NFL Supplemental Draft: Jalen Thompson only player selected, headed to Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals, NFL, NFL Draft

Out of five eligible players, only Washington State safety Jalen Thompson was selected in the 2019 NFL Supplemental Draft.

The 2019 NFL Supplemental Draft took place on Wednesday and featured five eligible players: Washington State safety Jalen Thompson, West Virginia wide receiver Marcus Simms, Syracuse linebacker Shyheim Cullen, Northland Community College tight end Devonaire Clarington and St. Francis defensive back Bryant Perry.

In the end, only Thompson was selected by an NFL team, going to the Arizona Cardinals in the fifth round.

Thompson played three seasons for Washington State and planned to return in 2019, but tested positive for a banned substance and opted to enter the NFL Supplemental Draft instead. In 39 starts, he had 191 tackles (including 11.5 for a loss), six interceptions and 23 passes defensed. Though limited to being mostly a coverage safety, he plays his best ball against slot receivers and tight ends. With both positions becoming increasingly more crucial to the passing game’s success, being able to defend them is also high-priority.

Thompson should prove useful to the Cardinals in this area, but it should be noted that he’s also behind schedule, having lacked the benefit of getting Arizona’s playbook and participating in OTAs and minicamp as would a traditionally-drafted rookie.

The Supplemental Draft isn’t typically a hotbed of action, though quality players have occasionally been found there. Cris Carter, Bernie Kosar, Josh Gordon and Terrelle Pryor are all Supplemental Draft alums. And this also doesn’t mean that Simms, Cullen, Clarington and Perry won’t find their way to the NFL, either. The four are now free agents and can sign with any team.

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Simms, in particular, should get offers; though he has character-related concerns (a pair of DUIs, admitted marijuana use), his collegiate production (87 receptions for 1,457 yards and eight scores over three seasons) and speed should intrigue a few around the league.

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