After bypassing the process for the last three years, the NFL will be holding the supplemental draft this summer on July 11, 2023. This per Dan Brugler of The Athletic and confirmed by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
This is true. The dramatic return of the Supplemental Draft! The league has informed the clubs that it will be Tuesday, July 11. One player has been confirmed to clubs as eligible as of now, #Purdue WR Milton Wright. https://t.co/R6bg3EhFEn— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) June 16, 2023
Ironically, on Thursday I published the final article in the Explaining how the NFL works series which was about the supplemental draft. In the article I outlined how the supplemental draft works as follows:
What is it?
The NFL supplemental draft is something which has potentially been held each season since 1977. It is set up for players who were not in the regular NFL draft that year for various reasons but wish to play in the upcoming season. While in the earlier years of the supplemental draft some players “missed the deadline” for the declaring for the NFL draft, the explanation in more recent years from the NFL that a player had a “change in status” of their collegiate eligibility since to draft deadline. Whether it’s for academic, personal conduct, or other reasons, a player who was no longer eligible to play another year in college could enter the NFL supplemental draft.
How does it work?
If there are players eligible for the NFL supplemental draft, the league announces the date sometime at the beginning of the summer with the draft generally taking place in July. But for this draft, it is more of a silent auction than anything else. If a team wishes to acquire a player who is in the supplemental draft, they put in a bid for the player of a given round they would select them in the draft. If no other teams place a bid on the player, the team receives that player and surrenders their pick for that round in the NFL draft the next year. So if a team puts in a fourth-round bid on a player they are awarded, they surrender a fourth-round pick in the next draft.
If multiple teams put in for the same player, he is awarded to the team who had the highest round pick as their bid. If multiple teams have the same round bid for the same player, the team with the highest priority would receive the player. Where it used to be the order of the supplemental draft was the same as that year’s NFL draft, it was adjusted more recently to where there are three different tiers of teams. The lowest tier is teams that had five or fewer wins the previous season, the second tier is teams with six or more wins the previous year, and the top tier is teams who made the postseason. Within each tier, a supplemental draft lottery will determine the order of the priority of teams. So if two teams had a bid of the same round on a player, they would be awarded to the team who was in the lower tier.
If no one puts a bid for a given player, they become an unrestricted free agent.
As for the one player confirmed to be entering the 2023 supplemental draft, Purdue wide receiver Milton Wright was ruled academically ineligible ahead of the 2022 college season. After reportedly entering the transfer portal at the end of April, Wright has apparently been approved to be eligible for the 2023 supplemental draft. In three seasons with the Boilermakers, Wright appeared in 27 games with 99 receptions for 1,325 yards and 10 touchdowns. In his final season of 2021, Wright appeared in 11 games with 57 receptions and 732 yards with seven touchdowns.
When it comes to the Pittsburgh Steelers, they have never selected a player in the NFL supplemental draft. For even more history of the supplemental draft, it was outlined in the prior article as follows:
First and foremost, the Pittsburgh Steelers have never selected a player in the supplemental draft. Whether or not they have ever placed a bid as unknown at this time.
The last time a first-round draft pick was used in the supplemental draft was 1992 when the New York Giants selected quarterback Dave Brown. Graduating following the NFL draft, Brown had a year of eligibility remaining but did not declare until the draft was over.
The only player taken in the supplemental draft who is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame was wide receiver Chris Carter in 1987 who was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles in the fourth round. Carter was suspended for his senior season because he signed with an agent. In the same year, Brian Bosworth was selected in the first round by the Seattle Seahawks after he was dismissed by Oklahoma after the 1986 season. Bosworth did not declare for the NFL draft in time but became eligible for the supplemental draft because he graduated from Oklahoma one year early.
Another infamous supplemental draft pick came in 1985 when the Cleveland Browns selected quarterback Bernie Kosar. Wishing to play for the Cleveland Browns, Kosar announced in March he was foregoing his final two years of eligibility at the University of Miami and was taking expedited courses in order to graduate that year as players were only allowed to enter the draft after their senior season or if they graduated. But while the Minnesota Vikings traded with the Houston Oilers for the top pick in the draft to take Kosar, he refused to submit the paperwork and instead opted for the supplemental draft. The reason he did so is because the Browns traded their first-round picks in 1985 and 1986 as well as a third-round pick in 1985 as well as a sixth-round pick in 1986 for the Buffalo Bills rights to the top pick in the 1985 supplemental draft. By doing this, Kosar was able to pick his team. This brought about lawsuits and other things which ultimately were dropped and Kosar got his wish and landed in Cleveland.
The entire article explaining the supplemental draft, as well as links to the previous 19 parts of other things explained from the NFL can be seen below: