Detroit Lions: 2018 NFL supplemental draft has intrigue

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

The 2018 NFL supplemental draft could be interesting this year for the Detroit Lions with quite a few intriguing players declaring.

The NFL supplemental draft will be held on July 11 and this might be one of more talented ones in quite some time. That could have the Detroit Lions give serious consideration to putting in a bid.

Currently, there are four players who have declared for the supplemental draft. Virginia Tech cornerback Adonis Alexander, Western Michigan cornerback Sam Beal, Mississippi State safety Brandon Bryant, and Oklahoma State linebacker Bright Ugwoegbu. All of whom have a chance to be drafted.

Sam Beal

Strengths: Speed, Excels in press coverage, Mirror receiver’s route, Solid football instincts, Great ball skills to break up passes, A lot of room to grow

Weaknesses: Very raw, two years at cornerback, Takes bad angles, over pursuits, low interception numbers

According to Tony Pauline from, Beal has solid ball skills and play speed, but does not display great play recognition. Beal’s talent should be worth the gamble for a selection in the supplemental draft as high as Round 2.

Adonis Alexander

Strengths: Long arms, jams receivers at the line of scrimmage, fluid hips, solid body control, easily makes adjustments, Versatility

Weaknesses: Off the field issues, ruled academically ineligible, Inconsistent play, Low motor

Alexander has the tools to be a successful NFL defensive back with his length, physicality, and ball control. However, his off the field issues and inconsistent play will severely hurt his draft stock. He is projected to go between Round 5 and 6.

Brandon Bryant

Strengths: Fluid hips, solid change of direction skills, Twitchy athleticism, terrific speed, Versatile

Weaknesses: Below average football instincts, Takes bad angles, Bites hard on receiver’s routes, Ball production is low for being a safety

Bryant has the athleticism and impressive speed for the NFL, but his football instincts are something left to be desired probably limiting him to special teams. He could potentially be drafted with a Round 6 grade on him.

Bright Ugwoegbu

Strengths: Reliable starter, Great production, Quickness and awareness, Long arms, Fast and explosive, Sure tackler, Strong coverage ability

Weaknesses: Slightly small for position, Lacks ideal bulk for edge rushing, One dimensional pass rusher, Questions about position

According to Tony Pauline from, he can cover sideline to sideline and could be a good nickel linebacker in the NFL. The problem is some teams might not know where to put him. Measures well as a safety, but has edge rusher speed. Ugwoegbu has a 6th-7th round grade, so he might have a shot of being drafted.

Lions making a selection?

As for the Lions making a selection this year, it’ll be quite difficult. Already giving up their 3rd round pick next year after trading up to draft Da’Shawn Hand, their draft capital is limited. From what Erik Schlitt from USA Today’s Lionswire mentioned in his article about the supplemental draft, the Lions will have to feel extremely confident they will be an instant contributor to warrant using a 1st or 2nd pick to make a selection.

Beal is the most intriguing option out of the group according to most analysts. If the Lions want to get Beal though, they will more than likely have to give up their 2nd round pick to get him. With how much the Lions plan on using the secondary this year, he will be intriguing option to have play opposite of Slay, but the cost might be too high.

With Tony Pauline’s analysis on Ugwoegbu, I could possibly see him as the best option if the Lions want to make a selection. He could fill a hybrid linebacker role with his intriguing traits of quickness, long arms, and compact frame. With his lack of strength as a pass rusher, this would be his best fit. In the Lions’ defense, he could fill the hang defender or robber role. Erik Schlitt explains what the hang defender and robber role entails:

"The hang defender is a similar role to the robber in that they exist near the linebacker level but they are typically heavier than the average defensive back. Wilson (212 pounds), Shead (216) and Killebrew (222) should all compete for this role.In standard five-defensive back sets, the hang defender would replace the nickel corner and will be utilized when the coaching staff wants to get bigger at the position. When six or more members of the secondary are deployed this player will likely find themselves even closer to the line of scrimmage.The robber is a defender who spends the majority of their time around the linebacker level, is physical against the run, excels in coverage and makes plays primarily by reading and reacting to what’s in front of him."

The Lions will probably be using a 3-3-5 defense majority of the time and he could provide depth along the position. He will have to complete with the mentioned players above, but he won’t cost a high draft pick if the Lions want to take a chance on him.

They could spend a late round pick on Alexander and Bryant, but they both come with some concerns. Alexander has off the field issues that is hard to overlook along with inconsistent play. Bryant is athletic, but with his limited football instincts, that is all he really has going for him.

With how much many of us would love to have Beal play opposite of Slay, his price tag is going to be too rich. I’m not sure if the general manager Bob Quinn wants to walk into next years draft having only one pick in the first two days.

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Alexander and Bryant have too many questions marks. If the Lions make a selection I would go with Ugwoegbu. He offers some intrigue for what they are looking to do on defense and might be worth a late rounder.