Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Top 10 NFL Supplemental Draft picks who made their mark in the league: Mike Wahle


Nick Igbokwe

Modified Jun 20, 2023 14:53 GMT

The NFL Supplemental Draft is set to return in July for the first time in four years, giving all 32 teams a chance to surrender future draft picks in exchange for prospects deemed ineligible for April's traditional draft.

The upcoming NFL Supplemental Draft will be a fantastic way for franchises to select fresh candidates, and it is another route for much-maligned prospects to live their NFL dream.

Before the 2023 NFL Supplemental Draft, let's look at ten of the most excellent picks in Supplemental Draft history. Without further ado, let's get to it.

Top 10 NFL Supplemental Draft Picks of all-time

Here are ten of the finest picks in Supplemental Draft history.

10. Terrelle Pryor, QB/WR, Oakland Raiders

The Raiders took a chance on the controversial but talented Pryor, who did a decent job repaying their faith.

Pryor threw nine touchdowns and tossed 11 picks with the Raiders, and given his massive size and explosive speed, a switch to wide receiver was logical. And while he never quite lived up to his high-school hype in the NFL, we have to hand it to Pryor for eclipsing the 1,000-yard mark in 2017 as a wideout in Cleveland, in only his second season playing that position. He reeled in 77 passes on 140 targets that year, but injuries ultimately sapped some of his juice, and Pryor's last season in 2018 featured just 22 catches and 252 yards receiving.

9. Bobby Humphrey, RB, Denver Broncos

Humphrey started his NFL career positively after being selected in the first round of the supplemental draft in 1989. As a member of the Broncos, he rushed for 1,151 yards and followed with a 1,202-yard campaign at 4.2 yards per attempt in 1990, the latter year earning him a spot in the Pro Bowl. He became the first Bronco to run for 1,000-plus yards in back-to-back years. His career later faded away after his ill-advised holdout during the 1991 season. He later closes out his NFL career as a member of the Miami Dolphins, putting up decent and efficient numbers.

8. Jared Gaither, OT, Baltimore Ravens

Following a three-year stint with the Ravens and spending the entire 2010 campaign on injured reserve, Gaither played with the Chiefs and had a three-year stay with the Chargers. He started 37 games in his NFL career and was typically one of the steadier albeit unspectacular left tackles in the league.

7. Josh Gordon, WR, Cleveland Browns

For all of Josh Gordon's controversies as an NFL player, even his most prominent critic must admit he was an excellent wide receiver. As a 22-year-old, he led the NFL with 1,646 yards receiving in just 14 games while catching passes from Jason Campbell, Brandon Weeden, and Brian Hoyer, an awe-inspiring feat. He earned first-team All-Pro nods in 2013 as a result.

However, Gordon's issues with substance abuse ended up being his kryptonite, as he never reached such high levels for the rest of his career. He even missed two full NFL seasons due to suspensions. He was last seen tearing it up in the XFL as he attempted to show NFL franchises that he still has enough gas left in the tank to play some rotational role.

6. Mike Wahle, OG, Carolina Panthers

After going in the second round of the 1998 supplemental draft, Wahle went on to have an 11-year NFL tenure, including 152 games played and an All-Pro nod in 2005 with the Panthers.

But it was with those good Packers teams in the late 1990s and early 2000s which Wahle cut his teeth. Before signing in Carolina, he was the club's full-time starter from 2001 to 2004.

5. Ahmad Brooks, LB, Cincinnati Bengals

Ahmad Brooks was selected in the third round of the 2006 supplemental draft. He was chosen by the Cincinnati Bengals, who saw a lot of potential in the Virginia alum. Brooks spent two seasons in Cincy before joining the San Francisco 49ers, where he made a name for himself as a dominant linebacker.

Brooks totaled 335 tackles, 88 QB hits, 71 tackles for loss, 51.5 sacks, 28 passes defended, three fumble recoveries, and three picks as a critical cog in the middle of the 49er's defense. He was a two-time second-team All-Pro performer and made one Pro Bowl.

4. Rob Moore, WR, New York Jets

The Jets took Moore in the first round of the 1990 supplemental draft, and he immediately paid dividends for the offense. He recorded 50 or more receptions and 700 or more receiving yards in four of his first five NFL seasons, including his breakout in 1994 when he topped 1,000 yards for the first time.

Moore left the Jets in the mid-90s and joined the Arizona Cardinals. He had two more 1,000-yard seasons while setting career highs in receptions (97), yards (1,584), and touchdowns (eight) in 1997. Moore is ranked 10th all-time in receiving yards and touchdowns, placing 12th in receptions in Cardinals' history.

3. Bernie Kosar, QB, Cleveland Browns

For a good reason, Bernie Kosar went number one in the 1985 supplemental draft. Had he not graduated in his junior year, he would have been a high Draft pick in the regular draft. Kosar entered the league with plenty of fanfare after an illustrious two-year career in Miami with the Hurricanes, in which the team won its first national title and the Fiesta Bowl the following season.

He threw for 23,301 yards, 124 TDs, and 87 interceptions over his 13-year NFL career, including stints with the Browns, Miami Dolphins, and Dallas Cowboys. He was a two-time Pro Bowler, winning a Super Bowl in Dallas while working as Troy Aikman's backup in 1994.

2. Jamal Williams, DT, Los Angeles Chargers

Jamal Williams turned a second-round NFL Supplemental Draft selection by the Los Angeles Chargers into a 13-year NFL career with three All-Pro and three Pro Bowl selections. That, by all means, is a testament to how important the NFL Supplemental Draft is to find diamonds in the rough.

Williams ended his career with 443 tackles (55 for loss), 13 sacks, four forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and one defensive touchdown. The Los Angeles Chargers were always one of the NFL's best defensive teams with Williams in the squad.

1. Cris Carter, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

It was never in doubt, as Cris Carter is the name you immediately think of when Supplemental Draft comes to mind. Carter remains the only former supplemental draft pick in the Hall of Fame. The Ohio State University alum had three productive but rocky years with the Eagles. Still, after he left for the Minnesota Vikings, he became a different player. In Minnesota, Carter earned three All-Pro selections, became an eight-time Pro Bowler, and was an NFL 1990s All-Decade Team member.

He had his first 1,000-yard season in 1993 (1,071 yards), starting eight straight years with 1,000 or more receiving yards. He also had seven seasons with 80 or more receptions and six with double-digit touchdowns. Carter ranks fourth all-time in league history for touchdown receptions (130), sixth in receptions (1,101), and 13th in receiving yards (13,899). He is the greatest Supplemental Draft pick in NFL history, and it's not even close.

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