1:13pm: The NFL has confirmed that Battle was the only player selected in the supplemental draft, meaning the other six eligible players are now free agents (Twitter link).
12:56pm: As expected, former Clemson offensive tackle Isaiah Battle has come off the board during today’s supplemental draft. According to the NFL (Twitter link), the Rams used their fifth-round pick to snag Battle after no players were drafted in the first four rounds. According to Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (Twitter link), the pick St. Louis used on Battle was No. 8 in the fifth round.
By using a fifth-round supplemental pick on Battle, the Rams will give up their 2016 fifth-round pick. The team also makes the young lineman the first player selected in a supplemental draft since the Browns used a second-round pick on wide receiver Josh Gordon back in 2012.
Battle, who had been penciled in as Clemson’s starting left tackle for the coming season, decided to enter the supplemental draft instead, citing “family” reasons, including a child due this summer. Earlier in the year, Mike Huguenin of NFL.com had identified Battle as a candidate to play in next year’s Senior Bowl, writing that the Clemson lineman “remains somewhat raw, [but] is a good athlete who plays with some nastiness.”
Of the seven prospects eligible for the supplemental draft, Battle was considered the one most likely to be picked, with some pundits suggesting that a team could go as high as a third-rounder for the lineman. However, teams were reportedly wary of Battle due to possible off-the-field concerns, so he ultimately cost the Rams only a fifth-rounder.
The offensive line was viewed as one area the Rams figured to address this offseason, and while they were perhaps not as active on the free agent market as expected, the club has added several young players to its group up front. Battle represents the fifth offensive lineman St. Louis has picked in a draft this year — the Rams were the only one team in the NFL to add as many as four offensive lineman during back in May, selecting one in the second round (Rob Havenstein), third round (Jamon Brown), fourth round (Andrew Donnal), and sixth round (Cody Wichmann).
Last year’s No. 2 overall pick, Greg Robinson, projects as the Rams’ long-term left tackle, but Battle figures to provide depth on both the left and right sides, and could challenge the team’s other young players, including Havenstein, for playing time at the right tackle spot.