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INDIANAPOLIS – If the Colts believe that roster building is indeed something that happens 12 months a year, Chris Ballard might make a move in the usual quiet month of July.

On Wednesday afternoon, the NFL will hold their annual Supplemental Draft.

First, let’s look at what this ‘other’ draft even is during the month of July.

The supplemental draft is for players who didn’t enter the ‘normal’ draft but still want to play in the NFL that coming season (2018 in this case).

Often, players entering the draft are college prospects who have an off-the-field issue (or two or three) that have them ineligible for their upcoming collegiate campaign.

Players who want to enter the Supplemental Draft must file a petition to the league and have to still be at least 3 years removed from high school.

This year’s list has 5 such players: DB-Adonis Alexander (Virginia Tech), CB-Sam Beal (Western Michigan), S-Brandon Bryant (Mississippi State), RB-Martayveus Carter (Grand Valley State), LB-Bright Ugwoegbu (Oregon State). Alexander and Beal are two of the more talented prospects to enter the Supplemental Draft in a few years.

The order of the teams drafting in the Supplemental Draft is different from April’s Draft.

Teams are divided up into 3 groups based off wins. The Colts will fall into the first group, due to them winning less than 7 games last season. After that group comes the other teams who failed to make the postseason, and then the 12 playoff teams from 2017 round out the draft order.

For a team to get a player, they must send in a round they would take that prospect. The highest ‘bidder’ gets that player, but then has to forfeit the corresponding pick in 2019.

So, if you bid a third rounder on one of the players, and you get that player, the team loses their 2019 third-round selection.

In most years, it’s a rare occurrence to see a player taken in the Supplemental Draft. Since 2013, only one player has been chosen (OL-Isaiah Battle in Round 5 by the Rams).

So why might the Colts change this narrative?

  • They really could use a young cornerback. That’s a given. Cornerback is currently a barren spot without much proven talent. No current corner has started more than 6 games in a given season. Yes, you have Quincy Wilson and Nate Hairston as young guys. But corner is a definite need for this team heading into 2019, after they didn’t select a corner with any of their 2018 draft picks.
  • Alexander and Beal are potentially worth the risk. Alexander is a big defensive back at 6-3 and 207 pounds and is pegged as more of a zone guy at the next level. Now, Alexander has failed multiple drug tests and is on probation after being cited for marijuana possession back in April. With Beal, who had academic issues at Western Michigan, he appears to be more talented than Alexander. If the Colts were in their old system, Beal would be the ideal fit as a press corner. Nonetheless, both players are viewed as guys that teams could give up a top-three round pick in the Supplemental Draft.
  • The Colts have some draft capital in 2019 to play with. Remember, the Colts have an extra second-round selection from the trade with the Jets. They are also in line for a 4th round selection via the compensatory route, thanks to Donte Moncrief signing with the Jaguars. The Colts are looking at 6 selections in the first 4 rounds next April, so it wouldn’t be as crippling to make a ‘high risk, high reward’ move on a player like Alexander or Beal.  

Of course, there’s off-the-field questions about both Alexander and Beal that have to be answered.

Is it worth the risk to take such a player who has been more than troublesome for his college team?