The NFL Supplemental Draft often goes unnoticed, and for good reason. The Supplemental Draft is a seldom-used escape route for players whose eligibility situations change after the deadline for declaring for the standard NFL Entry Draft has passed.
Many years, including four of the last seven, no players are selected. Teams that select a player in the Supplemental Draft must forfeit a pick in the corresponding round in next year’s Entry Draft. With a (usually) very limited group of players to choose from, teams frequently don’t view any of the available options as more valuable than a 7th-round pick next season.
That was almost the case this year, but not quite. The 2019 Draft saw one player selected: Washington State safety Jalen Thompson, who was picked in the 5th round by the Arizona Cardinals.
The Cardinals are one of the biggest underdogs in the entire NFL when it comes to the Super Bowl 54 odds, listed at about 90/1 to 100/1 on average. Generous odds is a plus but knowing a site with great mobile applications and customer service is important too thus the #1 ranked sportsbook here is still Bovada, due to it checking all the boxes. Thompson will add a little depth to Arizona’s defensive backfield, but certainly isn’t going to move the needle when it comes to the Cardinals’ 2020 championship hopes.
Thompson was named to the All-Pac-12 second team two years ago, but was downgraded to an “honorable mention” in 2018.
The would-be-senior was deemed ineligible for the 2019 college football season after violating NCAA rules, hence his entrance into the Supplemental Draft. The violation reportedly stemmed from Thompson taking an over-the-counter supplement disallowed by the NCAA.
In reality, Thompson’s departure from college is a bigger hit to the Cougars than it is a boon to the Cardinals. Arizona will be without CB Patrick Peterson for six games due to his own PED suspension, but Thompson is a natural safety, and Arizona’s depth chart is actually decently deep at the position. Budda Baker and D.J. Swearinger will be the starters, while 2019 fifth-rounder Deionte Thompson figures to be the next-man-up.
Arizona’s newest Thompson (i.e. Jalen) has the footspeed to transition to corner, but that would be a massive ask of the first-year pro. Rookie corners, even the most talented ones who are accustomed to the position, often struggle in their first seasons in the pros.