The New York Giants have used a third-round pick to select Western Michigan CB Sam Beal in the NFL’s supplemental draft on Wednesday, the league announced.
The Giants will forfeit their corresponding third-rounder in 2019 following this selection. They still have all their other remaining picks in next year's draft, except for in Round 7, trading their own original pick and acquiring the Rams' choice.
Giants GM Dave Gettleman has been undergoing cancer treatment, but he was at the team's facility on Wednesday. He indicated that the Giants were able to conduct a “very thorough conversation” with the team's scouts who had seen Beal.
“He’s long, he’s very athletic for a corner, he has all the physical skills, he can carry the vertical, he has very good play speed, he shows instincts out there, he has ball awareness, he doesn’t panic when the ball is thrown at his guy, and he is a very willing tackler," Gettleman said, per giants.com. We just feel it gives us a really talented young kid with the ability to ascend.”
The only other team to use a supplemental pick this year was Washington, which selected Virginia Tech CB Adonis Alexander with a sixth-rounder. The other three players who were eligible — Mississippi State S Brandon Bryant, Grand Valley State RB Marty Carter and Oregon State LB Bright Ugwoegbu — went undrafted and were rendered free agents and immediately able to sign with any interested NFL team.
Bryant reportedly signed with the Jets, per Yahoo Sports.
According to PFW draft analyst Greg Gabriel, Beal has the size and skills to become a No. 2 CB in the NFL. Beal stands 6-foot-1 but has a lean build at 178 pounds. Still, without much time to prepare for his pro day, Beal stood out with good jumping numbers and a solid 40-yard dash (4.47 seconds).
Beal played well as a junior in 2017, earning All-MAC second-team honors and picked off eventual Jets first-round QB Sam Darnold — whom the Giants passed on — among Beal's two INTs. Faced with some academic issues that might have prevented him from regaining eligibility for his senior season, Beal was compelled to enter the supplemental draft this summer.
Washington was in on Alexander, attending his pro day, and had a need at corner. He's long at nearly 6-foot-3 and well-built at 195 pounds but perhaps in need of a little filling out. Scouts were concerned about his attitude in school, when he often failed to complete tasks and ran into academic trouble and at least one reported positive drug test for marijuana. But Alexander also had seven INTs in three college seasons, which were sprinkled with a few great highlights.
Gabriel wrote that Alexander has talent, but the questions about his ability to fulfill it are concerning. For Washington, which had depth concerns outside, the risk in forfeiting next year's sixth-rounder was worth it in their minds. The team is currently projected to receive four compensatory picks next year, including two sixth-rounders, mitigating the risk even more.
Washington now has drafted five Virginia Tech defenders since 2015, including Alexander's Hokies teammates DT Tim Settle (Round 5) and CB Greg Stroman (Round 7), back in April. Washington's DB coach, Torrian Gray, previously played and coached at Tech — both with current Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster — before jumping to the NFL coaching ranks.
Also known as the second-chance draft, the supplemental draft is an annual process each July that is made available for players whose circumstances in college have changed, usually because of players’ academic status or sometimes for off-field incidents.
The unusual "lottery" format of the draft allowed the Giants to have the third pick in every round, following the Raiders and crosstown Jets. The Giants now have more talent in a secondary that underwhelmed last season and was plagued by discipline issues, including multiple suspensions under former head coach Ben McAdoo. It's not known whether Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins' recent incident involving an acquaintance who was murdered at his residence — Jenkins' brother has been charged with manslaughter — had any bearing on the Beal selection.
Beal is the highest player selected in the NFL’s supplemental draft since the Browns used a second-round pick on Josh Gordon in 2012. Prior to this week, only one player — former Rams fifth-rounder Isaiah Battle — had been picked since Gordon.