The NFL Supplemental Draft is usually a quiet event. It occurs at this time of year and each team in the NFL can use a draft pick from next year’s draft pool to draft a player who was not in the big Draft held back in late May. Normally this is perfunctory, but college athletes may discover that suspensions, grades, or new recruits will limit their play time. Thus, they decide to avoid the problem by seeking entry in the supplemental draft.
Usually there is one player or another that really drives interest. Cris Carter was drafted in the 1987 Supplemental Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. Terrelle Pryor found himself in the supplemental draft after a tattoo related scandal in 2011. He was taken by the Raiders. Michael McAdoo (not to be confused with James Michael McAdoo) of UNC was not taken in the supplemental draft in 2011, but he was signed by the Baltimore Ravens as a free agent after it. He is currently with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of Canadian Football League.
All of this brings us to the results of this year’s supplemental draft. There were only four eligible players. They were New Mexico WR Chase Clayton, North Carolina LB Darius Lipford, small school VA-Lynchburg tackle Lakendrick Ross, and SMU running back Traylon Snead. The draft came and went and none were selected which means they are all free agents.
Darius Lipford was a LB at UNC who mostly played Bandit, or outside pass rusher, in the 4-2-5 system. He was not consistently healthy though he was often described as a freak athletically. InsideCarolina.com reported in a series of tweets that Lipford had been making a run at the MLB position and had become academically ineligible for the first part of the season.
So Lipford resorted to the supplemental draft. Now he is free to sign with any team that will take him, and InsideCarolina is reporting that they think it will be the San Francisco 49ers. Lipford has his work cut out to join one of the NFL’s elite defenses. He better dominate special teams.
For North Carolina this takes another defender away from this year’s defense. There will be new faces and inexperienced faces up and down the Tar Heel defense and no Kareem Martin, Tim Jackson, Tre Boston, Jabari Price, and now Darius Lipford to be seen. This will be the test of how much depth Koenning and company have really built up down there.