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Insider Blog: Roots Run Thin

Posted Jul 15, 2010

DE Darren Mickell represents Kansas City's Supplemental Draft history

Darren Mickell. Do you remember him?

A defensive end out of Florida, Mickell played in 25 games over four seasons with the Chiefs during the early 1990’s (1992-95). Although Mickell’s career numbers were well above the NFL’s average, he never fully developed into  the player that most would have sought from what constituted to a 2nd round pick in 1993 NFL Draft. Still, he’s somewhat of a historic member in franchise history.

Mickell’s best season with KC came in his third season as a pro, starting 13 games to post 38 tackles and 7.0 sacks. That sack total was good enough for the third-most on the 1994 Chiefs, right behind DE Neil Smith (11.5) and LB Derrick Thomas (11.0).

Once his days in Kansas City concluded, following the 1995 season, Mickell would spend parts of the next six NFL seasons in New Orleans, San Diego and Oakland. He finished career in 2001 with a very respectable 89 game appearances (61 starts) on his NFL resume.

So why bring up Darren Mickell some 15 years after his Kansas City departure?

Well, Mickell is the last player (and the only player, for that matter) to be selected by the Chiefs via the NFL Supplemental Draft. Kansas City spent a 2nd round selection on Mickell in the 1992 Supplemental Draft, which voided the Chiefs 2nd round selection in the 1993 NFL Draft.

Today marks the date, once again, that the most under-the-radar draft in all of major professional sports is to be held. Today is the 2010 NFL Supplemental Draft. If you assumed that the Chiefs 2010 Draft Class was complete at seven players, you’re likely correct, but the Chiefs could still add a new member to that list this afternoon when the NFL’s 2010 Supplemental Draft is implemented.

To put into perspective exactly how this event works, think of a silent auction combining with a lottery system.

For starters, there won’t be a formal draft room filled with a head coach, GM and various front office personnel, and there isn’t a podium under the spotlight for NFL Commission Roger Goodell to announce selections on a pick-by-pick basis. You won’t be able to follow the Supplemental Draft live on TV, or the internet either, and it’s a possibility that no players will be selected at all today.

What each of the 32 teams has an opportunity to do is select from a pool of players that, for various reasons, will not play college football this upcoming season. Each franchise is slotted into one of three lotteries, based off 2009 record. To participate, the general manager simply submits a private form to the league office indicating whether or not their respective club has any intention of bidding on a particular player.

If so, the team states what round they would like to draft the player. If multiple bids are made on the same player, the club submitting the higher round bid would obtain his rights (kcchiefs.com video explaining the process).

The pool of candidates this year includes four players - BYU’s all-time leading rusher RB Harvey Unga, Illinois DT Joshua Price-Brent , former Nebraska/Northwestern State RB Quentin Castille and Truman State’s (NCAA Division II – Kirksville, MO) offensive play-maker Vaness Emokpae.

Oregon’s ultra-athletic QB Jeremiah Masoli, who has been suspended for the 2010 season by the university, opted not to enter the supplemental pool.

As was Mickell’s case in ’92, the field of Supplemental Draft entrants typically consists of players who have had some sort of academic or legal trouble that has affected their eligibility status for the upcoming collegiate season. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule, but in most cases there is some sort of disciplinary action involved. Emokpae is one of those exceptions, having already graduated but simply choosing not to return for a fifth season at Truman State (he missed all of 2008 with a knee injury).

According to NFL.com’s Gil Brandt, "The supplemental draft began in 1977 as a way to accommodate players who weren't eligible for the upcoming college football season. That year, Notre Dame RB Al Hunter (career stats) flunked out of school after the NFL draft, but before his senior season in college. Because Hunter wouldn't have been eligible to transfer, the supplemental draft was created."

Over the four-decade history, there have certainly been supplemental success stories, ranging from Ohio State WR Cris Carter’s emergence from the center of the Norby Walters Scandal in 1987 to Miami Hurricanes QB Bernie Kosar raising eyebrows by skipping the 1985 NFL Draft, but later declaring himself eligible for the 1985 Supplemental Draft. The move would ultimately guarantee Kosar’s placement on the roster of his hometown team, the Cleveland Browns.

There are a couple of familiar active players who are Supplemental Draft alums, a list that includes former Oklahoma State NT Jamal Williams going to San Diego in 1998 and former Maryland T Jared Gaither heading to the Ravens in 2007. Other notable non-active alums include WR Rob Moore (NYJ, 1st round -1990), RB Bobby Humphrey (DEN, 1st round – 1989) and LB Brian Bosworth (SEA, 1st round – 1987).    

Last season, eight men made up the player pool for the 2009 Supplemental Draft. Of those eight, only one was selected; DE Jeremy Jarmon out of Kentucky. Jarmon played in 11 games (one start) for Washington last season and tallied 8 tackles.

Since the Supplemental Draft’s inception in 1977, 38 players have been selected through the process.

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