Regardless of talent, the Supplemental Draft seems to draw some kind of consideration every summer. A year ago we were all discussing Josh Gordon, a prospect I was critical of since he seemed like a complete unknown. Reports frequently stated Gordon would draw third or even second-round consideration, and since we have heard nothing of the sort this go round, do not expect any surprises on July 11th. Below are the six eligible names with short evaluations on the two mentioned most regularly.
Purdue WR O.J. Ross (5’9/188)
2012 statistics: 56 catches for 454 yards and two touchdowns in 11 games
A receiver with slot skills who was rarely used there. Ross frequently lined up as a single field receiver or in bunch sets, focusing on short patterns. Every snap started with a hesitation stride in an attempt to set up his opposition. That stride is followed by quick breaks and cuts thanks to above average footwork. This certainly helps to create separation in close spaces and I would be interested to see how that translates to slot targets. Ross does not mind hands catching in traffic either, which is another plus. There are flashes of vertical speed, but I would prefer to see that translate into other parts of his game. Other small tendencies in Ross’ game include a slight push off on outside breaking routes and dragging his toes along the sideline to convert completions.
Ross can make things happen after the catch, utilizing hop steps in every direction to avoid oncoming tacklers. He even shed a handful of high (and soft) arm tackles. I just listed a handful of positives, which goes along with the spirit of finding where a player wins over highlighting negatives, but I doubt Ross is selected in the Supplemental Draft. I am not sure I would pick Ross ahead of any receivers with similar styles selected last April. However, expect him to get a camp invitation.
Houston WR DeWayne Peace (6’0/190)
2012 statistics: 54 catches for 603 yards and two touchdowns in nine games
The former cornerback at Arizona plays like one; an inexperienced prospect on offense who is still learning the important aspects of the position. Right now, Peace wins with his athleticism, which is adequate to above average. He does handle press fairly well, in that Peace does not get locked into the jam at the line of scrimmage and frees a shoulder to get upfield. However, I do not see quickness to separate and Peace is a consistent body catcher. I doubt he is selected on Thursday.
DE James Boyd, UNLV
DT Nate Holloway, UNLV
DE Toby Jackson, Central Florida
DB Damond Smith, South Alabama