It’s not often when the NFL’s Supplemental Draft brings some buzz, but this year is a little different than others.
WZZM Sports Director Jamal Spencer reports that each of the NFL’s 32 teams were in attendance for a workout starring Western Michigan cornerback Sam Beal. And according to NFL.com personnel guru Gil Brandt, his workout numbers pretty much confirmed why every team in the league would be interested in this cornerback prospect:
Official pro day numbers for @WMU_Football CB Sam Beal:
Height: 6-0 7/8
Weight: 178 (187 in spring)
Short shuttle: 4.09
Had very good workout. Expected to be highest sup draft pick since Josh Gordon in 2012.
— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) June 28, 2018
It’s not just that Beal might be the best prospect of this group, but he could quite possibly be the best supplemental draft prospect to become available since Josh Gordon. That’s high praise.
Further, Beal’s numbers would have measured up with cornerbacks had he participated in last winter’s the NFL Scouting Combine. In fact, he would have been a top performer in the 40-yard dash (15th), vertical jump (8th), broad jump (3rd), and 20-yard shuttle (7th).
Sure, the Bears did well in scooping up players like Rashard Fant, Jon Franklin III, Tyrin Holloway, Michael Joseph, Nick Orr, and Kevin Tolliver as undrafted free agents. But Beal is a different cat. The Western Michigan product was an All-MAC performer and would have been considered a top prospect for the 2019 NFL Draft had he remained in school for another season.
Earlier in June, we discussed a report that suggested the Bears could be one of the teams who use the rarely (but not never!) meaningful supplemental draft in search of additional talent. And this year’s class appears to be loaded in the secondary. Beal could be joined by Virginia Tech cornerback Adonis Alexander and Mississippi State safety Brandon Bryant, who were expected to apply for and gain entry into the draft, which exists for players who did not enter the NFL Draft because of unique circumstances.
The Bears haven’t used a supplemental draft choice since 2010 when it selected BYU fullback Harvey Unga in the seventh round. But judging by the wide-ranging interest in Beal, the supplemental draft appears to be worth caring about in 2018.