Here we are, a week after the Fourth of July, and just like in most years, it’s quite the drought for football news.
Typically during this time, we’re twiddling our thumbs until training camp starts (or partake in the odd phenomenon that has peaked this year of watching the CFL). That same trend was on its way to becoming a reality again this year—all the way up until the time for college players to commit to the NFL supplemental draft.
But for the first time in some years, the prospect list for the supplemental draft has some star power, relatively speaking.
For those unfamiliar with the supplemental draft, here’s a quick breakdown of how it works.
With the higher profile supplement draft, the Arrowhead Pride Nerd Squad (™ maybe) got together and decided to take a look at the three most likely players to get drafted in the 2018 supplemental draft.
Here are the first two evaluations:
I must preface this review by saying there is a reason these guys are in the supplemental draft and why the last player taken in a supplemental draft class was Josh Gordon in 2012.
These guys did not feel ready or like the feedback they got from the NFL Draft committee before the 2017 NFL Draft and then either became ineligible or decided another year in college was not before them.
Most often, these players aren’t squeaky clean off the field and usually aren’t top-tier talent on it. With all of that out of the way, let’s proceed with some Draftmas in July!
Brandon Bryant, Safety
5’ 11” | 207 lbs. | Mississippi State
Projected Draft Range: sixth or seventh round
Games watched: La Tech ‘15, Auburn ‘16, LSU, Auburn
Prospect grade (out of 100): 61.33
I would take him in the: seventh
One sentence bio: Suspended from spring practices, Bryant, who is an athletic freak entered the NFL supplemental draft.
One sentence scouting report: Bryant is a good athlete that reacts quickly to what he sees in front of him but is lacking any real feel for the game outside of that scope.
#DraftmasInJuly If Brandon Bryant can improve his football IQ he shows some interesting traits as an underneath Safety. When he recognizes the play, he can close downhill and work through traffic. Needs to spend extra work in the film room but could be developed at the next level pic.twitter.com/6c6w4EBbc6— Matt Lane (@ChiefinCarolina) July 7, 2018
Why he fits in KC: The Chiefs’ secondary is in need of help at both the safety and cornerback position. Fortunately for them, this supplemental draft has three big names that all play on the back end of a defense. Unfortunately for the Chiefs, Bryant doesn’t appear ready to add much to the starting unit of their defense. Looking rather uncomfortable and unaware when asked to play in deep zones or man coverage outside of a few steps, Bryant is limited to a close to the line of scrimmage (LoS) safety role.
A team could work around his limitations and ask Bryant to be an apex defender in the slot that is used almost exclusively in hook/curl/flat zones.
He’s clearly not ready for a starting safety role but as a third/fourth safety, there could be potential for Bryant as he gains more experience to see meaningful defensive snaps. If a team is feeling generous with Bryant and wants to drift back to the 2015 season, they will see more flashes as a deep safety and might think there is a chance at a long-term developmental player.
There is no denying his physical gifts and flashes on the field; it’s always going to be a matter of how quickly, if at all, he can start putting all these pieces together.
In the meantime, Bryant could be used as a special teams player with a good combination of athleticism and size. With the new rules in effect on kickoffs as well as the current state of punts, there could be a higher demand for quality special team players and with his blend of athletic traits, Bryant could be a player that benefits from this era of special teams play.
The bottom line
The biggest drawback to bidding a higher selection on Brandon Bryant is the crowded safety room he’d be entering.
Not that the Chiefs have a stacked safety group but rather a grab-bag of roster fillable guys that fill niche roles and that are developing themselves.
This deeper group of guys with similar skill sets to Bryant will make it hard to justify any capital being shelled out for Bryant at this point in time, especially with less camp time then all of these competitors.