It's that amazing time of year again, folks! The 2016 NFL Supplemental Draft takes place on Thursday, July 14 and I know everyone has been waiting on baited breath to see who the Eagles will take. Of course, the Supplemental Draft is for late entry prospects who decided to forgo any more time at the college level to give the NFL a shot. To be honest, the Supplemental Draft rarely carries any star power and has not produced a big name since Josh Gordon's selection in 2012. So the big question this year is if the Eagles should use a pick on any of this group's six prospects.
Ra'Zahn Howard, Defensive Tackle, Purdue
Who is he: Howard was a major three year contributor for the Boilermakers that was suspended this past season and then missed time in spring practice for academic issues. Instead of returning, he tried to transfer and is now opting to enter the Supplemental Draft. Howard has a stout build at 6-3, 320 pounds. Howard is not a dynamic player at the defensive tackle position, but his strength and physicality allow him to eat up space and overwhelm a running game.
Is he worth a pick: Howard has some nice tools on the field, but I would struggle to say he is worth anything but a late round flier. His lack of dynamism and perceived character concerns that got him suspended pushes my opinion more on the side of no. However, if the Eagles decided to use a seventh round pick on him, I would hardly question that sort of move to bolster the defensive tackle depth.
Jalen Overstreet, Running Back, Sam Houston State
Who is he: Overstreet was a major contributor on a prolific Sam Houston State offense. The 6-2, 215 pound back has excellent burst, vision and elusiveness for a player his size. He does not have great long speed, but his size and physical running style allows him to dependably pick up yardage. Overstreet started his football at Texas before he was dismissed by Charlie Strong in 2014 for a violation of team rules. He was then indicted earlier this year for using a stolen credit card to buy food, which could have prompted him to leave the program for the NFL. In my opinion, that shows poor judgement but not a major red flag in terms of character. Overstreet does seem to have a pattern of poor judgement since he was at Texas, and hopefully that is something he can overcome when he gets to an NFL team.
Is he worth a pick: Yes. Overstreet absolutely has some maturity issues to sort out, but it is hard to overlook how talented of a player he is. For the Eagles, the depth chart is bleak at the running back position, so adding some nice size and upside without much risk is an excellent idea. It is not the end of the world if the Eagles decide not to draft Overstreet, but he would be a nice addition to the depth chart.
Eddie D'Antuono, LS, Virginia Tech
Who is he: He is a long snapper. He snaps the ball from long distances.
Is he worth a pick: I am usually vehemently against spending draft picks on specialists and a long snapper is the most specialized of the specialists and that seems like a massive waste of recourses. Of course, the last two teams to spend draft picks on Long Snappers were the Patriots in 2015 and the Seahawks in 2008... Both of those teams have multiple playoff wins and recent Super Bowl wins so maybe the Eagles really should draft D'Antuono...
Tee Shepard, Defensive Back, Miami (OH)
Who is he: Tee Shepard is a well traveled defensive back who, at one time, was considered one of the best defensive backs in the country. Shepard was the top cornerback in his recruiting class when he signed with Notre Dame, but quickly wanted off the team. He spent some time at Junior College before going to Ole Miss. He missed time to start his career at Ole Miss due to some injuries and then got minimal time in 2015 before he decided to leave the team. Shepard made the decision to leave because he is afflicted with 90% hearing loss and has been dealing with it for a very long time. Though he had only just started wearing hearing aids, he was still having issues with the coaching staff and he felt unwelcome in the locker room, prompting his exit. Shepard was initially planning on playing for Miami (OH), but has made the decision to enter the draft instead.
Is he worth a pick: I would not spend a pick on Shepard. Though I feel for his situation, the truth is that he just has not played very much football at a high level. The last time he really saw the field was in Junior College back in 2013 and he has been dealing with injuries since then. This is a truly sad direction for a once promising career, especially considering that everyone has only said great things about Shepard's character. Hopefully he finds a job in football, on the field or not, because he deserves one, but it would be impossible to rationalize spending a draft pick on him.
Rashaun Simonise, Wide Receiver, Calgary
Who is he: Simonise set the CIS alight in his junior season at Calgary. In eight games, Simonise caught 51 passes for 1079 yards and 11 touchdowns and earned first team honors in his conference. At 6-5, 200 pounds, Simonise has a huge but lean frame. His big body makes him an asset at the catch point and his long striding speed allows him to threaten deep down the field. He is a talented linear athlete, but lacks a suddenness to generate separation as an intermediate receiver. His dynamic is as a vertical receiver.
Is he worth a pick: Simonise's intriguing skill set would lead me to want to spend late round capital on him. A combination of size and vertical ability is hard to come by and with the Eagles looking for any kind of spark on offense, it would be a nice move to bring in the Canadian college star. This is not a "must pick" type of situation, but rather a "that would be nice" move by the team.
Cameron Walton, Defensive End, Concordia
Who is he: Walton was a highly productive defensive end who accumulated almost 20 sacks in his final season at Concordia. He was forced into the supplemental draft after Concordia decided to discontinue its football program after last season and Walton did not have the credits to transfer to another school. Walton is a high effort player who moves incredibly well despite being undersized. Walton's coach, Stanley Conner, compared Walton to Robert Mathis, who Conner coached in college. Take that for what you will but that kind of endorsement to go along with Walton's production is intriguing, at least.
Is he worth a pick: For a team that has little depth along the defensive line, especially at edge rusher, I would say Walton would be a nice addition to the team. His high effort playing style would suit a wide-nine front very nicely and walton would just be able to fire upfield and do what he does best. Of all the players in the supplemental draft, this would be the one I would be most pleased with the Eagles taking.
This Supplemental Draft has more talent in it than recent years, which is good for any team that is looking to add competition to the fringe of their roster. The Eagles have lots of strengths on their team, but a lack of quality depth at offensive playmaker and defensive end make me think the team could benefit from grabbing one of these players. It is not an end of the world scenario if they do not, but a lot of these prospects could add competition to the roster.