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Buffalo Bills remain on sideline during 2023 NFL Supplemental Draft

With just two players available in Tuesday’s supplemental group, One Bills Drive decided to pass

Buffalo Bills v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

The 2023 NFL Supplemental Draft made its return after a four-year hiatus. This edition of the draft included just two players, both of whom are wide receivers — Jackson State’s Malachi Wideman and Purdue’s Milton Wright.

Tuesday’s event marked the NFL’s first Supplemental Draft since 2019 when the Arizona Cardinals used a fifth-round pick on safety Jalen Thompson — a proven and valuable asset for the Cardinals.

As a franchise, the Buffalo Bills have selected two players in the Supplemental Draft in their history. In 1979 they selected running back Rod Stewart using a sixth-round pick. Then a decade later in 1989 they selected defensive back Brett Young with an eighth-round pick.

While many believe the Bills have an unresolved situation in their receivers room, the team decided to forego making a play for either available prospect.

If the idea of the NFL Supplemental Draft is new to you, here’s a brief primer to bring you up to speed.

How the NFL Supplemental Draft works

The supplemental draft is for prospects who didn’t declare for the NFL Draft. This is sometimes caused by the player having something happen that made them ineligible in college.

Teams receive a list of players who will be eligible in the supplemental selection process. NFL teams are divided into three groups based on

  • non-playoff teams with six or fewer wins;
  • non-playoff teams with more than six wins;
  • and then finally the 14 playoff teams

The order of the teams within those three groups is selected randomly. Teams will submit if they are interested in drafting any of the players. If they are, the teams will blindly submit what round they would select the player in if it was the normal NFL draft.

For example, if the Bills were to submit a third-round pick for a supplemental player, they would earn their rights if no other team higher in the pecking order submitted a third-round pick. However, the catch is that the payment for selecting a player is the loss of the corresponding pick in the following year’s NFL draft. In this example, the Bills would therefore lose their third-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.