Update: Unga was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the seventh round of the Supplemental draft, which gives him some potential as a goal-line back. The Bears certainly could use a physical presence in the red zone.
What? There's an NFL draft on July 15? In a manner of speaking, yes. The 2010 Supplemental Draft gives players who didn't participate in the actual draft for whatever reason. In the past, such players as Cris Carter, Mike Wahle(notes), Jamal Williams(notes), and the "legendary" Brian Bosworth have been plucked from the Supplemental Draft, bound for greater things (or, in Boz's case, really bad movies.)
Four players are eligible for the draft this year, and with the help of Rob Rang from NFLDraftScout.com, we're going to give you the basics. First up is BYU running back Harvey Unga, who ran for 3,455 yards on 696 carries in his collegiate career, and caught 102 passes for 1,085 yards as well. He has 45 career touchdowns, and at least 12 in each of the last three seasons.
Here's Rob on Unga's pro prospects.
The reason he's in the supplemental draft ... as part of being a player at BYU, he had to adhere to a strict honor code. He had failed that code and was released from the team [allegedly for having premarital sex]. He's a powerful interior runner. He doesn't have a lot of great speed to get away from defenders. At his Pro Day on July 8, he was times at 4.63 in the 40 running downhill, and 4.74 running uphill, because BYU has a very fast, hard surface, but it's also slightly uphill.
So, that demonstrates that this isn't a guy with great speed. He's 6-foot, 235 pounds with great power and vision - he also has underrated lateral agility. He does have soft hands as a receiver, which he demonstrated at his workout and during his time at BYU. But for a big back, he's not really a reliable pass-blocker at this point. It's kind of a fake physicality, and he's not consistent enough as a blocker. He's struggled with durability - he missed the 2006 season with a hip injury, and he has struggled with various muscle and ankle injuries since. He had another ankle injury that kind of hampered his workout on July 8.
He's a back that just about every team in the league will be interested in. 20 teams were at his Pro Day, and six more requested film of the workout. He can be very effective as a goal-line and short-yardage specialist.
Rang estimates that Unga will go in the fifth or sixth round, with the sixth round being most likely. Unga and Illinois defensive tackle Joshua Price-Brent are the feature players in this draft. The other two players, Northwestern State running back Quentin Castille and Truman State running back Vanness Emokpae, do not project as draft picks, which means that they will likely be picked up by an NFL team as undrafted free agents. You can read Rob's take on Castille and Emokpae right here.
- Supplemental draft
- Harvey Unga