The NFL will hold its annual supplemental draft on Thursday afternoon, and, as always, the players involved present an interesting array of possibilities and pitfalls. Typically, guys take this route to the pros when something has gone wrong in the normal progression through their college careers. Consequently, teams are often faced with players who are talented but carry some extra baggage on their shoulder pads. The danger of overpaying, in terms of draft position, is very real for teams who see the answer to a particular need sitting there for the taking. For this reason, I'll be watching the Indianapolis Colts carefully to see if they can resist the temptation of owning the pick of the litter once again during the supplemental draft.
In the supplemental draft, teams submit sealed "bids", in the form of a draft round, for the players they covet, and the team bidding the lowest round wins the rights to sign a particular player. If two teams deem a player worthy of going in the same round, the team with the worse overall record in the previous season wins the bidding. So, if Team A (2-14 record) and Team B (4-12 record) both submit a second-round bid for Player 1, Team A gets the nod by virtue of its putrid record. Lest you forget, the Colts tanked in 2011 and own all possible tie-breakers, so they could theoretically pick any player they want on Thursday by submitting a first-round bid. The big drawback is that they would lose their pick in that round of next spring's real NFL draft.
The player generating the most hype before this supplemental draft, and the guy who probably fits the Colts the best, is former Baylor wide receiver Josh Gordon. The Colts addressed the tight end position in the regular 2012 draft , and they re-signed WR Reggie Wayne , but they still lack that big, strong presence as a number-two wideout. Gordon would presumably fit that bill very well, but, as might be expected, there are questions about him. After failing a drug test before the 2011 campaign, he transferred to Utah and was forced to sit out a year. Rather than suit up out west this fall, Gordon is testing his luck here in the supplemental.
I think that Gordon might be worth a flyer with a fourth- or fifth-round bid, but there has been a lot of speculation that teams with middling records may jump the bidding to the second round. Since the Colts are likely to be pretty anemic again this year, their second-round choice in 2013 should yield them a solid player who is at least in the discussion for a late first-round draft slot. In other words, that's way too much to give up for the possibility that Gordon will work out.
It would be great to see another talented player join the fold, but I hope the Colts don't get caught up in the buzz and punt away a solid pick next spring.
Adam Hughes was raised, and still lives, in rural Indiana. He has been a Colts fans since the team arrived in Indianapolis on a snowy morning in 1984. The Blue and White eventually replaced the Chicago Bears as his #1 team, and Super Bowl XLI was a dream come true.