Here's my breakdown of Alexander:
Adonis Alexander – DC – Virginia Tech
6026v – 195v – 4.64v
Strong Points –
Height and length. Plays faster than he times. Shows he can be an aggressive press cover guy. Strong tackler and a good run-support player. Good ball reactions and hands. Makes plays on the ball. Explosive with good jumping ability.
Weak Points –
Suspended at least twice at Virginia Tech. Off-field issues are a concern. Pro Day results were poor. Although he plays faster than he times, Alexander's timed speed is poor. Undisciplined and gets tall with his technique. Questionable football character — has talent but doesn’t work like he wants to be a great player.
The Way We See It –
Alexander is a tough guy to grade. He has talent — but does he really want it? Off-field issues say no. At his best, he's an aggressive press corner with good ball skills and run-stopping ability. He is not as good a player when in off or zone but has the talent to improve. Some clubs may want to move him to safety because of his size, timed speed and tackling skills. Pro Day results are a concern because he ran slower than expected and his agility drills were average to below average. Not being part of an offseason program will slow his progress. He can contribute on special teams because of his aggressiveness. In a regular draft, Alexander is a mid-round pick with the information that we have. He may not get drafted — or get selected late because of his upside — in the supplemental draft. His issues, pro day results and undisciplined play are a huge concern, but Alexander has the talent to become a very good player — can he be trusted?
Grade B 6.4 Round 6-FA