In two weeks, the NFL’s yearly supplemental draft will take place and a second wave of college players will get a chance to enter the league. Teams will submit ballots with whatever value they assign player and the team which is willing to spend up highest draft choice ultimately gets the player, with ties going by draft order. The team would then lose a corresponding pick in next year’s “regular” draft.
The New England Patriots under Bill Belichick have never added a player this way but they are certainly doing their due diligence this year: According to a report by Draft Analyst’s Tony Pauline, the Patriots were one of six teams attending a workout for Oregon State linebacker Bright Ugwoegbu. The only AFC team in attendance was joined by the Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks, New Orleans Saints, Chicago Bears, and San Francisco 49ers.
Ugwoegbu, one of four players available in the supplemental draft this year, is an interesting case: he decided to forgo his senior year and enter the draft after he was suspended by Oregon State’s coaching staff for undisclosed reasons in April. His suspension is not the only potential issue teams might have with the junior as his role at the next level could be hard to project. Ultimately, Ugwoegbu might be used as a strong safety/linebacker hybrid.
Throughout their history, the Patriots spent two draft picks on supplemental players: In 1981, the team picked wide receiver Chy Davidson with an eleventh-round selection; in 1999, New England invested a fourth rounder in cornerback J’Juan Cherry. The Patriots also already spent two draft selections on the linebacker position this year by adding Ja’Whaun Bentley and Christian Sam on day three.