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Should Denver Broncos take Isaiah Battle in Supplemental Draft?

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July 6, 2015

 

The Supplemental Draft is right around the corner, with it set to take place on Thursday, July 9. The Denver Broncos haven’t taken a player in the Supplemental Draft since Bobby Humphrey in 1989, so it seems unlikely they’ll draft anyone.

But could they?

One player in particular stands out in tackle Isaiah Battle, who scouts believe will definitely be selected.

Battle stands at 6’7” and 290 pounds, starting 16 games at left tackle for the Clemson Tigers during his college career, including 11 of 12 games for the team last year. The junior left school to declare early for the NFL, citing family obligations on Clemson’s website.

“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. “I want to thank everyone at Clemson, especially Coach 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.”

The positives: He’s big, strong, has long arms and is mobile. He seems to be a perfect fit for the zone-blocking scheme which Gary Kubiak’s offense will employ.

The negatives: He’s raw and still has much to learn, especially at the professional level. He also reportedly failed multiple drug tests at Clemson per NFLDraftScout.com.

It must be noted that taking a player in the Supplemental Draft means losing a pick from the next regular NFL Draft depending on the round. Each “round” takes 10 minutes with teams wanting to select emailing the league. If two teams take the same player in the same round it means the one with higher priority is awarded said player. Denver taking Battle would be a gamble, but if they don’t, expect him to be the 43rd player taken from the Supplemental Draft.

Also, if the Broncos do indeed take Battle, it likely won’t mean much up front. At least, not immediately. Rookie Ty Sambrailo has already impressed coaches with his ability to learn quickly and his confidence as he’s in line to start at left tackle due to Ryan Clady’s season-ending injury. Sambrailo will have a head start of months even if Battle is selected, but Battle could provide much-needed offensive line depth.

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