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Pigskin thinking out loud … With the start of NFL training camps literally just days away, GBN Associate Editor Pigskin Paul Guillemette weighs in with some thoughts on where we are at football wise as of Mid-July.
Jets sign undrafted supp DB … The day after this year’s summer supplemental draft the New York Jets signed former Mississippi State safety Brandon Bryant, one of the three players who were not selected yesterday.
Giants, Skins add supp draft CBs … While we were out, two NFC East teams added to their secondaries in today’s supplemental draft when the Giants selected former Western Michigan CB Sam Beal in the third round, while Washington grabbed former Virginia Tech CB Adonis Alexander in the 6th. Both the Giants and Redskins will forfeit those respective picks at the 2019 draft. Meanwhile, three other players – Mississippi State safety Brandon Bryant, Oregon State LB Bright Ugwoegbu and Grand Valley State RB back Marty Carter — were not selected and are now free agents eligible to sign with any team in the league.
Tide OLB tears ACL; likely out for year … Emerging Alabama junior OLB Terrell Lewis, a potential early pick in 2019, tore an ACL during summer workouts last week and likely will miss the upcoming season. Lewis has since undergone surgery which was deemed ‘successful’, however, there is no current timetable for his return to the field. Its actually another tough break for Lewis who missed much of the 2017 season after he tore ligaments in his elbow in the season-opener. Lewis is an imposing 6-5, 255-pounder with elite athleticism who was a 5-star recruit out of high school likely may now have to wait until the 2020 draft as he has barely played to date.
Supp draft on tap … Wednesday will be draft day lite as the league will hold its annual summer supplemental draft beginning at 1 PM ET. Prior to the actual draft, there will be a weighted lottery to determine the selection order. Teams with the worst W-L records from 2017 will have better odds of getting a higher pick in the supplemental draft, but the supplemental draft does not follow the same order as the regular draft. The supp draft also has a different format than the regular draft in that teams indicate at the start of a round that they will take a player in that round. If more than one teams submits a bid, the player goes to the team with the higher pick in that round. A team that does end up getting a player in the supp draft then forfeits their pick in the round at the 2019 draft. A total of 5 players including Western Michigan CB Sam Beal, Virginia Tech CB Adonis Alexander, Mississippi State safety Brandon Bryant, Oregon State LB Bright Ugwoegbu and Grand Valley State RB Marty Carter will be eligible to be selected on Wednesday. Beal is the highest-rated of this year’s supp draft prospects and could be selected as early as the second or third rounds, while Alexander and Bryant could attract some later round interest. Of note, teams were notified this week that Alexander has passed a series of drug tests which should help his cause.
Falcons sign top pick … Atlanta has signed former Alabama WR Calvin Ridley to a standard 4-year contract with a club option for a 5th. Ridley was the 26th player selected this past April. With the signing of Ridley, a total of 15 2018 draft picks remain unsigned including 11 taken in the opening round.
UM QB Patterson signs baseball deal … Interesting story out of Michigan where junior QB Shea Patterson, who is considered to be one of the top prospects at the position for the 2019 draft, has reportedly signed with MLB’s Texas Rangers. Patterson hasn’t played baseball since his junior year in high school, but was still drafted by the Rangers in the 39th round of last month’s MLB amateur draft. The deal is reportedly a 6-year agreement that will allow Patterson to work with the Rangers’ instructional staff when he has off time from football at Michigan. Patterson won a lengthy appeal with the NCAA and was granted immediate eligibility at Michigan this season after transferring from Mississippi over the winter. What isn’t clear, though, is how this will impact Patterson’s football status after college. The family says that he’s committed to football, but it might give some teams pause whenever he does ultimately enter the NFL draft.
Happy 4th!! … A very happy, safe and hopefully cool Independence Day to everyone.
Beaver LB works out; DII RB enters supp draft … Oregon State LB Bright Ugwoebu held his pro day workout yesterday ahead of next month’s supplemental draft and unfortunately for the former Beaver things did not go particularly well. For starters, only 6 NFL teams – Chicago, Green Bay, New England, New Orleans, Seattle and San Francisco – had reps at the workout. Ugwoebu, who was listed by Oregon State as being 6-2, 235, actually measured in at just under 6-1 and only 205 pounds. He also had a very pedestrian 40 yard dash time of 4.97 seconds, with a 4.7o short shuttle, a 3-cone drill time of 7.38, a 33 inch vertical and a 9-6 long jump, all of which would have been near the bottom of the pack at the combine. As a result, it seems unlikely that Ugboewu will be selected at the July 11th supp draft; indeed, he may even be a longshot to get a free agent tryout. Meanwhile, the school has announced that Grand Valley State RB Marty Carter will also be entering this year’s supplemental draft. The 5-11, 200-pound Carter is GVSU’s all-time leading rusher including a school single-season record of over 1,900 in 2016 when he was a consensus Division II All-American and finished fifth in the Harlon Hill Award voting for the division’s player of the year. Carter’s numbers dropped off somewhat last fall when he missed a couple of games but he still led the team with just under 1,000 yards in 9 games when he averaged over 7 yards per carry.
Big crowd for WMU CB Beal pro day; solid workout … Nobody actually keeps track of these things, but former Western Michigan CB Sam Beal attracted one of the biggest crowds ever to a supplemental draft pro day earlier today. Indeed, all 32 NFL teams had a rep at WMU today with some teams sending more than one official. And by all accounts, Beal who is considered to be the top prospect for next month’s supp draft had a solid showing. According to numbers tweeted out by NFL.com’s Gil Brandt, Beal has nice length at almost 6-1 with 32-plus inch arms. Beal, though, was a little leaner than expected as he weighed in at just 178, compared with his listed playing weight of 187. Beal also turned in a couple of athletic leaps with jumps of 37-inches in the vertical and 10-6 in the long jump; the latter figure would have been among the top 5 among the position at the combine, while the former would have been among the top 10. Beal also had what would have been a top 10 for the position time of 4.09 seconds in the short shuttle, whereas his 3-cone time of 7.11 was slow for a CB. At the same time, there was some wide variation in Beal’s 40-time, Brandt reported his times as 4.47 and 4.55 which would be about average for a CB, while there were other media reports that had his times a little quicker at 4.40 and 4.51.
WMU CB Beal pro day today … Western Michigan CB Sam Beal, arguably the top prospect available for next month’s supplemental draft, will hold his pre-draft pro day workout later today at the school. This year’s supp draft is scheduled for July 11.
Beavers’ LB 4th to enter supp draft … Next month’s supplemental draft will have a 4th available player as Oregon State OLB Bright Ugwoegbu has announced that he is leaving the program and applying for entry in the supp draft. Ugwoegbu has 20 career starts for the Beavers but had been suspended indefinitely this spring for undisclosed reasons. Ugwoegbu, who is listed at 6-2, 235, had a breakout season in 2016 when he had 54 tackles including a team high 5.5 sacks despite missing three games with a season-ending ankle injury. Ugwoegbu had another 55 tackles last fall, but his impact players were down as he had just 1.5 sacks and three other tackles for loss. The supplementary draft will be held July 11.
SEC DB works out for supp draft … Former Mississippi State Brandon Bryant, one of three players available for next month’s summer supplemental draft, held a pro day style workout in front of reps from 14 NFL teams earlier today. Bryant measured in at 5-11, 207 and posted decent numbers in the physical testing, although as a player who has made some ‘top freakish athlete’ lists in the past, he may have been a little disappointed with ‘decent.’ Bryant reportedly ran the 40 in around 4.5 seconds, and had a 34-inch vertical and 10-3 standing long jump; each of those numbers would have been middle of the pack at the position at the combine. So was Bryant’s short shuttle time of 4.23 seconds, but his 7.26-second 3-cone time would have been one of the slowest among DBs in Indianapolis.
Month until training camps open … Hang in there guys! All 32 NFL training camps will be open for business essentially at this time next month. Baltimore and Chicago, who play in this year’s Hall-of-Fame game in Canton on August 2nd will be the first teams to open their full camps with the Ravens’ veterans set to report on June 18th, while the Bears open camp the next day. Meanwhile, the remaining camps open between June 25th and 27th. Here are the training camp opening dates for all 32 teams. At the same time, here are the other important dates on this fall’s NFL calendar.
Two more 1st rounders sign; 14 left … A couple of more players selected in the opening round of the 2018 draft signed earlier this week as former Maryland WR D.J. Moore, whom Carolina chose with the 24th pick, and former South Carolina TE Hayden Hurst, selected25th overall by Baltimore, both came to terms this week. The signings bring the number of this year’s opening round picks to have signed to 18. That leaves 14 first rounders unsigned including each of the first 5 players selected this year. On the other hand, only 8 players selected after the opening round remain unsigned including second rounders OLB Darius Leonard and OG Braden Smith of Indianapolis and WR Dante Pettis of San Francisco; 3rd rounders Royce Freeman of Denver, DE Rasheem Green of Seattle and DE Sam Hubbard and LB Malik Jefferson of Cincinnati; and DT R.J. McIntosh, a 5th round pick by the Giants. And the McIntosh signing could be complicated by the fact that the former Miami Hurricane is currently undergoing treatment for a thyroid condition that could impact his immediate football availability.
Hokie CB holding supp draft pro day … Former Virginia Tech CB Adonis Alexander, one of the three players who will be available in next month’s summer supplemental draft, will hold his pro day style workout today at the school. Meanwhile, Western Michigan CB Sam Beal and Mississippi State safety Brandon Bryant will hold their pro days next week; Beal will work out on June 28th and Bryant will workout on the 29th. The supplemental draft will be held July 11th.