Anticipation Grows as NFL Supplemental Draft Returns in 2023

Anticipation Grows as NFL Supplemental Draft Returns in 2023

Anticipation Grows as NFL Supplemental Draft Returns in 2023

Introduction to the NFL Supplemental Draft

After a three-year absence, the NFL supplemental draft made a comeback on July 11, 2023. Unfortunately, neither of the eligible wide receivers, Malachi Wideman from Jackson State and Milton Wright from Purdue, were chosen. As a result, both players are now unrestricted free agents and can sign with any NFL team.

Milton Wright: College Journey and Eligibility

Milton Wright, a talented wide receiver from Purdue, faced academic ineligibility prior to the 2022 college season. He entered the transfer portal in April and received approval for the 2023 supplemental draft. Throughout his three seasons with the Boilermakers, Wright showcased remarkable performance, accumulating 99 receptions, 1,325 yards, and 10 touchdowns. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Wright has multiple training camp workouts lined up.

Malachi Wideman: College Career and Highlights

Initially recruited by the Tennessee Volunteers, Malachi Wideman saw limited playing time in 2020 before transferring to Jackson State. Although he scored 12 touchdowns in 2021, Wideman faced eligibility issues during the 2022 season, resulting in only three receptions for 49 yards and one touchdown across six games. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reports that Wideman has also secured training camp workouts.

Understanding the NFL Supplemental Draft Process

The NFL supplemental draft provides an avenue for players who weren’t part of the regular draft to join the upcoming season. It accommodates individuals whose collegiate eligibility status changed or ended after the regular draft deadline due to various factors, such as academics or personal conduct. Teams participate in a silent auction-style bidding system, indicating the round in which they would select a player. If no other team places a higher bid, the bidding team acquires the player and surrenders the corresponding pick in the following year’s NFL draft. In case of multiple bids, the team with the highest round pick or priority secures the player. Unselected players become free agents.

Pittsburgh Steelers’ History and Supplemental Draft Insights

Throughout their history, the Pittsburgh Steelers have never utilized the supplemental draft to select players. The most recent occurrence of a first-round pick in the supplemental draft was in 1992 when the New York Giants chose quarterback Dave Brown. Notably, wide receiver Chris Carter, selected in the fourth round by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1987, is the only supplemental draft player enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Another notable instance includes Bernie Kosar’s selection by the Cleveland Browns in 1985, as he opted for the supplemental draft to join his preferred team.

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