Mark Eckel of NJ.com reports that according to anonymous NFC personnel executive, the Atlanta Falcons are rumored to be the team “most interested” in Clemson offensive tackle Isaiah Battle, who is entering the NFL’s supplemental draft to be held on July 9. NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein indicated last week that the Falcons and Denver Broncos would be good fits for Battle thanks to their zone-blocking schemes. Fellow NFL.com analyst, Daniel Jeremiah indicated that Battle would likely be a third-round selection in the supplemental draft if character issues were not being weighed.
Battle, 22, announced his decision to enter the supplemental draft pool last week. That decision comes on the heels of being cited in June for simple marijuana possession. Battle was not arrested or charged in that incident. While Battle publicly indicated that he is entering the NFL due to “family matters,” Clemson Insider’s report indicated that Battle’s recent arrest was his third and final strike, which would’ve prompted his exit from the Clemson program.
That was not the first time Battle into trouble at Clemson, although he played at a relatively high level during his junior season this past fall. He started 11 games at left tackle, but was sat against Syracuse due to undisclosed disciplinary reasons. He was suspended one game in 2013 after being ejected for punching a N.C. State defender early during the season. Battle would come back and start the final four games of that year at right tackle before making the switch to the left side in 2014.
Battle has excellent size and frame, standing 6’7″ with long arms, but needs to add bulk. He is listed at 290 pounds by Clemson’s website. Battle is one of four official entrees into the supplemental draft, with West Georgia defensive tackle Dalvon Stuckey and defensive end Darrius Caldwell alongside North Carolina Central wide receiver Adrian Wilkins declaring.
The supplemental draft uses a lottery system, giving teams the opportunity to bid on players based off priority of order and round. If teams successfully win their bid, they will lose the corresponding draft choice in the next spring’s regular draft. The Falcons have already lost a fifth-round pick in 2016 due to their involvement with illegally piping in extra noise in the Georgia Dome the past two seasons.
The last time a player was selected in the supplemental draft was in 2012, when the Cleveland Browns used a second-round pick on wide receiver Josh Gordon.