Have the Detroit Lions ever taken someone in the supplemental draft?

SideLion Report

The NFL will not have one again this year, but have the Detroit Lions ever picked someone in the supplemental draft?

The NFL last had a supplemental draft in 2019, when the Arizona Cardinals took safety Jalen Thompson. On Friday, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the league informed teams there will not be a supplemental draft again this year.

The supplemental draft is held for players whose eligibility changed since the deadline to be eligible for the regular draft. The CBA allows the league to choose whether to have one or not. The pandemic was surely the top reason in 2020 and 2021, as college football players got an extra year of eligibility. How college football has changed in terms of immediate transfers has likely helped diminish the pool of supplemental draft prospects too.

Any pick made in a round of the seven-round supplemental draft means a team has to forfeit a pick in the same round in the following year’s regular draft.

Have the Detroit Lions ever taken someone in the supplemental draft?

The supplemental draft has brought a few notable players into the NFL over the years, including Cris Carter, Bernie Kosar and Josh Gordon. The Lions haven’t had anyone like that via the supplemental draft, but they did find one player that eventually stuck for awhile.

According to Pro Football Reference, the Lions selected defensive back Kevin Robinson in the 1982 supplemental draft. He never made their roster, or any NFL roster.

In 1984, the Lions made three selections in the supplemental draft–wide receiver Al Williams, linebacker George Jamison and defensive end Doug Hollie. Williams never played for the Lions, with his only NFL regular season action three games as a punt returner for the San Diego Chargers in 1987. Hollie also never played for the Lions, playing five games for the Seattle Seahawks over the 1987 and 1988 seasons.

Jamison might be a recognizable name for older Lions fans.

After playing in the original edition of the USFL in 1984 and 1985, Jamison saw his first action for the Lions in 1987 and spent nine of his subsequent 12 NFL seasons in Detroit (1987-1993, 1997-1998, around three seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs).

Jamison played in 130 games for the Lions, with 82 starts, totaling 480 tackles, 19.5 sacks and nine interceptions. He started all 16 games in three straight seasons from 1991-1993, and played in four playoff games as a Lion.

So it’s possible to find someone who carves out a solid NFL career in the supplemental draft. But the Lions and every other team will have to wait until at least 2023 to have another shot at it.

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