Supplemental draft has produced some gems
Bernie Kosar was a success as a supplemental draft pick, throwing for over 23,000 yards and 124 touchdowns. (Al Messerschmidt/WireImage.com)
While not every pick made in the NFL's supplemental draft since its inception in 1977 has turned to gold, there have been enough success stories to make teams take notice of the now-annual event.
There are also enough mistakes made to keep things interesting, too -- the Saints, for example, spent a first-round pick in 1981 on Illinois QB Dave Wilson, who promptly blew out his knee and wound up being a career backup. Six years later, the Seahawks used a first-rounder on Brian Bosworth, a memorable personality who wound up being a colossal bust.
But some of the picks, maybe even more than you'd think, pan out. A look back at the best selections in NFL supplemental draft history:
• Bernie Kosar, QB (1985, 1st-round pick, Cleveland): Oh so many things have gone wrong in Cleveland's pro sports history. This wasn't one of them. After replacing an injured Gary Danielson in his rookie season, Kosar led the Browns to the playoffs. Then, over the next four seasons, he'd take them to the AFC championship game three times, each trip resulting in a loss to Denver.
Kosar finished his career with stops in Dallas and Miami. He wound up throwing for more than 23,000 yards and won a Super Bowl ring with the Cowboys in 1993.
• Cris Carter, WR (1987, 4th-round pick, Philadelphia): Long before Terrelle Pryor was even a blip on the world's radar, Carter signed with an agent and lost his senior year of eligibility at Ohio State. But everything definitely worked out for the talented receiver.
Carter spent three seasons with Philadelphia before being cut, then turned in a dozen sensational seasons in Minnesota. Carter made eight Pro Bowls, was named to the NFL's All-Decade team for the 1990s and eventually had his number retired by the Vikings. Between Philly, Minnesota and a brief stop in Miami at the end of his career, Carter made 1,101 receptions for nearly 14,000 yards and added 130 touchdowns.
• Rob Moore, WR (1990, 1st-round pick, New York Jets): Moore's never going to find himself enshrined in Canton, but he turned in a solid 10-year NFL career, split evenly between the Jets and Arizona.
The Syracuse product topped the 1,000-yard receiving mark in his final year with the Jets (1994), then made 97 grabs for 1,584 yards for the Cardinals in 1997. All told, he had 628 receptions for 9,368 yards and 49 touchdowns.
• Jamal Williams, DT (1998, 2nd-round pick, San Diego): Few picks -- in either the supplemental or actual NFL draft -- have panned out with the longevity of this one. Williams was with the Chargers through the 2009 season and started 122 games in his San Diego career. He made three consecutive Pro Bowls from 2005-07 and was twice named an All-Pro in that stretch.
In 2010, Williams moved on to Denver, where he started all 16 games. The Broncos released him this offseason.
• Mike Wahle, OT (1998, 2nd-round pick, Green Bay): A good year for the supplemental draft, apparently. The Packers' second-round pick of Wahle panned out -- the ex-Navy star started 13 games his second season, then was a fixture on the Green Bay line from 2001-04. He moved to Carolina in 2005 and earned a Pro Bowl nod.
• Jared Gaither, OT (2007, 5th-round pick, Baltimore): In terms of sheer talent, one of the better players to ever slip into the supplemental draft. Gaither wound up starting 15 games in 2008 for the Ravens, then 11 in 2009 before suffering an injury against the Chiefs. He missed the remainder of that season, all of last season and is now trying to work his way back with, ironically, Kansas City. Bonus nod this year for Paul Oliver, taken by the Chargers with a fourth-round pick. Oliver slowly worked his way into San Diego's rotation over the past few seasons and signed this offseason with New Orleans.