The NFL has said ‘thanks but no thanks’ to one of the most unusual quirks of the NFL offseason — and they’re doing so for the second straight year. It was reported yesterday by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero that the NFL will be bypassing the league’s supplemental draft for the second consecutive season; leaving the door shut for any college football players who were hoping to make a last minute leap into the 2021 NFL calendar year.
The supplemental draft is a tricky event — as players must file for eligibility and have it granted by the NFL before a silent 32-team auction allows teams to bid a future draft selection on any available talents.
But, given the dynamics of the COVID-19 pandemic and the unpredictability of the past 12 months surrounding college football, it seems as though the NFL has opted to avoid opening that can of worms all together. The league’s decision to not hold a supplemental draft in 2020 seemed preventative — what was to stop a slew of gifted stars from leaving college football en masse and throwing the league’s draft cycle completely out of loop? Either the league would have had to turn down every COVID-19 related application or eligibility (which would have been a controversial decision to be handed down, given the hardship experienced by nearly everyone regardless of their background) or else see the status quo of the draft flipped on its head.
And so there was no draft.
This summer seems to be ensuring that the cycle stays balanced. The NFL draft pool of 2021 saw less talents pass through due to every collegiate player being granted an extra year of eligibility due to the pandemic. Add in a later than usual declaration window for “super seniors”, which was in March, and nearly any player who would be interested in joining the league via the supplemental draft would have had an opportunity to make that same decision three or five months ago, depending on their eligibility.
And so, once again, there is no supplemental draft to be had.