The Pittsburgh Steelers have long been lacking at the defensive back position, and with this being a natural known issue dating back to Bill Cowher, it should come as a shock to no one how the team continues to do their diligence with prospects.
That includes those about to enter the 2018 NFL Supplemental Draft.
Per Chase Goodbread of the NFL Network, the Steelers were one of several teams on hand at Mississippi State for Brandon Bryant’s workout.
Mississippi State DB Brandon Bryant about to run his 40 for NFL scouts in advance of supplemental draft.— Chase Goodbread (@ChaseGoodbread) June 25, 2018
Clubs on hand:#Rams #Browns #Falcons #Jets #Giants #49ers #Redskins #Colts #Steelers #Saints #Jaguars #Texans #Raiders #Ravens pic.twitter.com/pyr4CU8lwr
For those wondering why Bryant, who is a tremendous athlete, is entering the Supplemental Draft, and not the regular NFL Draft, is because he was dismissed from Mississippi State due to academic reasons.
With no team to call his own, he is hoping an NFL team will pick him up and give him a shot to make their 53-man roster.
The Supplemental Draft began in 1977, and the Steelers have never selected a player in this secondary draft, and they are likely just doing their jobs and checking out how Bryant works out. Again, their attendance at this workout does not mean any type of signing, or drafting, is imminent. The 2018 Supplemental Draft will be held on July 11th.
For those who don’t know how the NFL Supplemental Draft works, here is the breakdown:
Since 1977, the NFL has also held a supplemental draft to accommodate players who did not enter the regular draft. Players generally enter the supplementary draft because they missed the filing deadline for the NFL draft or because issues developed which affected their eligibility (such as academic or disciplinary matters). The supplemental draft is scheduled to occur at some point after the regular draft and before the start of the next season. In 1984 the NFL held an additional draft for players who were under contract with either USFL or CFL teams.
Draft order is determined by a weighted system that is divided into three groupings. First come the teams that had six or fewer wins last season, followed by non-playoff teams that had more than six wins, followed by the 12 playoff teams. In the supplemental draft, a team is not required to use any picks. Instead, if a team wants a player in the supplemental draft, they submit a “bid” to the Commissioner with the round they would pick that player. If no other team places a bid on that player at an earlier spot, the team is awarded the player and has to give up an equivalent pick in the following year’s draft.
Will the Steelers like Bryant enough to put a bid on him in the supplemental draft? It is unlikely, but you never know. In the meantime, for the first time under Mike Tomlin the team’s secondary is far from a glaring weakness. With Artie Burns, Joe Haden, Cameron Sutton, Mike Hilton and Brian Allen they have a group of cornerbacks who don’t fit the usual “bad Steelers cornerbacks” mold.