While waiting for DeAndre Hopkins’ “final answer,” Tennessee Titans general manager Ran Carthon should continue searching for alternative methods to improve his cast of wide receivers. One event that could intrigue Carthon is this year’s NFL Supplemental Draft, which is scheduled for mid July. The event had recently been on hiatus with the latest iteration occurring in 2019.
The supplemental draft accommodates players in unique situations, and is often utilized by players that have been ruled ineligible for the upcoming college football season. Unlike the regular NFL draft, the supplemental splits all 32 teams into three categories based on how their previous season went:
Group A: Non-playoff teams with six or fewer regular season wins
Group B: Non-playoff teams with more than six regular season wins
Group C: The 14 teams that made the playoffs
The Titans will appear in Group B as a result of their lackluster 7-10 record. With all 32 franchises divided into specific groups, the draft order is then decided by a weighted lottery system, similar to systems used by the NBA and MLB. Teams with the worst records have better chances to capture the earlier picks within their weighted groups. The order of the groups, however, is randomly generated.
So far, the only two players approved for the 2023 supplemental draft both happen to be wide receivers. They are former Purdue wide receiver Milton Wright, and former Jackson State wide receiver Malachi Wideman. This should intrigue the receiver-needy Titans.
Once the supplemental draft begins, teams may choose to bid one of their upcoming draft selections from the 2024 NFL Draft on Wideman and/or Dupree. The bid is completely blind, so competing franchises are unaware of competing bids. The franchise that submits the highest round bid is granted the player’s rights and must forfeit a selection from that exact round in the 2024 NFL Draft.
Wright recorded 57 receptions for 732 and seven touchdowns as a junior for Purdue in 2021. Wright was expected to serve as the Boilermakers’ No. 1 receiver in 2022 before unfortunately being declared academically ineligible. Wright is a 6-foot-3, 195-pound big-bodied receiver that uses his frame effectively to box out defenders.
#Purdue WR Milton Wright seems like the next WR in line for the Boilermakers— Cory P. (@FF_Guitarist) February 25, 2022
The last 3 WR1's in Purdue's offense avg (exc. 2020):
Rondale: Rnd 2 NFL Capital
Bell: Projected Day 2
6'3, 200 lbs, 4⭐️ with legit wheels.
8/213/3 against NU this year⤵️ #Devy #C2C pic.twitter.com/gpsiUUKd8w
Wideman is a former 4-star recruit that initially committed to the Tennessee Volunteers. Wideman eventually transferred to Jackson State in search of more playing time. It was under coach Deion Sanders that Wideman exploded to catch 34 passes for 540 yards and a SWAC-leading 12 touchdowns in 2021. The 6-foot-4, 200-pound Wideman proved to be an elite red-zone threat for the Tigers.
The NFL is bringing back the supplemental draft, and a big name to watch is Jackson State WR Malachi Wideman.— Jacob Infante (@jacobinfante24) June 25, 2023
6’5” and 200 lbs who was a top-100 recruit in BOTH football and basketball in HS. Source says he’s been training at Brandon Marshall’s athletic facility. #NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/AHKkuE0PAw
There is one potential roadblock to the Titans feeling comfortable enough to bid on Wideman or Dupree. The Titans are already without multiple 2024 draft picks after trading three separate picks in exchange for Dennis Daley (thanks, Jon Robinson), Ugo Amadi (remember him? Thanks again, J-Rob!) and the right to draft Will Levis.
Carthon may be hesitant to part with additional 2024 draft capital. Perhaps Carthon will deem Dupree or Wideman worth the cost of doing business, though. The Titans should at least kick the tires.