TAMPA - If a subsequent ruling makes Ohio State's Maurice Clarett and Southern Cal's Mike Williams eligible for the NFL, league officials have confirmed they could hold a supplemental draft.
The NFL has done that 27 times for players who were no longer eligible to play on the college level but missed the deadline for the draft.
Sometimes, only a handful of players are available and fewer are picked. Other times, no players are chosen.
Here's how it works. The league once determined the draft order by pulling the names of teams out of a hat. Now the NFL, which generally holds the supplemental draft in the summer, uses that year's draft order, meaning the Chargers would get the first chance to pick from this year's pool.
Like the regular draft, there are seven rounds. The league goes down the order, offering each team an opportunity to make a selection. Teams can opt to pass. Sometimes, rounds pass without a single team making a pick.
In whatever round a team chooses a player, it forfeits a pick in the same round in the NFL draft the next April.
Teams often use their first-round picks in the supplemental draft. The Cowboys took Miami quarterback Steve Walsh in the first round in '89. About 25 percent of the players picked in these drafts are first-rounders, a list that includes Bernie Kosar in '85 by the Browns and Brian Bosworth by the Seahawks in '87. The Bucs took quarterback Steve Young in the supplemental draft in '85.