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NFL Supplemental Draft set for July 9

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The NFL has set the date for the Supplemental Draft, as it will be held on July 9. What does it mean for the Colts?

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The NFL has set a date for this summer's Supplemental Draft, as it will be held on July 9.  There are reportedly four players who will be in the draft, though the NFL has yet to confirm via an official list.   Clemson offensive lineman Isaiah Battle, West Georgia defensive linemen Dalvon Stuckey and Darrius Caldwell, and North Carolina Central wide receiver Adrian Wilkins all will reportedly be in the draft.

The Supplemental Draft is typically for players with a special reason for entering, though typically we don't see players selected.  The draft order is determined by a lottery of sorts, broken down into three categories.  The first category is those teams that won six or less games last year, the second category is for those who won at least seven games but missed the playoffs, and then the third category is for playoff teams - the category that the Colts are in.  Once that system is used to determine the order, then teams either submit a pick for a certain player or pass, and the highest submitted pick (by round and, if multiple teams submit a pick in the same round, then the highest pick in that round) is the team who gets the rights to the player.  For example, the last player selected in the Supplemental Draft was Josh Gordon in 2012, and the Browns gave up a second round pick for him.  The draft pick comes from the next year, so in the Browns' case they lost their second round pick in 2013.  This year, teams would lose a 2016 draft pick if they used it in the Supplemental Draft.

The benefit to doing this is that you can use a draft pick from the following year for a player who will get to play this year, which gives a bit of an advantage over the rookies that will be taken next year.  And while players often aren't selected in the Supplemental Draft, this year could be an exception as we could see the first player taken in the draft since Gordon in 2012.  Clemson offensive lineman Isaiah Battle is drawing a lot of hype from teams, with the Atlanta Falcons reportedly being the "most interested." Yahoo's Charles Robinson cites two NFL sources as giving Battle a third round Supplemental Draft value.  NFL.com's Lance Zierlein would be shocked if Battle isn't selected in the Supplemental Draft - despite the fact that the lineman started just 16 games at Clemson.  NJ.com's Mark Eckel looked in-depth at Battle, quoting an NFC team executive who said he'd be surprised if Battle isn't taken and that "he's worth a shot, for sure," and Eckel also got this quote from an AFC scout:

"He's got good range, moves well for a big man,'' an AFC scout said. "He just needs to get stronger, both in the upper body and lower body. You watch his games last year and he was a lot better at the end of the season than he was at the beginning. There's some upside there.

"Now, if you're looking for a guy to come in and start right away, I don't know that. But if you're OK with him for a year, maybe two, you might have something really good.''

So, should the Colts be interested in offensive tackle Isaiah Battle in the Supplemental Draft?  Simply put, yes, but it's unclear what value the Colts would give in terms of submitting a pick, and my guess is that it would be less than other teams would value him.  In other words, I really don't expect the Colts to end up drafting Battle.  He would give the team a player to work with at tackle this year who could hopefully continue to develop.  The Colts have Anthony Castonzo entrenched at left tackle, but there are some questions at right tackle - with either Gosder Cherilus, Jack Mewhort, or Joe Reitz likely starting there this season.  General manager Ryan Grigson also likes Ulrick John and Denzelle Good, two tackles drafted in the seventh round of each of the past two drafts, and those players are essentially developmental ones for the Colts, so there could be a question of where Battle would fit in.  Simply put, it's expected that some team will draft Isaiah Battle in the Supplemental Draft, but I wouldn't expect that team to be the Colts.