The National Football League’s annual supplemental draft has come and gone, and once again, the Atlanta Falcons decided to stay out of the proceedings altogether.
They weren’t alone, as 30 other NFL franchises also declined to make a selection in the event, with the Arizona Cardinals being the only club to make a pick, taking former Washington State safety Jalen Thompson in the fifth round.
It’s been a while since the Falcons organization has selected a player through the supplemental draft, with the last one being defensive end Matthew Teague in 1980.
The former Prairie View A&M product suffered a knee injury in his first NFL training camp and was lost for his rookie season, though would play in 11 games in the 1981 campaign.
He was waived by the Falcons in the summer of 1982 and played a few stints in the Canadian league before landing with the Los Angeles Raiders briefly in the 1985 season.
In the year they acquired Teague, Atlanta drafted former Nebraska tight end Junior Miller with the No. 7 pick in the NFL Draft, which saw former Oklahoma running back and eventual three time Pro Bowler Billy Sims go to the Detroit Lions with the No. 1 overall selection.
In the Supplemental Draft, teams have the opportunity to bid on a select group of players using 2020 NFL Draft picks. If a team enters a bid of a sixth round pick for a player, they will lose that selection in next year’s draft.
The league has held the supplemental draft since 1977 to accommodate players who did not go into the regular draft process, because they missed the official filing deadline or some other issue which affected their eligibility, including academic or disciplinary reasons.
Supplemental draft orders are determined by a system divided into three groupings: first, among teams that had six or fewer wins in the previous season; second, teams that did not make the playoffs; third, the 12 teams that were in the playoffs.
According to the supplemental draft rules, teams are not required to use any picks, but if they should want a player, they put in a bid to the commissioner with the round in which they want to select a given player. If no other team puts in a bid on the player that is targeted, then the team is awarded that player and has to surrender an equivalent selection in the league’s regular draft the next year.
Bernie Kosar is one of the more well known supplemental draft selections, with the Cleveland Browns selecting the former Miami quarterback in 1984. College players had to wait for their class to graduate before they could enter the draft, unless they had graduated early themselves.