Patriots

Patriots

For most of July, the NFL rests. Until training camps open during the last few days of the month, there's not usually much to report in the way of news.

There is one date early in July, however, that quietly pops up every year -- that of the supplemental draft. And according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, the supplemental draft will be held this year on July 9. 

It's a day that will barely rouse the league from its six-week slumber, but it's a day worth noting nonetheless. Every so often a legitimate player enters the pro ranks via the league's second draft. 

There's no guarantee a player gets selected during the process since teams that make a supplemental pick lose a selection in the corresponding round of the next year's NFL draft. The last time a team made a supplemental selection was in 2012 when the Browns spent a second-rounder on receiver Josh Gordon.

Still, there are a few players who have declared for the supplemental draft this year who have a shot at being taken. 

Clemson's 6-foot-6 offensive tackle Isaiah Battle, who declared on June 25 citing "family matters," may be the most NFL-ready of the bunch.

"I have some family matters to address, with a child due this summer, and I feel it is in my best interest to enter the NFL Supplemental Draft," Battle said in a statement. "I want to thank everyone at Clemson, especially Coach Swinney and the assistant coaches, for what they have done for me the last three years. I also want to thank my teammates. They have all had a big impact on my career."

North Carolina Central wideout and kick returner Adrian Wilkins (5-8, 175 pounds) has also declared for the supplemental draft. He averaged over 20 yards per return last season, and in 2013 he had five special teams scores, three on kick returns and two on punt returns. 

Two West Georgia teammates -- defensive end Darrius Caldwell (6-6, 245) and defensive tackle Dalvon Stuckey (6-4, 300) -- has also made themselves eligible for the supplemental draft. Caldwell led the Gulf Coast conference in sacks (12) last season and had 18.5 tackles for loss. 

 

Will the Patriots be in on any of them?

Coach Bill Belichick's roster looks to be pretty well set at the positions that will be available -- tackle, receiver, defensive end and defensive tackle -- so spending future draft capital on a position that doesn't qualify as a pressing need may not be all that enticing. And odds are there will be another club that is in somewhat of an emergency situation willing to spend a higher-round choice on a player in order to help fill a glaring positional vacancy.

For example, it wouldn't be a surprise if the Broncos -- who lost tackle Ryan Clady to a torn ACL during organized team activities -- had interest in Battle now that he's available.

Add to that the fact that any rookie joining the Patriots at this point in the year would have already missed rookie minicamp, OTAs and mandatory minicamp, putting him in catch-up mode when training camp begins, it seems unlikely that the club would make a selection in the supplemental draft.

But check back in on July 9 just to make sure. After that you can hit the proverbial snooze button on the season until training camp begins July 29.