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Isaiah Battle To 'definitely' Earn Interest In Nfl's Supplemental Draft


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For the first time since the Cleveland Browns invested a second round pick in wide receiver Josh Gordon in 2012, there will be a player selected in the NFL's annual Supplemental Draft.

At least, that's the early opinion of one highly-ranked NFL scout after news surfaced this week that 6-foot-6, 290 pound left tackle Isaiah Battle will be leaving Clemson early.

"Big upside athletically," the scout wrote in a text message. While the scout wouldn't go so far as to give a round projection, he expected that clubs would "definitely" be interested in the 22-year old Brooklyn, NY native, assuming that Battle checks out medically and character-wise.

While the Supplemental Draft has become a catch-all of sorts for prospects with off-field issues that endangered their eligibility, Battle's choice to leave school early for a shot at the NFL came due to family obligations.

"I have some family matters to address, with a child due this summer, and I feel it is in my best interest to enter the NFL Supplemental Draft," Battle said in statement released onClemson's official athletic website. "I want to thank everyone at Clemson, especially Coach [Dabo] Swinney and the assistant coaches, for what they have done for me the last three years. I also want to thank my teammates. They have all had a big impact on my career."

Battle played in 27 games for the Tigers over the past three seasons, starting 11 of 12 games a year ago and 16 contests, overall.

Before investing a draft pick, teams will, of course, want to investigate Battle closely.

Physically speaking, however, Battle's combination of height, arm length (35") and easy mobility will certainly intrigue the NFL. He is still pretty raw, showing only average functional strength at this time and too often bending at the waist rather than at the knees, which leaves him vulnerable to the bull rush and counters back to the inside. He'll need time to iron out the wrinkles and get stronger but the traits are there to warrant at least middle round consideration.

"We appreciate all that Isaiah has done for the program the last three years," Swinney said. "He has made great progress in his development and has been a big contributor to our success the last three years, especially in each of the last three bowl games when he had outstanding games against very talented defensive lines from LSU, Ohio State and Oklahoma. We wish him well in his pursuit of a professional career."

The Supplemental Draft is very different than the traditional draft held each spring. Unlike the televised spring draft typically held in late April to early May, the Supplemental is carried out via e-mail among teams and there is a limited number of prospects available. In fact, in the 38-year history of the Supplemental Draft, there have been only 42 players selected, with Gordon, quarterback Bernie Kosar (Cleveland, 1985), wide receiver Cris Carter (Philadelphia, 1987) and linebacker Brian Bosworth (Seattle, 1987) the most recognizable names.

There have been various players who have publicly announced their intention to enter the 2015 Supplemental Draft but the league has yet to make an official announcement. Even the date of the draft, itself, hasn't yet been declared though it generally comes on the second Thursday in July (which would fall on July 9th this year).

Any team that uses a supplemental draft pick would then lose the corresponding selection in the next year's draft. The selection order will be determined shortly before the draft and has not historically been released to the public.

Clemson LT Isaiah Battle will enter the Supplemental Draft.
"I have some family matters to address, with a child due this summer, and I feel it is in my best interest to enter the NFL Supplemental Draft," Battle said in a statement. Battle started 11 games on Clemson's blindside in 2014. Standing in at 6-foot-7, Battle needs to add some weight to his 275-pound frame, but is a plus athlete. Two NFL sources tell Yahoo's Charles Robinson that teams could be willing to use a third-round pick on the 22 year old. Jun 25 - 1:28 PM
The Clemson Insider reports Clemson LT Isaiah Battle declared for the Supplemental Draft because he had committed his "third and final" disciplinary strike.
Although he wasn't charged with a crime, Battle was issued citations for speeding and possession of marijuana earlier this month. He was apparently going to be kicked off Dabo Swinney's team. They're issues teams will have to sort through as they decide whether to use a 2016 draft pick on Battle in this summer's Supplemental Draft. There hasn't been a player taken in the Supplemental Draft since Josh Gordon in 2012. Jun 25 - 2:20 PM

IRVING, Texas – Clemson offensive tackle Isaiah Battle announced he’d be entering the NFL’s supplemental draft, generating interest around the league.

NFL teams can make supplemental draft selections by forfeiting a pick in the following year’s draft. For interest, if a team were to invest a fourth-round pick to secure Battle, it would lose its fourth-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.

For that reason, players often aren’t selected in the supplemental draft. Though with 16 career starts for Clemson, Battle seems like a likely candidate to earn a pick.

It seems unlikely the Cowboys would spend a pick on another tackle, but I wrote up a quick scouting report all the same.

Games Studied: Florida State, South Carolina, Oklahoma

Battle is listed at 6-7, 290. He has lined up at both tackle spots, but primarily played left side later in the season. He plays with surprising initial quickness despite his long, rangy build. Playing and foot speed are solid once he gets on the second level and out on the edge in space when blocking in the running game. Did not see him have to make any blocks where he pulled but was able to make the reach and cut off block staying on his feet.

He’s got good lateral range to get to the outside. Will need work on his playing strength. Lacks power in his upper and lower body. You see him get into his man, but you don’t see that snap to get leverage and get movement. Gets tied up along the line of scrimmage but gives effort to finish. Doesn’t hit and fall off. Didn’t see strength in his hands because the majority of the time he is more placement than punch. Doesn’t shock the defender. Was better with his contact balance as the season wore on – was reaching against Florida State. By the Oklahoma game, he was in a much better football position. Playing through his hips and knees. Poor body control and recovery early. Had trouble when rusher would spin on him but his technique improved.

He didn’t appear to have trouble with his assignments. No major busts or mistakes. Able to pass twist stunts and handle games. Angles for down blocks were good and worked hard to finish his blocks. Was consistent in way that he played snap-to-snap. No problems blocking on the move or in space. Able to see his man, adjust his path and become engaged. Pass sets were a little top heavy because he knew that he lacked strength. Had to get to rush before he could get to him. Did not see him get beat to the corner in games I studied.

I don’t know a great deal about his character while at Clemson, but there was a recent report where he was pulled over June 11th for traffic stop and the officer questioned him about a marijuana smell. Battle then handed over a black box containing three different clear bags which were believed to be the substance. If I could physically compare Battle to from this current draft in the way that he played it would have been Chaz Green out of Florida whom the Cowboys took in the third round. Very similar type of player.

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