We have a lot of users who are already getting tired of hearing about the draft; so I pour this one out to you as I talk about the supplemental draft! Yay!
Every year we seem to hear about an immensely talented player who is considering entering the supplemental draft after getting into hot water at their respective college. Last year rumors surrounded Mike Adams, Janoris Jenkins and Terrelle Pryor, with only Pryor ultimately going the supplemental draft route.
This year we have a player who is an All-American safety in Georgia's Bacarri Rambo who is facing a suspension due to a failed drug test, with some insiders suggesting he's weighing the option of entering the supplemental draft. I believe he is exactly what the Carolina Panthers need, and it would be foolish of them not to spend a 2013 3rd round pick to secure his services (should he decide to enter).
I know a lot of this talk is ludicrously premature, but nevertheless I think it's a good topic to spitball on a Saturday afternoon. We'll discuss Rambo's skills and his suspension...
After the jump
Thomas Davis, Charles Johnson, Corvey Irvin- there's little doubt that with Marty Hurney at the reigns the Carolina Panthers like drafting defensive players from Georgia. Bacarri Rambo was already weighing whether he should turn pro with many scouts rating him higher than Mark Barron, the consensus #1 safety in the 2012 draft.
Before we extol his virtues let's discuss his suspension. As it stands Rambo is facing a four game suspension for failing a drug test due to marijuana. His camp claims this was due to unwittingly eating laced brownies during Spring Break in Florida. While this seems like the oldest, most tired excuse in the book it should be notes that as of this article I can't find evidence of any more off-field indiscretions. Therefore, even if he knowingly used marijuana in the off-season I don't really consider his situation to be close to Janoris Jenkins who had numerous run-ins with the law.
What can he do on the field, though? Here is where it's really exciting to see what Rambo would bring to the table. At 6'1", 218lbs he is an archetypal safety, perfectly suited and sized to play a roving SS role, but he has the speed and ball skills needed to play FS. His three year stats at UGA are wholly impressive.
I love the versatility he showed at Georgia. In 2010 the defense required him to play closer to the line of scrimmage and blitz often- the result was 5.0 tackles for loss and three forced fumbles. Then in 2011 he was asked to hang back in coverage more- and he dominated with 16 passes defended and a whopping 8 interceptions. Rambo can play either safety spot with skill, and he's a player I was penciling is as a potential Panthers 1st round pick in 2013 (late round, that is).
As it stands scouts have him rated as a late 1st/early 2nd round pick in 2013. While there's a good chance he could return to Georgia this is a situation where the rookie pay scale can aid this transition. My understanding is that supplemental picks are not subject to the pay scale, and as such negotiate with teams as a free agent would (although one team owns their rights). Essentially the Panthers could select him with a 3rd or 4th round supplemental pick (based on buzz around the league) and let his camp know that if he's selected they would pay him like a 2nd round selection. This would ameliorate the lower pick and compensate him fairly.
I know many of us detest the idea of spending future picks early, but this would be a rare opportunity to add an amazing player at a low cost. I believe there's a good chance the Panthers' 2013 picks would be in the 20's of each round, and to that end there is amazing value in selecting Rambo.