While the draft on the Big Stage in New York City is a distant memory, and most thoughts have turned to the evaluations that will cut the swollen offseason roster down to size, there is one last point of entry into the league before the 2010 season. The supplemental draft allows players who didn't decide to leave until after the deadline for the regular draft to be drafted into the league.
Though just 38 players, barely more than a round of the regular draft, have been taken in the 33 year history of the supplemental draft a couple names from it's history should be familiar to readers here. Jared Gaither, a 2007 supplemental draft selection, was a hot topic around here several times this past offseason. Longtime Chargers, now Broncos NT Jamal Williams entered the league alongside retired Pro Bowl guard Mike Wahle in the 1998 supplemental draft.
The Colts have never made a supplemental draft selection, and it's easy to see their emphasis on player make-up as a major contributing factor in that. Most high profile players declaring for the supplemental draft are doing so because between the declaration deadline for the regular draft and the summer, they became academically ineligible, or were kicked off their college team. Academic, off the field or team discipline issues don't scream "Colts player".
Then why discuss the supplemental draft at all? Because Unga's issues likely aren't the norm for a supplemental draft entrant, from The Sporting News.
Brigham Young has one of the strictest honor codes in American higher education. Students cannot drink, cannot have beards without a waiver, cannot wear sleeveless clothing, and cannot engage in "homosexual behavior and/or advocacy." Unga's violation of the honor code was announced in the same press release as his girlfriend Keilani Moeaki's violation and subsequent withdrawal. Putting two and two together would seem easy: Unga and Moeaki, who have been dating for about three years and were briefly engaged, likely had premarital sex, which violates the "live a chaste and virtuous life" tenet of the BYU honor code.
It's speculation, but Unga and his girlfriend (a BYU basketball player, and sister of former Iowa, now Chiefs, TE Tony Moeaki) leaving for honor code violations at the same time strongly suggests that Unga was forced out of the program for having sex with his girlfriend. While abiding by the code you agreed to on entering an organization is very important, Unga's infraction seems trivial enough in the world of the NFL that it wouldn't concern me at all if I was wearing the Daddy-pants in a NFL FO.
Oh, yeah. His football skills...
Unga is attempting to enter the league on the back of 3 consecutive 1,000+ yard, 12+ TD, seasons at BYU (see Austin Collie for an example of why gaudy numbers at BYU do mean something). Over those 3 years Unga totaled 3,446 rushing yards with 1,085 receiving yards on 102 receptions and a grand total of 44 TDs.
The Colts have a nice group of RBs though, what unique trait can Unga bring? Unga is a 6'0 3/4" 245lb tank of a back.
Harvey Unga vs. TCU (via AloAloysius)
I love the RB/FB tweener. I wanted Brian Leonard in the 2007 draft, Jacob Hester in the 2008 draft. I basically barred myself from following Toby Gerhart pre-draft since I didn't want to end up in love with an early rounds RB that the Colts didn't need. A big strong runner with receiving skills would be another great weapon in the Colts overflowing cache.
Getting him requires playing the very interesting game within a game the supplemental draft rules create. July 15th teams will submit to the commissioner a bid in the form of a round of the 2011 draft. The team that bids the earliest round gets the player and forfeits their 2011 pick in the round they bid. Within a round bids are prioritized to teams with 6 or fewer wins, then non playoff teams with 7 or more win, then the playoff teams. Within those groups priority is decided by lottery, odds weighted based off record.
While the skill positions are crowded for the Colts, Unga is a very interesting prospect who could bring something unique to the table, a 2011 late rounder for him would be a steal (but maybe it's just my love of RB/FB hybrids talking).