Jan 1, 2013; Dallas, TX, USA; Purdue Boilermakers receiver O.J. Ross (4) fumble the ball after a catch against Oklahoma State Cowboys cornerback Justin Gilbert (4) in the second quarter at the Cotton Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
The NFL’s annual Supplemental Draft will take place Thursday, July 11th, and this year’s group of eligible players offers a little less intrigue than we’ve seen in recent years. Here is a list of players available to teams this year.
DE James Boyd, UNLV
DT Nate Holloway, UNLV
DE Toby Jackson, Central Florida
WR DeWayne Peace, Houston
WR O.J. Ross, Purdue
DB Damond Smith, South Alabama
The biggest name on this list is former Purdue WR O.J. Ross, who was expected to be the #1 returning receiver for the Boilermakers this season. At 5’10″ 188 pounds, Ross has speed, quickness, and playmaking ability. He wasn’t statistically the most productive receiver, but Purdue’s offense isn’t overly productive either.
Ross was suspended for a violation of team rules, and decided that it was time to move on. Obviously, there’s a reason why players end up in the Supplemental Draft. Some have understandable circumstances, and many have made bad choices that land them here. However, of the players listed here, I think Ross and South Alabama DB Damond Smith have the best chance of cracking NFL rosters.
Ross caught 56 passes for 454 yards and two touchdowns last year for Purdue, and was also used as a return specialist. Not only was he ruled ineligible in 2013, he also was ineligible for the team’s 2011 bowl game due to academics. Ross was a highly touted high school prospect, and he produced some solid numbers in his three seasons at Purdue.
There aren’t any players in this group with the talent level of Terrelle Pryor (Raiders, 2011) or Josh Gordon (Browns, 2012), but there are some guys that will get looks at NFL camps later this month.