It appears as if the Falcons could be mulling a prospect that’s applied for the 2018 NFL Supplemental Draft.
The team was on hand for the Pro Day of former Mississippi State safety Brandon Bryant, who will be eligible to be selected when the draft gets underway on Wed., July 11.
Mississippi State DB Brandon Bryant about to run his 40 for NFL scouts in advance of supplemental draft.— Chase Goodbread (@ChaseGoodbread) June 25, 2018
Clubs on hand:#Rams #Browns #Falcons #Jets #Giants #49ers #Redskins #Colts #Steelers #Saints #Jaguars #Texans #Raiders #Ravens pic.twitter.com/pyr4CU8lwr
Goodbeard mentioned why Bryant has found himself looking to summer to be drafted (thanks for the heads up, @FreeTrain24).
Bryant was selected last year to NFL.com’s list of college football’s fastest players and most freakish athletes. He’s been timed as fast as a 4.24 seconds in the 40-yard dash, and can deadlift 600 pounds. At 5-foot-11, 200 pounds, Bryant made 32 tackles last year for the Bulldogs, including a season-high 11 at Auburn. He was withheld from MSU’s spring practices for academic reasons, and announced he was leaving the school in April.
His reps at safety in college definitely make you curious as to if the team will consider taking him at some point in the process. He absolutely fits the athletic profile for what Dan Quinn likes in his defenders. If the compensation were, say, a sixth or seventh rounder, the team does need some depth in their safety group. They’ve got a couple of guys competing for the backup role behind Keanu Neal, though it’s a battle that could always welcome new suitors.
The last March trade season showed how valuable a fifth rounder can be, so don’t expect the team to part with one of those if the time comes, or anything higher.
The team also just literally signed veteran S Ron Parker, which makes this actually happening all the more doubtful, if still definitely possible. Based on his speed and size combo, Bryant could even be considered a project corner.
The Falcons’ culture is such that it can accommodate and help grow most anyone who has question marks, though the team has literally just been burned by a secondary player who struggled with maturity issues. Jalen Collins was a higher draft pick, of course, so an investment in Bryant would hurt less if he doesn’t pan out.
Note that Bryant was arrested for a DUI early in 2017, so that could alone be what keeps the Falcons from spending a pick on him. The last three players that did not fit Thomas Dimitroff’s “Falcons Filter” have been unceremoniously cut for off-field problems (Ra’Shede Hageman, Prince Shembo, Collins). But, Bryant could well be past his 2017 incident by now.
Also, keep in mind that only three players have been taken in the Supplemental Draft since 2011: Terrelle Pryor, who has found a nice career as a wide receiver after entering the league as a quarterback, Josh Gordon, who is poised to finally get back to play after being in and out of play over the last three seasons, and Isaiah Battle, who was drafted by the Rams for fifth-round compensation, and was cut soon after. He’s now with the Seahawks trying to latch on to their roster.
You have to go back to 2006 with LB Ahmad Brooks to find a Supplemental Draft talent who registered a decent career in the league.
The odds are against the Falcons from taking anyone when the draft gets going. IfBryant drops to the sixth or seventh-round , it’s not impossible for the Falcons to take a flyer on a risky player. Though, as you can see by the attendees at Bryant’s workout, they won’t be alone in considering that.
Fellow defensive back prospects CB Sam Beal of Western Michigan and CB Adonis Alexander of Virginia Tech are likely to be selected, though don’t expect the Falcons to join in there. Their cornerback group is quite full at the moment, and either guy would likely be destined to hit the practice squad if selected.
If the team doesn’t opt to select Bryant, they could still sign him as a UDFA, though he’ll no doubt have his suitors.