The Carolina Panthers will have five prospects to choose from.
The 2019 NFL Supplemental Draft takes place at 12 p.m. on Wednesday and the Carolina Panthers could walk away with a new prospect to add to the mix before training camp. The Panthers have never selected a player in the Supplemental Draft and this probably isn’t the year that changes.
The rules of the Supplemental Draft are convoluted and confusing, but the general gist is that the teams are broken into three separate groups:
- Group one – teams with six wins or less
- Group two – more than six wins but non-playoff teams
- Group three – playoff teams
The teams are ranked in a random order in their respective group and allowed to place a bid on what round they would like to select a player before the draft begins. If they are the first to have their bid come up, then they own the rights to that draft selection. However, the team also gives up their selection in the following NFL Draft. So if the Panthers draft a player in the 3rd round of the Supplemental Draft tomorrow, they will forfeit their third round selection in the 2020 NFL Draft.
There are many success stories of players in coming from the Supplemental Draft, including Josh Gordon, Ahmad Brooks, Cris Carter and Bernie Kosar. Almost always however, a player enters the Supplemental Draft because he has academic or disciplinary issues.
So who are the 2019 prospects?
- Washington State DB Jalen Thompson
- West Virginia WR Marcus Simms
- Syracuse LB Shyheim Cullen
- Northland (Minn.) TE Devonaire Clarington
- St. Francis DB Bryant Perry
Thompson and Simms are expected to be drafted, with Thompson mocked in the 3rd-5th round and Simms in the 5th-7th.
Thompson is the best prospect in the draft by far and could be of interest to a Panthers team that needs defenders to fill out the back-end of their secondary. Thompson could provide a starter opposite Eric Reid or back-up and depth that is desperately needed.
Here’s Thompson’s scouting report from CBS Sports:
"Scouting report: Good height, smaller-ish frame for the safety position. Athleticism is impressive. Very fluid, non-jagged mover in any direction. Hybrid safety/slot cornerback with experience and effective play in man to man. Quickness is more impressive than his overall speed. Lack of size and strength shows up on occasion against bigger blockers in the run game, but he’s a noticeably aggressive, active run defender with solid range. Plus body control, awareness, and ball skills to make game-changing plays in coverage."
Thompson started every game of his collegiate career for a very good Washington State Cougars team and was named a Freshman All-American in 2016. He registered 66 tackles and two interceptions in 2018. He is in the draft because he lost his eligibility for an unnamed NCAA violation. Either way, he’s a player the Panthers could use and should take a long hard look at.
Simms is a highly unlikely pick for the Panthers, as they have invested significant draft capital in wide receivers to try and surround Cam Newton. He would need to fall likely to the 6th or 7th round and that’s just not likely.
His scouting report from CBS Sports:
"Scouting report: At 6-0 and around 195 pounds, Simms has decent size and a somewhat skinny but athletic build. He tracks the football at all levels of the field well and routinely makes hand catches away his frame. A rare bobble occurs. Runs crisp routes and gets out of his breaks in a hurry. Creates adequate separation on short-to-intermediate targets in his direction and has an above-average long speed. His greatest attribute is his yards-after-the-catch ability. Simms seemingly knows his intended path before the catch and gets creative immediately afterward with awesome contact balance, plus quickness, and speed. Relatively rarely taken down at first contact."
With D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel on the roster, plus a bevy of veterans, it’s highly unlikely that Simms will be picked by the Panthers.