Anticipation Mounts for 2023 NFL Supplemental Draft
Introducing the NFL Supplemental Draft
After a three-year absence, the highly awaited NFL supplemental draft made its return on July 11, 2023. Regrettably, neither Malachi Wideman from Jackson State nor Milton Wright from Purdue, both wide receivers, were chosen in this year’s draft. Consequently, they now hold the status of unrestricted free agents, granting them the freedom to sign with any NFL team.
Milton Wright: College Journey and Eligibility
Milton Wright, an exceptional wide receiver from Purdue, encountered academic ineligibility prior to the 2022 college season. In search of new opportunities, he entered the transfer portal in April and received approval to participate in the 2023 supplemental draft. Over his three seasons with the Boilermakers, Wright exhibited his talent, amassing an impressive record of 99 receptions, 1,325 yards, and 10 touchdowns. Reports indicate that Wright has already scheduled multiple training camp workouts, demonstrating his determination to excel at the professional level.
Malachi Wideman: College Career and Highlights
Initially recruited by the Tennessee Volunteers, Malachi Wideman had a limited role in the 2020 season before transferring to Jackson State. Despite facing some eligibility hurdles in 2022, Wideman managed to make an impact with three receptions for 49 yards and one touchdown across six games. Similar to Wright, Wideman has also secured training camp workouts, showcasing his commitment to thrive in the NFL.
Understanding the NFL Supplemental Draft Process
The NFL supplemental draft provides an alternative route for players who missed the regular draft but still aspire to join the upcoming season. These players may have encountered changes in their collegiate eligibility due to academic, personal conduct, or other circumstances. The supplemental draft operates through a silent auction-style mechanism, where teams submit bids indicating the round in which they would select a player. If a team’s bid goes unmatched, they successfully acquire the player while forfeiting their corresponding pick in the subsequent year’s NFL draft. In case of multiple bids, the player is awarded to the team with the highest bid round or priority. Unselected players become unrestricted free agents, granting them the freedom to choose their next destination.
Pittsburgh Steelers’ Supplemental Draft History and Noteworthy Facts
Throughout their history, the Pittsburgh Steelers have refrained from utilizing the supplemental draft to acquire players. The most recent instance of a first-round supplemental draft pick dates back to 1992 when the New York Giants selected quarterback Dave Brown. Notably, wide receiver Chris Carter, chosen by the Philadelphia Eagles in the fourth round of the 1987 supplemental draft, remains the sole player from this draft to be inducted into the prestigious Pro Football Hall of Fame. Another notable occurrence revolves around Bernie Kosar, who, in 1985, opted for the supplemental draft to secure his preferred team, the Cleveland Browns.
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