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South Alabama's Smith could be worth a look in supplemental draft

Jul. 11, 2013
 
The Green Bay Packers haven't chosen a player in the NFL supplemental draft since tackle Mike Wahle in 1998. File/Press-Gazette Media
The Green Bay Packers haven't chosen a player in the NFL supplemental draft since tackle Mike Wahle in 1998. File/Press-Gazette Media

Itís been 15 years since the Green Bay Packers have made their last selection in the NFL supplemental draft and the smart money would say that streak will remain intact during Thursday's latest installment.

This yearís draft reportedly consists of six players who all come equipped with some kind of blemish on their resume: UNLV defensive linemen James Boyd and Nate Holloway, Central Florida defensive end Toby Jackson, Houston receiver DeWayne Peace, Purdue receiver O.J. Ross and South Alabama cornerback Damond Smith.

Thereís a good chance none of the six will be selected, opening them up to the free agent market. If the Packers were to submit a bid on any of them in Rounds 1-7, it would cost them a corresponding selection in next yearís NFL draft.

With how much Ted Thompson covets draft choices, it would seem farfetched heíd sacrifice one on a player he might easily be able to nab in free agency. The Packers have one spot available on their 90-man roster and have reportedly showed interest in Smith.

According to Packer Reportís Bill Huber, the Packers tried to bring Smith in on a tryout basis before their rookie orientation in May before the NFL ruled he was ineligible.

The 5-foot-11 cornerback brings some baggage and character concerns after reportedly leaving Western Michigan on bad terms and being suspended from South Alabama for violating team rules.

Smith held a pre-draft workout for NFL teams on Wednesday where he ran a 4.4- to 4.5-second time in the 40-yard dash with a 37-inch vertical leap. The Packers are stacked at the position, but you can never have too many bodies in camp as evidenced by the injuries sustained by Sam Shields and Davon House a year ago.

The Packers have made four selections in the supplemental since the supplemental draft began in 1977 as a way for players to enter the draft who hadnít previously declared either because they missed the filing day or had issues arise with their collegiate eligibility.

In 1984, when the NFL was absorbing players with previous USHL and CFL affiliations, Green Bay drafted running back Buford Jordan in the first round and defensive backs Chuck Clanton and John Sullivan in the second and third round, respectively.

The last time the Packers dipped into the supplemental pool was in 1998 when Ron Wolf opted to surrender a second-round pick in the 1999 draft to secure Navy tackle Mike Wahle, who went on to play seven seasons in Green Bay after losing his senior eligibility due to a positive test for steroids.

In many cases, teams must be willing to accept risk in selecting a player. The only pick in last year's draft ó second-round receiver Josh Gordon ó showed potential during his rookie season with Cleveland, but was recently suspended for the first two games of next season for violating the league's substance abuse policty.

Is this the day the streak ends for the Packers? Unlikely, but never say never.

UPDATE (3 p.m.): No players were chosen in Thursday's supplemental draft. All 32 teams passed in all seven rounds.

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Get Green Bay Packers updates as they happen from our reporting team: (from left) Mike Vandermause, Wes Hodkiewicz and Pete Dougherty.

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