The lure of the supplemental draft is hard to ignore. After all, it offers new player acquisition possibilities at a time when the season is absolutely dead with important news besides the divas who refuse to show up for work. The draft is over. The rumor mill stops churning. And when all is quiet, even the slightest noise receives an inordinate amount of attention.
For the front office, this can be a dangerous time as well. Every team will tell you they came away with the guys they wanted in the NFL draft, but right now, every team is aware of the holes that still exist on their roster. Some free agents might still exist, but those will be the predictable guys -- the veterans who represent a known commodity. Anyone who's young and promising is long tied up and right now, the biggest question is whether the older lineman can give you one more good year or not. Then comes the supplemental draft.
New players. New potential. It's a nearly impossible lure. It's a chance to fill a remaining hole before you head into the roster and, really, it doesn't cost you anything -- at least not for another year. Some teams think so far ahead that they properly (or is it "overly?") value their draft picks, but think of how many potential "hot seat" regimes are currently in power. They have to win now, so why not pull the trigger on something like the supplemental draft.
This year, Harvey Unga is the prize. The BYU running back is a powerful horse who set the all-time rushing record in only three seasons. He's had over 1,000 yards rushing in every season and even had a decent amount of catches out of the backfield, especially in his sophomore year. Obviously, Thomas Jones isn't going to be around forever, so perhaps this is a good time to grab a promising prospect, right?
In a proper NFL offseason, Unga's story would be told with a different slant: setting the rushing record at a school with a history of Award-winning passers (i.e. Steve Young, Ty Detmer) doesn't sound so sweet. Instead in the supplemental draft portion, we hear how this dynamic, powerful back is suddenly available and that 20 teams are foaming at the mouth.
A bit dramatic, I realize. It's only a late round pick. "Interested" doesn't mean they will take him. Everyone is just doing their job. If it only costs you a fifth or sixth rounder, isn't it worth a flier? Possibly. Unga might actually become good. He wouldn't be the first. Jared Gaither was a supplemental pick. So was Jamaal Williams. Anything is possible. My hope is that the Chiefs can play it cool and realize that same draft pick will be able to choose from a wealth of competition in several months, and make their decision accordingly.