CB Paul Oliver (Todd Bennett/Getty)
The 2008 Supplemental Draft, which had tentatively been scheduled for next week, has been cancelled due to a lack of entrants, NFLDraftScout.com has learned.
"No one applied at the time of the deadline," 49ers general manager Scott McCloughan confirmed Thursday. The NFL sent out a memo to all 32 teams informing them of the announcement Wednesday.
The cancellation comes as a surprise, as there had been rumblings throughout the league that several players were considering applying, including high profile talents like Southern California middle linebacker Rey Maualuga, Oklahoma State tight Brandon Pettigrew and Mississippi State offensive tackle Michael Brown.
Designed to be an avenue into the NFL for "special case" players, the Supplemental Draft had grown in popularity in recent years. Ten players applied for special eligibility last year, with two players being selected. San Diego drafted former Georgia cornerback Paul Oliver in the fourth round, and Baltimore selected Maryland offensive tackle Jared Gaither a round later. Gaither is being given the first crack at replacing retired left tackle Jonathan Ogden in Baltimore, while Oliver has been working at free safety this offseason.
Nine players have been selected in the Supplemental Draft over the past decade, including Chargers nose guard Jamal Williams and Seahawks offensive guard Mike Wahle, who have both been Pro Bowl performers.
Since its inception in 1977, a total of 37 players have been selected via the Supplemental Draft. Among the most notable selections were quarterback Bernie Kosar (Cleveland, 1985), wide receiver Cris Carter (Philadelphia, 1987) and linebacker Brian Bosworth (Seattle, 1987).
The Supplemental Draft was originally created for players who had lost their eligibility to play collegiate football between the regular April draft and the beginning of the next season. Many of these "special case" players had lost their eligibility due to academics or legal troubles.
Unlike the televised April draft, the Supplemental is carried out via email among teams. The teams, slotted into three groups based on their won/loss percentage the year previous, contact the league with a list of the players they'd draft and the round in which they'd take them. Any team that uses a Supplemental Draft pick would then lose the corresponding selection in the NFL Draft the following April.
Rob Rang is a Senior Analyst for NFLDraftScout.com, distributed by The Sports Xchange.